Help with gardening, carpentry and general helpfulness in our very beautiful and rustic old fisherman's cottage on a small island near Nova Scotia, Canada



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  • Description


    Hi, we're Aly and Adam and we have a lovely yellow Labrador named Folly. We live half the year on a small island off the coast of the south shore of Nova Scotia, and half the year in Guanajuato, Mexico. Our house in Nova Scotia is an old fisherman's cottage built on a nearby island about 150 years ago and moved across the ice to our island in 1910. It is very beautiful and very rustic. Our water comes from an old dug well - and sometimes we run out of water, especially in very dry Augusts and September. We often canoe to dinner at friends' houses and then paddle home under the stars with galaxies of phosphorescence illuminating the water.

    We have several projects lined up for this summer including finishing some carpentry inside (book shelves, counters, building a dining room table) and outside: building a greenhouse, gardening, cutting and splitting wood, and clearing and burning an old meadow of fallen trees, but our time frames are not completely flexible and we likely can only take people for one week at a time.

    We also have a website we're working on so if you happen to be a good computer programmer, definitely write us! But that's not our main reason to list on Workaway - our main reason is to host some wonderful, fun, energetic people and share our little spot on this beautiful planet. Recreational activities include boating, canoeing, swimming, fishing, musseling, digging for clams, island hopping, and reading a good book in the hammock. Also a great place to paint, draw, play guitar or fiddle your ukele. Work and play often overlap in our home and life... is digging clams for dinner work or play? You tell me! Ditto with gardening, baking, and chopping down trees.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    General Maintenance
    Farmstay help
    Help with Eco Projects
    Help around the house
    Help with Computers/ Internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    As world travelers (Adam has lived in more than 15 countries) we can honestly say there are many places as beautiful as this little island, but it is up there amongst the best of the worlds millions of gorgeous places. But it's not for everyone. It is seriously rustic, hard work, mosquito-y. We have no running water. Internet is intermittent. It's lo-tech living. Living on an island this small is a little like going back in time 100 years. We bake our own bread daily, make sauerkraut and generally do a lot of cooking. A few things you might learn:
    Cooking including:
    Bread baking - from organic, fermented whole grains; sauerkraut; homemade pasta, bone stocks, and just generally excellent food.
    Nutrition: Aly knows more than she should!
    Carpentry: Adam is a great carpenter - together we built two of the buildings on our property.
    Design: Together Adam and Aly have designed and built two houses in Mexico.
    Boating: we have four boats so you'll definitely get a chance to go canoeing or rowing and likely gathering mussels or clams.

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

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

  • Help


    We need help clearing an old meadow of brambles and fallen trees, gardening, collecting seaweed and overall home maintenance. Inside jobs include carpentry, sewing, cleaning and organizing. We eat as close to the land as possible, getting food from the sea, the land and our neighbors. Some volunteer work with our friends on a nearby island who have a small goat farm is also possible - they make goat cheese and have an extraordinary garden. Carpentry and computer (PHP programming) skills a plus. Couples and small families welcome.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Fluent
    French: Intermediate
    Greek: Beginner

  • Accommodation


    You will have your own room - and there are no bathrooms. There's the great outdoors and a lovely outhouse. Apart from a gravity fed shower, our property has no running water. We dip drinking water from an 8 foot hand dug well out back with a bucket. It is the most delicious water. But it can run dry - especially during a dry August or September.

    One important note. Preparing food and cleaning up takes up a large amount of our time here. We enjoy sharing those activities with our guests, but it is important that our guests understand that this is a part of life on an island - we have no running water, for example, so doing dishes involves getting water from the well and heating it in an electric kettle... Everything takes time. Also, it's an island, so you will unlikely be able to run to a store. When you're here, you're basically here. It's a 20 minute row to the mainland, and 45 minutes to town, so it's certainly not something we do often.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We have a canoe, dory and oarling (like an ocean going rowing scull), and a small outboard motor boat. Besides the small pebble beaches on our island, nearby there are many beautiful sand beaches including Crescent Beach. Lunenburg is a historic UNESCO world heritage site about 10 miles away. The area is beautiful for bicycling and kayaking. One of us has spent summers here for 35 years, the other for ten. We're modern day hippies whose lives revolve more about when the sun sets and the tide is high than any regular school or work schedule.

  • 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?


  • ...

    Hours expected

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

Host ref number: 492539675378