Let me tell you a bit about the new life and times at the new Farm:
After seven years of market gardening near Williams Lake BC, in April of 2016 I (Terri) moved to a different farm near Quesnel where I now live with my partner, Mark. It was his family's farm, and like the farm I had been living on, it is also solar powered and quite remote. We have a wonderful time together, we both love making art, and Mark has amazing woodworking skills and all sorts of awesome skills really. We set up my large greenhouse last summer, and grew a much smaller garden than I was used to, (my market garden was at least 2 acres) but it was a nice garden all the same. This year I am trying to do a better job with the garden; to have it be more productive and more beautiful. We are in the process of figuring out what we want to do here, deciding what is important to us and how we want to live.
We want to be able to make a good living at the farm. I want to help rather than hurt the planet, but we are not fanatical about how we live either. We recycle, we love good food, real food, we re-use things so much that we do have way too many collections of things :) we have solar power, we try to make good decisions about what we buy, but that doesn't mean we don't go to A&W or Tim Horton's on occasion when we're on road trips, and when we forget our reusable shopping bags every once in awhile will use plastic ones. People describe us laughingly as redneck hippies. :) The things that are important to us are: our wonderful friends both near and far, good food, making art, listening to good music (we have various guitars, and instruments around here that you are welcome to play, but neither of us plays music) and burlesque. I also love to read and to write.
We love to make art. We had an art show last November and will be working on art projects as we have time. We especially love making art from salvaged objects, and I do a lot of wire art and needle-felting.
We love good food. After seven years of market gardening, my love of fresh, real food has only grown. I love trying new recipes and growing new varieties of things to try. I love growing food, though I do get tired of weeding sometimes. :) Last year I moved here in April, so the garden was small and I was late planting many things. We moved my large greenhouse (20'x48') from my old farm and managed to get it set up in June. It was hard to adjust to growing for just us, but now that I have a year behind me I feel better about the garden for this summer. This year I have started some seedlings and have been preparing the greenhouse and garden slowly. I may grow a bit of food for the market this year, but I won't do market gardening as I was before. It is so much work for so little money and living in a small town and not in the best climate for growing it is a very difficult thing to do to make a living. But I still want growing food to be a huge part of my life. One of the goals we are seriously considering is starting a festival food trailer. We love the music festivals in BC and we also love cooking great food. We are friends with quite a few festival vendors and always enjoy helping and hanging out at their booths at the festivals. We would use our own food as much as possible, and Mark has done work turning a trailer into a food trailer before. We're looking into this idea as a possible way of making a good living here.
We are also a part of the Quesnel Burlesque troupe and this has taken up most of our time this winter, making costumes and props and practicing for the monthly shows. It's been really fun and they are a great group of people! We will be performing with part of the troupe at 3 or 4 of the festivals this summer.
I have hosted many travelers from all over during the seven years I was market gardening. It has been a lot of fun and I have made many amazing friends. Quite a few of them have come back and some have already even come to visit at the new farm. I love the workaway program and while last year we weren't ready to be hosts again yet while we figured out what we wanted to do here, we are starting to be ready to host again.
We will be accepting a few people to host throughout the summer. We would love some help around the farm while we are working as we do contract forestry work in May-mid July and again in the fall. The garden is much smaller, but it would be nice to have some help managing it. While we now only have one dog, one goat and two cats, I always feel better knowing my animals are getting lots of attention when I'm away from the farm. Other tasks may include: helping us get firewood, helping to preserve food for winter, helping with harvest, helping us rebuild my harvest shed, general organizing and cleaning up around the farm (it's been a bit neglected for quite some time). We will also be looking for responsible house-sitters at times. People who come here must like solitude and be good at spending time alone (or as a couple if you're a couple) and entertaining yourself/yourselves. We have tons of books and movies, and we will hang out with you when we're around, but you will sometimes have much time alone depending on if we are working or not.
When we are hosting we treat people like they are part of the family. I don't care what experience people have farming, just being willing to learn and happy to be a part of life here is what is important. On weekends if we are going out you are welcome to come, or you are welcome to stay home. Our friends are very welcoming people too. We are easygoing and happy people. We love to meet new people and we enjoy our rural lifestyle. We do eat meat, but we do try to eat ethically-sourced meat (local beef, wild meat, etc) as much as possible. I also love to cook vegetarian as well, and we are happy to host vegetarians too. Vegans and other restricted-diet-peoples are welcome, but you may find it more difficult and you may not be happy here. Our fridge is very small, and you would probably need to buy some of you own food and do some of your own cooking.
We are looking for interesting and interested people who would like to help out and learn in a relaxed environment but who are also independent, hard-working and don't mind the isolation. What you get out of your stay with us will be up to you. Accommodation is modest but comfortable and includes either a room in the house, a large, comfortable motor home or possibly a really cool bus if we get motivated enough to move it over here and set up (hey, there's another project we could use a hand with :) ).
We look forward to meeting you.
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
Because we are so rural, this is a very different way of life than many people are used to. People learn to be alone with their thoughts if they are not used to so much silence. You can learn all sorts of rural-living skills depending on your interests. We also really love making art and both of us do love to teach different art skills. Terri has a literature degree and an art diploma; if you're interested she can teach you everything you never wanted to know about Shakespeare, and she knows a lot about gardening too :) We both love to cook because we both love to eat good food and we can teach you some things about cooking and preserving food. We also plan to do much more wild food gathering this year. We have varied interests, and we love to meet new people and share stories and laughter.
Tasks vary with the seasons and throughout the week. Most of the work is in the garden and around the yard. Some cleaning, possibly some cooking. Sometimes we'll be working with you, sometimes you'll be on your own.
Generally there is a building project or two going on as well. The animals also need daily care and affection.
If you have any special skills you would like to put to use let us know and we can find you your own project.
English, learning French
We have either a room in the house for colder months, a comfortable motor home, or possibly a very cool bus. Because our home is solar-powered we must be careful with our power/water use, so please be aware of this and be considerate.
We are a long ways from town so having your own vehicle is an asset. If you don't, you're kind of stuck here until we go to town. We do go in about once a week when we're not working, but while we are working we may not go in on weekends. On your time off, there is much wilderness to explore and we like to take people hiking around here. There is also a river and a creek for swimming nearby and when we're home and the weather is warm we usually go to the creek to swim every day. We will bring you with us to social events and burlesque shows if you want to come, and one of the culturally interesting sites near Quesnel is Barkerville, a pretty amazingly large historic town that has been restored.
(Smoking is fine on the property, but not in the house).
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
maximum 25 hours a week