Help us on our farm with gardens, and animals in a beautiful location, Ontario



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  • Description


    We live on a 95 acre property near Maberly Ontario.
    Maberly is about 25 km west of Perth and 100 km southwest of Ottawa. We purchased the property in 2007 from the original owners who settled here around 200 years ago. It was once a working farm but had been neglected and was allowed to run down. We have and still are in the process of fixing the place up. The old 2 story farm house is over 100 years old and has 4 bedrooms.

    We have created gardens to grow our own produce and have built several coops to raise chickens, ducks and turkeys. Every year we seem to expand our gardens, adding new beds and attempting to grow new and different varieties of produce. We grow vegetables, herbs, berries, and have very young fruit trees and very old apple trees. Over time we hope to raise pigs, maybe goats, a donkey perhaps, and if we get more adventuresome who knows what other livestock. The property is quite beautiful, comprised of rolling hills, open fields, marsh and woods. It is private and quiet, often there is nothing to hear but the wind and the crowing of the roosters.

    Within short driving distances are many lakes and rivers to explore, to fish, canoe/kayak, camp and just plain enjoy. Even within walking distance of the farm are trails which lead to lakes and creeks. There are quaint villages nearby to get groceries and grab yourself a cappuccino.

    Two of us live here, Catherine and myself, Rob. We are in our 60's. Not retired and still going strong. I am a construction worker, Catherine a Shiatsu Massage therapist. I am at work usually 5 days per week, Catherine works out of home. We lived in Toronto and Ottawa before deciding to get out of the city.

    Summer months can be hot and humid but generally the weather is temperate. We have found rain varies year to year, with some summers being quite dry. Winters vary too, with some years being very cold and snowy and other winters on the mild and dry side. In other words, the weather here constantly changes season to season, year to year.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    General Maintenance
    Farmstay help
    Help around the house
    Animal Care
    Language practice
    Help with Computers/ Internet

  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We are somewhat active in the community around us so you may get a sense of life in rural Ontario.

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Help


    As mentioned there is almost always something to do around the farm. And it varies season to season.

    In early spring when the snow melts gardening begins with all the work that gardening takes. It is ongoing until October.

    Taking care of chickens, ducks, turkeys is year round and involve feeding, watering, cleaning coops.

    Other ongoing work projects include building/repairing fences, coops, sheds.

    We are usually in the midst of some kind of house renovation or repair.

    Firewood needs to be cut and stacked. Usually in the autumn.

    Harvest season starts end of July.

    We may ask you to help slaughter and process chickens, ducks, turkeys. Optional.

    You may be asked to help clean around the house, like vacuum or sweep the floor, or even do some cooking.

    The expectation would be to pitch in and help roughly 4-5 hours per day, or perhaps other times if something is needed to be done in the moment. It is pretty flexible. There is nothing to be done that we don't already do ourselves. We won't push or prod you beyond your limits or experience unless you are willing.

    We sometimes work together and oft times not, so the expectation will be a combination of both. Independence and learning are part of the experience.

    Most of the work we do is not difficult or onerous. It is just normal ongoing things that you would expect to take place around an old homestead.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    French: Beginner

  • Accommodation


    Currently you would stay in a private bedroom in the farmhouse. Bed and bedding provided.
    There are 4 bedrooms one of witch is a sitting/TV room.
    There is only one bathroom which is shared.
    In the summer months we hook up an outdoor shower.
    Meals would be eaten together in the large kitchen. As much as possible we eat from what we produce.
    We have internet, but no TV. We do watch DVD's.
    Usually we are out of range for cell phones.
    We have laundry facilities.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Transportation is tricky.
    There is a bus route along the nearby highway #7. The bus from Ottawa or Toronto stops in Perth and will stop in Maberly if requested. We can pick you up and drop you off as you arrive and depart. One of us goes into town usually every other day so you could tag along too.

    We have bicycles and kayaks. There are many places nearby to go swimming or fishing in summer.
    There are plenty of concerts and music festivals in the summer. Studio tours, arts and crafts, farmers markets, are abundant.
    There are trails to hike and lots to explore around the farm itself if you are a nature lover.
    Montreal and Toronto are roughly 3 hours drive. Ottawa and Kingston are 1 hour away. Niagara Falls about 5 hours.

    We attempt to live rather simply and enjoy our surroundings whatever the season. We do what needs to be done each day but also have lots of time to enjoy other pursuits.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 371247312476