We have a 2 acre property in Procter,BC, comprised of a large garden, orchard, woodlot, house and several outbuildings, and situated a block from the West Arm of Kootenay Lake. Procter is 32 km from Nelson in the West Kootenays, and reached via cable ferry from Highway 3A to Harrop, and by road from Harrop to Procter. We have bicycles available for use as well as kayaks for those who have water experience. There is a bus service from the ferry to Nelson. The West Kootenays are a beautiful part of BC with many recreational opportunites and Nelson is a vibrant cultural hub, full of young people, micro -breweries, and artists.
We have been gardening organically on this property since 2005 and have just about finished the process of reclaiming and changing garden beds. We use crop rotation, composting, mulching, and organic soil amendments. We grow many vegetables mainly for our own self sufficiency, and have many seasonal flowers as well. We also have strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, saskatoon berries, black and red currants, apples, pears, and quince.
We feel lucky to have the ability to grow our own food and live in this beautiful area. Both my husband and myself are retired teachers, so we are inspired to both share and learn with others. You do not have to have gardening experience to be here, just a desire to learn some new skills, a good work ethic, an open and curious mind, and an appreciation of the healing aspects of nature.
Cooking / shopping
We have yet to meet anyone who does not fall in love with this area of BC. As well as Nelson being a vibrant , small city, there is an abundance of hiking, mountain biking, or just plain sight seeing in this area of mountains, valleys and lakes. There is a thriving organic food growing industry in the West Kootenays. Many growers use help from WOOF Canada and WORKAWAY and the local host families make a practice of including their helpers in local cultural activities. Procter is a small unincorporated village (pop. around 70 in the winter, and many more in the surrounding area in the summer. We live on the last street of the eastern side of the village which means we have country on one side and houses on the other and we are 2 blocks away from the West Arm of Kootenay Lake.
We are happy to share our gardening knowledge and experience. As well, this is musical household and artistic household. I play piano, autoharp, and sing, and my husband plays mandolin. I also am an amateur water colour and acrylic artist; there are always lots of art materials around with which to experiment ! I teach piano during the winter months, but certainly could make that part of an exchange if you come in the summer. I am also bilingual, French being my 2nd language. We are planning trip to France soon and would enthusiastically welcome French speaking people here this summer.
A seasonal description of daily activites would be as follows.
Early spring ( late March, April, early May)
Seeding trays to be put under lights, pruning of perennials, garden cleanup, bed preparation, planting, woodlot and yard cleanup, splitting and storing firewood, fence repair.
Late Spring (late May, June) Planting, weeding, care of seedlings, woodlot clean up, lawn mowing, firewood splitting and storing and fence repair when time and weather allow.
Summer(late June, July, August)
Harvesting vegetables and berries and processing for storage. July seems to be the busiest month with peas, raspberries, saskatoon berries, black currants all happening at the same time ! And I have a substantial lavender harvest in July. August brings ripening tomatoes (we have many varieties of heirloom tomatoes), and is the time to make pickles, sauces, relish, etc. Harvesting takes precedence but of course all the other maintenance activities carry on too.
Fall (September, October, early November) Vegetable and fruit (pears, apples,and quince) harvest, more firewood getting and fence repair. Late fall is time to put the garden to bed by clearing beds and mulching as much as possible, and cutting back perennials.
Accommodation is a studio room above a storage building. It is one large room and could accommodate either 2 friends travelling together, or a couple. The room has a fabulous mountain view, a double or queen size futon, or 2 single beds. Bathroom and kitchen facilities are in the main house. There is also a flat tent space just inside the wooded portion of the property.
We eat organically, lots of fresh produce in the summer and locally sourced meat and poultry. We are open to various dietary regimes being followed, would just ask that you do your cooking if you are on an extremely restricted diet. We of course supply all the food for the days you are here. Breakfast is usually self- serve, lunch could be the same or left overs and dinner is generally prepared from scratch each evening. Some help with food preparation and kitchen clean up would be expected.
I think this is covered by all the paragraphs above.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week