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We are currently seeking help for July and August 2019 as we continue growing this unique project. We are looking for motivated individuals who want to participate in the creation of a new farm and gathering place and who are interested in learning about off-grid living, unlearning, and rewilding. It will take many hands to see this vision succeed and we invite you to come and be a part of the journey!
Rewylding Woods Off-Grid Farmstead is committed to land stewardship based on regenerative agriculture and agroforestry. We grow organic ethically raised food and create sustainably harvested wood products whose practices reflect our commitment to protecting and improving the health of the Earth and her inhabitants. Through the development of educational, economic and cultural relationships, we strive to raise the social and ecological awareness of individuals regarding the cultivation of their food and their relationship with the Wild Community.
In 2016, following our dream of living in deep connection to our food and The Wild, we found ourselves stepping into the role of stewards of an incredible piece of land on the East Coast of Canada. This was a long way away from our roots in British Columbia, yet one of the few places in Canada that was affordable. Our farm is located on the west side of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. This unique property is 74 acres in size, consisting of mixed forest with a stunning year-round brook flowing through this lush, magical landscape. We have cleared approximately 4 acres for our house site, pasture, and gardens. The property is completely off-grid, therefore, we rely on solar power for our energy, wood fuel and propane for our cooking and hot water, composting toilets for our you know what, and rainwater collection for domestic, livestock, and garden use. We do not have a television and our internet service is extremely limited, with cell phone reception available but not overly reliable.
Feeding people and farming in deep relationship with the land is a mighty task, and one that requires a village to fully cultivate. We welcome you to come and be a part of this exciting endeavor!
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
We believe that the small steps truly do count and that change begins with each one of us, which is why we have chosen to open our home to those who are inspired to share and learn as compared to living an isolated homesteading life just the two of us. We do not claim to be experts, however, we also believe that we are all experts of our own experience and there is a great deal of value in the growing pains of hands-on learning and trial and error that accompany any meaningful project.
We also have much to learn from others and there are gifts in having new perspectives and a fresh set of eyes. Having the basic skills of growing, harvesting, and processing your own food, respect for the land which sustains you, and participating in communal living are just a few of the experiences that we feel inspired to share. And it is our hope that by being a part of this kind of daily living, that a seed will be planted within all those who come to visit this land.
The main projects for the 2019 season will include:
- Creating additional garden beds
- Planting, planting, planting!!
- Continuing to revitalize old pasture land
- Building an outdoor kitchen
- Completing a cabin for volunteers
- Adding soil and plants to our live roof
- Improving irrigation systems
- Milling lumber for sale and personal use
The continuation of a Permaculture Plan for the property is of utmost importance for 2019, with a large focus on increasing growing space and soil fertility, as well as planning for more permanent plantings, such as fruit and berry trees/bushes. And of course, there is always the ongoing daily chores and livestock management, including milking goats, goat cuddles, and goat hikes, feeding the cows, pigs, chickens, and ducks, collecting eggs, rotating pasture areas, and a variety of other tasks.
What to Expect During Your Stay:
We are looking for people who feel drawn to be part of the creation of a new farm, along with the various social enterprises integral to this vision. This is not an established farm that has been in production for generations, it is a newly planted seed that needs help to grow.
Volunteers are asked to work 5 hours/day with two days off in a row with a minimum of a one week stay. Your days will be a combination of daily farm chores as well as seasonal projects.
Summers here can be humid and there are bugs from May - August. We suggest you bring a bug net for your head/upper body and light coloured, loose clothing. Rubber boots, work gloves, and a sun hat are also handy items to have around the farm. We have included a list of suggested items to bring at the end of this section.
Due to extreme allergies and a care of this land, we are a non-smoking, scent-free farm. Please do not bring any products that contain fragrance/perfume, including laundry detergent, shampoo/conditioner, soap, hair products, bug repellent, lotions, sunscreen, deodorant, makeup, etc. As we practice organic farming methods, we also do not allow the use of bug sprays/repellents with deet in them and can provide you with a safe alternative. If you need ideas on what products would be suitable, please feel free to ask.
We have a wonderful screened porch (aka sanctuary) beside the brook, which is where we will often be found when in need of a cool dip and a buggy reprieve. Our property is also only a short drive/bike to a variety of local beaches, many of which have incredible white sand with barely any other visitors...they are truly heaven!
Volunteer accommodation currently consists of tents on tent platforms in the forest near the beautiful brook. The tent sites come equipped with a foamy, pillow, and a sleeping bag. There is also a composting toilet available for your use, which is the shared responsibility of the volunteers to empty, clean and maintain. This is just one of the many opportunities to fully immerse yourself in off-grid living!
Our travel trailer is available for volunteers to use during the day/evening as a hangout space and kitchen on your days off. There is a shower stall in the trailer that can be used for hot bucket showers - no running water. Think simple, clean, and rustic! All of our volunteers have been pleasantly surprised at how far a bucket of water can go and just how refreshing it actually is!
We are also open to volunteers who want to bring their own form of accommodation/gear, which could include a tent, camper, trailer, etc. This will need to be discussed prior to arrival to ensure that we are able to accommodate your set-up.
And because we have two dogs and two cats of our own, we aren't able to accommodate other pets.
Meals during work days will be shared and cooked by everyone with communal help with clean-up. During volunteer days off, we will provide food items for you to prepare and eat on your own in the trailer. We do not provide snacks and if you require certain additional food items other than what we serve at meal times, you will need to provide that yourself.
Although we are not able to cater to extremely specific food requirements or allergies, we are open to being as flexible as we can. We do eat meat (our own chicken and pork) and we also cook with lard. Our meals consist of simple, home cooked, whole foods made mostly from scratch, using as much local, organic produce as we are able to provide (until our gardens are producing more!) This means that we try and eat what is in season as best we can. Since localized, healthy food is extremely important to us, we look forward to sharing this passion and skill set with our volunteers.
List of Suggested Items to Bring:
- Rubber Boots
- Rain Pants and Rain Jacket
- Sun Hat
- Loose, Light Coloured, Long Sleeve Shirt and Pants
- Overalls or Coveralls
- Work Gloves
- Bug Net (for your head)
- Scent-free Soap/Shampoo etc.
Things To Do Locally:
Our farm is located just a short drive/bike ride to beautiful white sandy beaches, where there are no bugs! We have also been working to build trails throughout the property and one of the trails we've been working on connects to another trail that takes you to the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail, which is an old railway bed stretching 92 kms total from Port Hastings to Inverness. This is an incredible trail that is easy to travel on and covers the stunning beaches along the west coast of the island. There is also the Celtic Centre nearby that promotes the traditional Celtic music of Cape Breton Island and is open daily during the summer. There are local farmers markets, breweries, restaurants, ceilidhs, concerts, hikes, and activities galore around here, that and this side of the island boasts the most incredible sunsets around!
There are shuttles available from Halifax and Sydney to Port Hawkesbury, where we would be happy to meet you. There are rideshare programs as well, check out Amigo Express and Poparide for more information. If you are driving, we can provide you with specific directions to our farm.
Important to Note:
Please ensure that you have read our section on scent-free/fragrance-free carefully. We are not able to accommodate scents/fragrance and are of course happy to discuss this further if you have any questions.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
5 hours/day, 5 days/week with 2 days off in a row