Marshall, a Registered Professional Forester, and Kathleen, a nutritionist, started farming in the Beautiful Ottawa Valley (Ontario) in 2001. We have a mixed farm, with rare breed Scottish Highland cattle, chickens, occasionally turkeys, and lots of vegetables. In 2014, after years of recipe testing, we opened our own commercial kitchen to make gourmet foods using the natural meat and produce we grow. These prepared foods get rave reviews because the ingredients are so good.
We farm because we want to take personal responsibility for our footprint during our lifetime. A farm is also a special place to live; part home, part university, part business and part nature. All your actions are reflected back on you. Some of the best mentors are the animals you raise. Farming requires all of your mental and physical skills, which is wonderful if you enjoyed being challenged.
We sell at farmers markets, host some on-farm visits from schools and plan to expand our teaching and educational projects.
When the weather is too hot to work, we go swimming or canoeing in a near by lake or Provincial park, such as Bon Echo Park and Algonquin Park (you can look these up on the internet). There are also some nice trails for hiking and quiet roads for bicycling. This part of Ontario is mostly a mixture of farm and forest. Our dog is an Australian shepherd and he loves lots of petting and attention.
We have Wi-Fi internet at our farm so you can easily send message back home, but you cannot stream movies or videos because we have a limited amount of data each month.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
New perspectives and philosophies, Skills of natural farming, nature appreciation, animal care, cooking from scratch, discipline, swimming & kayaking in lakes. Physical fitness & opportunities to practice art, photography & music.
First of all, We would like to thank all of the wonderful people that have chosen to come and help us on our farm. We have been hosting volunteers on our farm since 2011 and have met some tremendously talented and considerate people. Hosting and sharing our experience and insights with other curious and hard working folks is definitely one of the best rewards of our farming life. And in the best case scenario, we are still learning from and inspired by our guests, even after they have moved on!.
We have a small mixed farm - both animals and vegetables. The animals graze on the stony and rocky places where the soil is less suited to growing crops. The pastures are home to many wildflowers, small animals, deer, owls, birds, each taking their turn, depending on if it is daytime or night. The pastures and hay fields and even our guest house is surounded by or close to forest. Animal manure is used to ferilize and mulch all of our vegetable crops. Its a kind of a "symphony" that we are trying to orchestrate.
We also milking 2 - 3 goats during the summer and raise their kids. We sell some of our food at a Farmer's Market in Ottawa but we have lots to serve to our volunteers. We all eat together and teach each other different recipes from our cultures and traditions.
We need help with harvesting and making/preserving foods. There is always a need to fix something, building shleters for the animals, woodworking etc.
Video/Film Making - it would be nice to get someone with film and photography skills. We want to capture the harmony, scenery, gardens, hard-work, animals and people that make out farm work. We have a really unique log barn, built in the 1860's. We have almost finished renovating it, and it could be a good creative space for volunteers to show off their singing or dancing talents, or play music.
We also would like to build an old fashioned stone wall, from field stones that we dug from our gardens. Also, build a new trail through our forest to connect our properties and make walking trails.
As with most things in live, the more you apply yourself, the more you will get from the experience. We expect Workaway visitors to help for about 5 hours per day, 5 days per week. For those that like to make food, we always have food to process or prepare into meals, such as perogies, sausage rolls, pickles, salsa or other gourmet items that can be invented. We have some firewood to split, trail building, fence building / repair and of course gardening to do.
It would be nice to get some coaching on how to improve my art / drawing skills, piano or harmonica playing, or even singing, if someone had the skills to help me (Marshall) with that. We also enjoy learning about and discussing philosophies.
A private bedroom is provided with a nearby bathroom. Guests prepare their own breakfasts and lunches but dinners are prepared together. We all eat together and share in cleaning-up.
Hiking, cycling, swimming are some options for spending free time, but we are a 1.5 hour drive from most major attractions such as the Algonquin Park, Chutes Coulonge Park (zip-lining) or the City of Ottawa. No public transit in this area, although there is Greyhound Bus service to major cities. We can usually drive guests to an outing or local attraction once a week.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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