We are a family of four living on an acreage in the beautiful Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, Canada. We love spending time outside in the natural world and strive to live a life of balance, mindfulness, and sustainability. We have a large garden where we grow organic fruit, vegetables, and medicinal herbs. We are in the end stages of a renovation on our home where we have created a natural building addition with clay walls, floors, and clay plasters. Pat has done all the work himself and is a natural building by trade, with a focus on building masonry heaters and rock stoves. He also has many years experience working with Youth in different settings. Sadie offers weekly yoga classes and offers a Sacred Chant Circle at a nearby Yurt. She also works in Duncan at the local recreation centre. She spends lots of time in the garden, growing, harvesting, and preserving foods and making herbal medicines. We have two boys, 11 and 14, who are very active and love to spending time playing soccer and basketball, practicing parkour and freerunning, sword battling, reading, playing Magic the Gathering and many other activities.
We live close to the Cowichan River and Holt Creek Park and spend lots of time in the summer relaxing and swimming in the river. We live a 15 minute walk from Alderlea Farm Cafe, a biodynamic farm & cafe, a 10 minute bike ride from Glenora Store and Zanatta vineyard. We live in a rural area, yet are only a 10 minute drive or 25 minute bike ride from downtown Duncan. In the town of Duncan, there are many great places to visit, including the library, recreation centre, pool, and Farmer's Market on Saturdays.
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
We are excited to meet people from around the world and share this beautiful part of the world with you. We live in an area that has many amazing hiking trails, beaches, rivers, and mountains to explore. In the summer, we spend many afternoons at the river. You are always welcome to come with us on our different adventures, whether they be to the river, the forest, musical gatherings and potlucks, trips to town. We live in an amazing community filled with musicians, organic farmers, alternative health practitioners, dance facilitators, and more. We love to introduce people to this amazing community and help it to grow more vast. While you are here, we invite you to become part of the family and join us in our activities.
Pat has a wealth of knowledge about natural building techniques, fire making, and other aspects of sustainable living. He is always happy to share and talk about what he knows and loves.
Pat plays guitar and our sons play drums and enjoying jamming together. If you like to play music, they would love to make music together with you.
Sadie has been gardening for many years and loves to can and preserve the harvest and share these skills with others. She has also studied medicinal herbs and makes many of the families own herbal teas, tinctures, oils, and salves. There are opportunities to participate in these processes if you are interested.
We also do some wildcrafting of plants. As a family, we have a lot of knowledge of the local habitat, local animals, and local plants and some of their medicinal and traditional uses. We love to share what we know and explore with others.
We have both done some traveling and lived abroad and found these experiences to be very rich and important parts of our lives. We love to learn about different cultures and meet people from around the world and this is something we really want to share with our children. We are excited to host people, not only to share our culture and beautiful community, but also to learn from different people, about where they come from and their culture and traditions and languages.
We always appreciate help in our large garden. This can include many different things depending on the year; preparing garden beds, weeding, planting, harvesting & preserving, mowing, and general garden and yard maintenance. There may also be some building projects around the land that need assistance, as well as general yard maintenance. We also like to learn what your interests and skills are and see how those can fit into the vision for this land.
You will stay in a large room in the addition of our house that is still in progress. This beautiful clay room offers a expansive view of the fields from the window seat - a wonderful place to sit and read, meditate or relax. There is a double bed in the room. The shared bathroom is in the main part of the house and offers a shower and bath.
We will provide accommodation and 3 meals a day plus snacks as part of the work exchange of 4-5 hours/week. We like to prepare simple, nutritious, whole food meals that include meat and vegetarian options.
We have a basketball net, badminton net, and mini soccer field on the land. There are two hammocks here at our place for relaxing in during the day or evening. The sky is beautiful and open so this is a wonderful place to watch the stars and the moon at night. We also have a fire pit, and a rocket wood fired barbeque (made by Pat).
We also have a beautiful acreage behind our house which is a great place to go walking through fields and forests.
We have a bike available here for people to use so they can explore on their own - biking into town, to the local cafe and corner store, and to the river and other trails. There is a great aquatic centre in Duncan, a recreation centre, library and shops and restaurants and cafes. We will be willing to drive you into town when it fits in with our schedule.
You are also welcome to join us in different activities and outings we are doing while you are visiting.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week