Therapeutic farming community for the homeless on Vancouver island



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  • Description


    Want a truly unique experience? This isn't your average farm!

    Looking for Grounded, compassionate, teachable, hardworking, bright eyed bushy tailed, enthusiastic, non-complaining, self-starting, situationaly aware, positive, grateful, hands-on, clean cut team players.

    We are a not-for-profit 193 acre Therapeutic Community for the Homeless.
    We bought the farm and officially started the project in 2009 with the aim to convert as many people from a state of homelessness to healthy, self-sufficient, community giving, goal achieving, job maintaining citizens of their community.
    We are modeled after the world renowned San Patrignano in Italy.

    One very effective way of healing the body and mind is through physical hands on work in the dirt which is why we operate our therapeutic community on rural farmland and not in the city. Our farm is of Historical importance in the area and is an icon on the peninsula where we operate. Up until 2009 the farm has been solely used for hay and cattle, we are the first to bring food crops onto the land and are currently in transition from hay to veggies, fruit, berries, herbs and various livestock.

    We are non-certified organic and farm with influences from Biodynamic (demeter), Permaculture and other sources that inspire us. One of our goals is to maintain and create biodiversity on our land, we do this by encouraging native species, leaving large riparian zones, tilling as little as possible, adding nutrient rich organic fertilizers and farm made compost. And our FAVORITE- selecting and growing a wide variety of delicious, colourful and sometimes curious looking Heirloom fruits and vegetables. (An Heirloom or Heritage variety of seed is anything that was cultivated before 1951, it must be open-pollinated, non-hybrid, non-GMO and untreated. Heirlooms are more nutritious because they were bred for taste and nutrition, not keeping and packaging ability.)

    Currently we have taken 20 acres out of hay which is being used for a mix of veggies, berries, orchard trees, 2 20x100 ft green houses, and live stock.

    *️Please note that we require a minimum time commitment of 4 months

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Cooking / shopping
    General Maintenance
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Charity work
    Help with Computers / internet

  • Help


    Because we are not just a farm but also a place for recovery we have a very scheduled day and require everyone that stays with us to also live in community and play a supporting role by following it.

    A typical day is as follows.

    5:45-6:45 am Yoga

    7:30-8:00 am Breakfast

    8:30-9:30 am Morning Meeting

    9:30-12:15 pm Farm Work

    12:30-1:00 pm Lunch

    1:15-4:30 pm Farm Work

    5:30pm Dinner

    After dinner Free time or Rotational dish duty

    5 days a week we start with yoga to both stretch out our physical bodies and ready us for our day but to also ease anxiety, promote calmness and peace of mind.

    During our morning meetings we discuss at length our 11 core values and what they mean to us personally and to the organization, but most importantly we discuss how to live by them in times of conflict and adversity. Our 11 core values are as follows. Compassion, Respect, Dignity, Love, Honour, Accomplishment, Honesty, Integrity, Loyalty, Support, and Celebration. Our values are very important to us and we do our best to live by them on a daily basis.

    We serve 3 very delicious and nutritious meals a day with a very high standard of quality. We eat as much off of our own farm as possible, next buying from other resources in our community. We can accommodate vegetarians and those with gluten and dairy intolerance's but not allergies.

    There is about 5 hours of actual physical tasks on the farm each day and the type of work will vary depending on the season and latest projects.

    Types of tasks are:

    Turning compost
    Throwing hay
    Green house work
    Working in our farm market
    Cooking (cooking skills required)
    Live stock care
    Construction and painting (skills required)

    Although there are only 5 hours, days will feel long due to our early start and your constant involvement throughout the day. We do this on purpose to keep our clients busy both physically and mentally to distract them from negative patterns and to help them develop healthy ones.

    Each day you will feel that you have achieved something and have done meaningful work. You will feel supported and cared for in a community environment. Your beliefs and values will be challenged on an ongoing basis. You will learn something great or small everyday. You will experience conflict. You will work hard, harder than you may have ever worked before. You will be awestruck as you witness and contribute towards the changing of peoples lives.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken


  • Accommodation


    Accommodation will be in tents , campers or in our farm house.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    For Our Volunteers:

    -We require a minimum 4 month commitment from volunteers, we find it takes about a month for people to get use to our routine and the therapeutic community model.

    -Accommodation is either in our farm house or in one of our many campers, there is a good chance you will not be bunking alone.

    -We are close to downtown Victoria bus (20 min walk + 30 min bus ride), and to the Victoria airport and the ferry to Vancouver.

    -We are close to lots of hiking trails, the ocean and North America’s 2nd largest climbing wall.

    -We have a zero tolerance policy on all drugs and alcohol and we do a mandatory search of all volunteers that stay with us.

    -There is no smoking allowed from our volunteers.


  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    25 hrs per week

Our garden veggies for sale at the market
The West Barn
Host ref number: 318724867244