Help at our Farm, an Organic Permaculture farm in Eastern Ontario, Canada



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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    UPDATE with Regards to the Covid 19 PANDAMIC

    During this difficult time we have had to make some changes to how we host workaways. We are asking that visitors adhere to physical distancing guideline for two weeks and sleep in a tent or their own vehicle camper/RV. We are still offering food during your entire stay. After the two weeks of isolation you will be welcomed into our house. Please feel free to write us if you are interested and need more details. Hope you stay safe.

    Bob and Michelle

    We are a retired professional couple welcoming Work-away helpers as singles or a couple to our property. We're in the process of integrating permaculture design principles and ethics on our property. Eventually we would like to turn our Farm into a place of Learning. Bob still currently works occasionally in education.
    The property is 76 acres of mixed woods and fields with trails throughout.
    We have lots of trail maintenance for the sugar bush, maple syrup production in the spring, Chickens for eggs, organic gardens with Hugel-kultur beds. We would like our helpers to weed, cultivate, build new structures (Natural Building) cook some meals and trim trees. Depending on the time of year harvesting of crops may be included. We invite Work-away helpers of any age or experience but some building skills are appreciated. We are interested in anyone who has any background in architecture especially natural building. But all are welcome. Some of the new projects may include: outdoor shower, outdoor compost toilet,, compost-powered water heater and small retreat/cabins in the woods.

    What we do: Permaculture, Mushroom Logs (Shiitake), Greenhouse, Maple Syrup, Preserves, Fermentation,Fruit trees and Bushes, Seed Saving with local organization, Organic gardens, mulching, composting and compost tea,

    Volunteers please bring plenty of old, warm working clothes. This is Canada expect a variety of weather, Waterproof clothing are invaluable as we work out in all weathers. We don't have a stock of clothes to lend everyone - there are just too many people, so please make sure you come with everything you need we only make trips to town as necessary. Quality outdoor footwear are essential. Working gloves, water bottles and flashlights are useful. Bring all your own toiletries, sun cream, toothpaste etc.

    'There is no such thing as bad weather - just bad clothes!' Come prepared for the worst.

    YES, There are mosquitoes, please come prepared (insect repellent etc) (June to Sept)

    Were looking for you if;

    You are, motivated, energetic, people of all ages with experience of this sort of lifestyle or a real desire to learn about it. To get the most from this experience you need to be happy with doing hard physical work outside in all weathers. You need to be adaptable, flexible, focused, curious and enjoy the company of a very mixed group of people (We host as many as 5 helpers at a time depending on the season). You need to be able to work alone or as part of a team - you will be doing both. It is not possible to do this work if you are not is good physical condition.
    A willingness to learn about more sustainable living and permaculture and try, is just as important as a skill. Age has proven not to be a barrier to ability. Because you will be doing many very varied tasks that can be quite complex, we speak both English and French here. Its important to have a good command of one or both of these two languages.

    Other things you need to know;

    We prefer a minimum of 4 weeks stay with a possibility for even longer stay but are willing to consider other options.
    Work 25 hours a week both indoors and out in exchange for accommodation and 3 meals daily. You need to provide your own work clothes, work gloves and boots. If you have your own computer as there is Wifi but no TV.

    Please note that cleaning up after yourself is not considered working time but is part of the collective adventure of cohabiting. This includes light housekeeping, cooking meals and shared food preparation and post meal clean-up.

    Work-away helpers should have there own health or travel insurance before they come.
    We do some fun things as well, Work-away helpers are welcome to attend; Drum circle , full moon potluck dinners and weekend bonfires at the house.
    The Historic City of Kingston is centralized between our capital of Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto. We live 20 minutes North of Kingston and offers a variety of sites to see. There is no public transportation from our home. Rides into town can be arranged. We will pick you up at the Kingston VIA rail or bus station.

    During summer we try to brake work between the morning and the evening, we do not go out in the very hot part of the day.

    We hope to hear from you and welcome you to our small homestead

    We would like to Skype any Workaway Helpers previous to their commitment to come here.

    Bob and Michelle

  • 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 with Eco Projects
    Help around the house
    Animal Care

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Helpers may learn many various things, such as; natural building, permaculture techniques, Maple Syrup production, tree planting, seed saving and gardening.

    Please keep in mind this is also a cultural exchange as well as worktrade. We are happy to learn about you and your families as well as your travels.

    Projects for 2020
    Stone and Brick walls, Adobe Clay Floor, Studio in the woods

  • Help


    Help with Gardens (Planting/Harvesting), Trail Maintenance, Eco Projects there is a possibility of a workshop in Pallet construction. We expect all workaways to help with all meals, cooking as well as preparing for meals and some light housekeeping chores as necessary.
    On our property we strive to build one eco-project per season. We intend to build outdoor showers and composting toilets using natural building techniques.

    Bob is a Certified Permaculture Designer and Educator.
    The property is being designed with Permaculture in mind and currently we are putting in a nursery of fruit and nut trees, bushes and shrubs. Some work will be quite physical. Weeding, cultivating plants, stacking wood and using tools and equipment.

    Workaway help should have good initiative and work ethics and be self-starters.

    Workaway help should come prepared for inclement weather such as rain, snow or mud depending on the season.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    We offer; Shared or Private room with Bunks and or Queen Size Bed in our home. Internet access, Hot showers. Our home is a Log house structure with all modern conveniences on 76 acres outside a small village. We are near Kingston, Ontario, Canada

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Work-away helpers can email for times we have available during the months of March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November

    Maple Syrup Season 2020 - This is our most popular position for work-a-way helpers and we take only 2 helpers (usually a couple) at this time. Please book early if you are looking for this experience.

    WE NOW HAVE ONE (1) LONG TERM INTERN VOLUNTEER POSITION AVAILABLE STARTING IN MAY/JUNE 2020 THIS WILL BE for 3 TO 4 MONTHS. The Intern will be working mostly with the Agro-Forestry Permaculture Project which includes; Greenhouse, tree/shrub planting, alley cropping, tree nursery care as well as some construction projects. To apply for this position please email early in Jan 2020. Students who are using this for a University credit are welcome.

    Please email if interested in this opportunity to learn more about Permaculture and sustainable living.

    All work-aways must have travel insurance with them.

    Please feel free to email for availability or cancellation alerts

    Please keep in mind that this is a volunteer position and for entry into Canada you must meet a certain criteria (TOURISM AND VISITING FIRST). Please read all entry requirements for Canada by visiting the Canadian Immigration Website . Please be aware that we DO NOT write letters of invitation. All travel documents (eTA, Visa, etc) are the responsibility of the traveler. Thank you

  • 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

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    This host can provide space for campervans.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    We expect 25 hours a week

Demonstrating how the forge works in the shop
4 acres of Permaculture Design
Helping with the greenhouse foundation
Raspberry picking
Making Black Raspberry jam
The Girls spend a day Fishing for Bass
Girls help the Pigs with a Selfy shot
Jasmin Waxing the Mushroom Logs
Marie checking the syrup for density
Saskia, Mattias and Bob getting the garlic ready to plant
Ok...I was working
West side of house from garden
Our house winter 2012/13

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Host ref number: 534539126739