Greetings Work Awayers of the World !
My name is Erich . I have recently moved back to Gaspereau, Nova Scotia to be closer to my family and long time friends, and to start a Cooperative Art Farm Ecology homested action center on a newly mortgaged property and house!
Wolfville, Gaspereau and Grand Pre are beautifully located in the stunning lands and waters of the unceeded Mi'k Mak'i First Nation territory.
Mixed hardwood and conifer forests, roll along hills into farmland and dykelands constructed by the Acadian peoples, merging with the shores of the Bay of Fundy, which claim the highest tides on the planet.
There are numerous freshwater rivers, lakes and seaside swimming spots for those hot summer days or those wintery cold water submersions !
Farms, Orchards and Vineyards appear to make up most of the properties throughout the countryside landscape here in the beautiful Annapolis Valley.
The Property: 4 acres total, 3 acres of gently rolling pasture and 1 acre of house site with mature white oak, red maple, ash, and adolescent chestnut, black walnut among other species and varieties of native and introduced plants that the previous owners tended during their time.
The House: 60 year old bungalow, 2 bedroom, foyer/living room, kitchen, bathroom, with an earthen floor basement which is used for wood cutting both for building, repairs and for fire wood storage and prep.
We use a wood stove in the winter which is newly installed and burning warmly very well :)
I was raised most of my life in Wolfville, only a 1 hour drive from the provincial capital Halifax where I was born. Here in Wolfville, I learned the piano from the age of 4, and grew up playing hockey, and soccer, singing, hiking and swimming often.
I am very familiar with the area and also have endless adventures to discover here, for I have been travelling and working away across the globe for the past 12 years.
My travels have led me to study in Sherbrooke Quebec, completing a degree in Environmental Studies and Geography / Spanish/ and Indigenous - Settler Relations at Bishop's University.
I have worked as a tree planter in B.C and Alberta for the past 11 seasons, and have used the income from tree planting to mortgage the property and house, pay the bills of life, and to fund my workaway travels and volunteer/study trips to organic, permaculture farms and natural building projects throughout Canada, the U.S.A, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, Spain, Portugal, and Nepal.
I've now begun, since August 2019, to tap my roots in my new home in Gaspereau. My life dream is of creating an abundant and vibrant Cooperative Arts Farm and Ecology (CAFE) homested that hosts travellers, guests and people in need who are passionate and keen about realizing and expressing their inspirations through connecting to nature, growing food organically and engaging in a dedicated heart felt creative practice in the arts or trade of their choosing !
Music, Poetry, Theatre, Painting, Dance, Sculpture, Crafts... whatever creative multi media possible is welcomed and encouraged in this space, as a means to express and connect with each other and to the world in an open, honest and respectful way.
Mindfullness and movement, I invite travellers to explore some of these practices together here at the CAFE homested during their stay !
It is a mission of the space to focus greatly on the local, and global environmental and social struggles and injustices of the time.
The space is guided by principles of anti-oppression and is friendly, open and welcoming to travellers, locals, LGBT peoples, people of any and all colours or nationalities, youth, elders, low income folks, high income folks, people of whatever religious affiliation or non-religious beliefs, as long as we maintain a mutually beneficial and respectful relationship and that you respect my simple agreements to visiting and living together.
The 4 Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is a good starting point for working together to navigate obstacles and disagreements that may occur.
1. Be impeccable with your Word
2. Don't Take things Personally
3. Don't Make Assumptions
4. Always Do Your Best
and an extra 5th one... Be Critical but Learn to Listen
By taking the time to pay attention to the task at hand we can prioritize tasks effectively and call ourselves into action !
We can learn, share and grow together in our Best Most Enjoyable Ways ! Be Kind and DREAM BIG !
Humorously and considerately, I intend to curate a space for people to realize their potential as themselves on the farm, and as human beings living together in the greater community as well as members of a species within this immense and vital web of life, a part of this beautiful blue and green planet earth !
Hopefully within the next 3 years of the CAFE Homested project, I hope to have built a market garden of an acre +/-, a passive solar straw bale loft cabin, fully renovated the original house with Greenhouse extension on the south face, completed the establishment of swales growing a food forests along the slopes of the land, pasture for rotational grazing of laying hens and maybe other small numbers of livestock ... !
It is a life long dream to have this farm and arts space available for travellers, locals and (border permitting) refugees, and immigrants to have a safe place to be themselves, grow food, learn about nature, the world, social justice issues and make art together !
DIY and building projects
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
English is my mother tongue. Je parle francais. Hablo castellano tambien.
I am a local born and raised in Nova Scotia and know of a great many hikes, bikes, beaches to enjoy and learn from as well as local theatre groups, musicians, and local farmers to visit and enjoy in full conviviality !
Wolfville is home to Acadia University, a hub for local food, drinks, music, theatre and natural beauty thats stirs the honey pot of the soul !
To Do List
On the Land :
-Seed around 5000 2x2 inch soil blocks with over 30 types of plants, greens, vegetables, herbs and flowers
-Growing Bed Preparation by tarping for 3-4 weeks, letting the weed seeds germinate and die off, letting the above ground vegetation decompose under the tarps, allowing for easier bed formation and compost addition, creating beds that will welcome transplant seedling when ready.
-Help with book keeping and microsoft excel is highly appreciated.
-Preparation and Setup of a washing, weighing and packing station for the produce is of the utmost importance and priority.
-Setting up a Walk-in cooler in the basement for cold storage of produce also a necessity.
-Receiving and setting up a 100 x 16 ft Caterpillar tunnel greenhouse
-Cost Out Laying Hens Coop, Design and Build a Hen House with salvaged wood stored in the basement.
-Compost addition and maintaining
-Investigating mushroom growing indoors
- Design and Crop Planning for next years garden and food forest
-Help with installing floor panels in the second bedroom.
-Painting and lighting installations are needed throughout the house. I have recipes for natural wheat paste, clay and chalk based paints that work great !
-Help with ceramic tiling in the bathroom and kitchen
-design and planning of future renovations, greenhouse additions, strawbale cabin drawings and design.
I am also writing and practicing old and new songs for my first album that is expected to be completing the writing process over the course of ... eternity! If the visitor plays music it will be a great asset in living here !
Very much encouraging a collaborative process in coming up with tasks and Projects to do around the land and the house !
Inviting self motivated learners to pursue their interests and bring their best to the CAFE homested !
Also, I am willing to go through my visions for the space in greater detail upon your arrival or via video call prior to arrival.
Tent outside in the summer, or bedroom inside the shared house in the cold months where cooking, two meals a day, cleaning and cooperative living will happen !
Guests will potentially be sharing a bathroom and kitchen with myself and or another roommate(s).
Potentially open to renting out a room if a workawayer in interested in renting a room and working less together on my host projects.
In the past I felt that when I participated in workaway trades of 4-5 hours of help a day, 4-5 days a week, it was a fair deal in exchange for a room and 2 vegetarian meals a day.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
This host has indicated that they love having digital nomads stay.
This host can provide space for campervans.
We can talk about having pets at the site though there may be restrictions of their mobility, keeping pets out of garden beds.
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week