Learn about sustainable living in BC, Canada

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Canada

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    Last activity

    22/06/2020

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  • Description

    Description

    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 that first summer, and I 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.

    Over the years I have been here now I have been working on doing a better job with the garden; to have it be more productive and more beautiful. I also teach gardening workshops which helps me to really do a better job with a smaller garden as it has been an interesting adjustment to go from a very large to fairly small garden. 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. Life has begun to really become what I had always hoped it could be.

    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, long walks, making art, listening to good music (we have various guitars, and instruments around here that you are welcome to play, but neither of us actually plays music) and burlesque. I also love to read and to write and I teach needle-felting and sell needle felting supplies through my new business that is just beginning.

    We love to make art. We had an art show in November 2017 and I'm working on a new show for 2021 (on magical, fairy worlds). 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. :) Over the years since I moved here the garden has become better and better. The soil is becoming beautiful, and so is the garden. The weeds are not so daunting anymore. But it does always need time put into it. I call myself a "recovering market gardener who relapses often." I do not plan to be a full-time market gardener again, but I love to grow good food and so I have begun to grow more and more for sale again.

    We are also a part of the Quesnel Burlesque troupe and this takes up a lot of our time in winter with 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 2-3 of the BC music 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 many have even come to visit at the new farm. I love the workaway program and while we have only hosted a few new people since I moved here, we are always open to requests and we are starting to be ready to host again more often.

    We will be accepting a few people to host throughout the summer. We have many random projects this year including: the completion of an artistic little garden shed, a new herb garden, possibly the start of a new sauna/glass greenhouse, The garden is much smaller, but it would be nice to have some help working on it. Weirdly (to me) the only animals we have now are two cats. We will begin to have animals again, but I don't know when. There have been some animal losses these last few years that have been so hard, and I want to take a bit of time and also travel before I commit to taking in new animals again. But I will not be long without animals. Our cats are almost exclusively outside cats, so if you have allergies you should be alright here, but they are also very affectionate cats and we love them and they love attention.

    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 a sometimes decent internet connection and we will hang out with you some of the time when we're around, and take you for hikes to the beautiful spots close by or out to events and gatherings if you want to come, but you will sometimes also be on your own as we also like to quietly work on our own projects and need people who come here to be happy to not spend every minute with us. We have a few rooms in the house and also a sleeping loft that is almost finished above the garden shed. We also may be working on other outdoor sleeping areas (we have a really cool bus that would be an awesome guest 'house').

    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 not daily, and we (mostly) only eat ethically-sourced meat (local beef, wild meat, etc). I also love to cook vegetarian as well, and we are happy to host vegetarians. Vegans and people with other dietary restrictions are welcome, but you may find it more difficult and you may not be happy here. I come from a family of sustainable cattle ranchers and I have seen firsthand that cattle managed well can really be very healing to the land (though badly managed livestock and industrially raised animals are terrible for the planet) while monocultures of soy are very destructive. One's food choices are one's own, but they are also important.

    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.

    We look forward to meeting you.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Gardening
    Building
    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Farmstay
    Other
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Language practice
    Art project
    Help with Computers / internet

  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    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.

  • Help

    Help

    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.
    If you have any special skills you would like to put to use let us know and we can find you your own project.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, learning French

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    We have either a room in the house for colder months, a comfortable motor home, a sleeping loft above the garden shed 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.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    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.

    Now that there are no more Greyhound buses getting to us may be tricky. It's not impossible, but we are 8 hours from Vancouver. There is a small airport in Quesnel, and an international airport in Prince George which is just a little more than an hour from Quesnel. We don't mind meeting a flight from PG, but we don't often go to Vancouver. We have friends who are sometimes driving down and could possibly pick you up, or there are ride share sites, but just be aware that getting here may not be easy.

    (Smoking is fine on the property, but not in the house).

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    Two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 25 hours a week, 2 days off

the garden gate
fairy herb garden
Tea Party Picnic for Amadeus' 4th birthday. (left to right: Mark, workawayer and friend Svenja who came back to visit and help me move, Kasha, Terri, Amadeus)
Helper Noemie at market
Toad helper who lives in the greenhouse
Terri with Amadeus at the market
tomato seedlings











Host ref number: 6689629824d8