We are Janice and David. We are in our mid-50’s. We own a small hobby farm of just over 4 acres in beautiful Fanny Bay, on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Our three grown children live elsewhere, although one son helps out on the property quite often. Over the years we have traveled quite extensively throughout North America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia, but are now pretty tied to our farm and business. We also have a bunch of chickens as well as 2 alpacas and 2 llamas that require lots of affection and daily walks. We rescued the alpacas (Quia and Binky) last year. They were very neglected and diseased, and we are so happy to have nursed them back to good health. They have since been joined by two healthy llamas (Pearl and Abby). And we have one cat, Simon, who came out of the woods and adopted us. He is the one who is really in charge of the whole place. We also own a dog and cat boarding business. Volunteers will not be working for the business, but will have lots of opportunity to interact with the animals that are boarding with us.
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
Volunteers will have the opportunity to learn about life on rural Vancouver Island, taking care of llamas, alpacas, and chickens, and spending time on a quiet beautifully forested property. We look forward to welcoming volunteers into our home and sharing our lives with them, while also learning about them.
We keep busy on our property, but the pace in this part of Vancouver Island is slow. People stop and talk, especially when we’re walking the alpacas and llamas around the neighborhood.
We have made up a rather lengthy list of projects we would like help with. Some of these tasks can be accomplished in a day or less, while others are likely to take much longer.
Some of the larger projects include clearing a dog-walking trail in the forest around the perimeter of the property, various landscaping projects, and brush clearing.
Smaller projects include helping around the house, power-washing, painting, chopping and stacking wood, harvesting and processing lavender, berry picking, preparing a small field for seeding, setting up a composting system, processing camelid beans for sale as fertilizer, and general maintenance around the property. We could also use some help with enhancing our internet and social media presence.
David really enjoys photographing the dogs and cats that board with us, and would like some assistance with this, as he wants to work toward setting up a pet photography business.
Janice enjoys working as a fibre artist: spinning, weaving, knitting, crocheting, and is happy to share her knowledge.
Volunteers are expected to be friendly, honest, and respectful. While we are almost always on the property, volunteers should be able to work independently.
You also need to love animals and be comfortable with being kissed by alpacas.
We prefer volunteers to stay for a minimum of 1 week and to work a maximum of 25 hours a week. Longer stays are preferred.
We are able to accept 2-3 volunteers at a time.
English and a little German
Volunteers will share a large private room. Our home only has one bath/shower, so that will be shared. Depending upon how many volunteers are with us at a time sleeping space could also be available in our enclosed workshop or in a supplied tent.
Breakfast and lunch to be self-catered and expect that one would clean up after themselves. Dinner will be prepared and eaten together.
We are open to shared cooking and are happy to discuss what works best.
We do our best to accommodate dietary needs.
Pickup and drop-off may be available at Comox or Nanaimo airports and Nanaimo ferry terminals if we are available and are given sufficient notice. Otherwise, you will need to arrange bus transportation to Buckley Bay, which is about 3 km from our place.
A 5-minute walk from our property gets you to hiking trails, a refreshing creek, the ocean, or the Fanny Bay Inn, a historic pub. The Denman and Hornby Island ferry terminal is 3 km away at Buckley Bay. These islands offer beautiful beaches, many hiking trails, wineries, and unique locally made arts and crafts. Rosewall Creek Provincial Park is a 5 minute drive away and Horne Lake Caves are within a 30 minute drive. Victoria is about 2.5 hours drive south, Tofino is about 2.5 hours west. Mount Washington, about 40 minutes to the north, offers excellent skiing and snowshoeing in winter and great hiking in the summer. There is limited local bus service, with a stop a few minutes walk from our place, which gets you to Courtenay (30 minutes). Tofino Bus and Island Link Bus companies travel throughout Vancouver Island and can be accessed from Buckley Bay. Depending upon our availability, we may be able to provide some transportation to area attractions. (David loves hiking and exploring the backcountry).
Apart from the domestic animals that live with us, it is not uncommon to see eagles, deer, sea lions, seals, and whales in the area.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 25 hours a week
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