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*ONLY SINGLE PERSONS DURING DEC-MAR as there isnt enough work for couples.
We are Patrick & Valencia, owners of a fairly new (3 year old) 162 acre certified organic meat & vegetable farm in the heart of South Eastern Ontario's Land 'O Lakes region, meaning we have dozens of places nearby to enjoy swimming, hiking, fishing & canoeing!
VEGETARIANS are welcome!!! We believe that we can all learn something from others, & even though we raise meat, we believe we can show the softer side of livestock raising, dispelling the bad images that all livestock growers are like the conventional factory farms. We are not a feedlot operation - we are 100% grassfed & believe in Joel Salatins methods, which we are striving to achieve.
We started this farm 3 years ago, & the animals take up 80% of Patrick's time, so he could use a workaway to assist him with the daily animal chores including checks of the animals including the baby chicks, & spending time sitting with and socializing the piglets & calves to human contact! You will love petting the baby cows.
We are not a fancy well established farm. We are disorganized and need help getting things sorted, put in a proper place, organizing tools, and getting the place looking nice like in a magazine. We have alot of land but it's mostly fields for hay, and dense cedar forest for walking in, but we plan to install fencing in the forest to rotate pigs thru it. We have hours and hours of fencing to install. And perennial flower beds to build to reduce our amount of grass, but in the meantime we expect everyone to pitch in cutting grass.
Valencia needs help in the garden & greenhouse, making more permanent gardens, starting seeds, harvesting veggies and canning tomatoes. And of course everyday household chores are always required like cleaning and food prep. She could use help doing vacuuming, mopping, cleaning the bathroom, dusting, and doing a deep clean of hard to reach areas like our floor-to-ceiling bookcase, under the couch, moving furniture to clean behind and under, cobwebs, etc.
We have 5 dogs who love to be walked, so we consider taking them out for a stroll everyday an essential chore of our workaways! :-)
We have been busy over the last few years building structures, installing fencing and generally figuring out what works for us, how to make things easier, and organizing our tools and essential equipment, but we are constantly being distracted by cattle breakouts & fencing issues which are taking up time that could be spent doing more meaningful projects & other necessary tasks.
We need your help to get our farm working in harmony with the animals & us using permaculture methods. We have lots more to do before our farm is picture perfect and running smoothly, but there is so much to learn and do here and you will never run out of jobs. You may be working with Valencia around the house & gardens, or with Patrick out in the fields doing fence repairs, driving tractors, or building animal houses or milling lumber from our own trees.
Come in December and learn what it takes to farm in the cold winters of Canada, which is why heritage breeds are the preferred choice of regenerative farming. Our area has tons of local history in regard to mining, farming, & Native American culture, including First Nations reservations nearby, tons of local ruins to photograph, and a flurry of abandoned farm houses to see using a local Facebook group that has mapped them out for you.
We can use a single person for either Valencia or Patrick to work with, or couples who both want to experience farming. And if all you can offer is housework & cooking, you are welcome too!! We are grateful for any & all help we can get.
Speaking of, winter is when the growing moves indoors to the new greenhouse, & activities such as crafts, forestry work/logging, building projects, animal care & household projects such as painting take over.
We welcome you to our home & encourage you to use our bicycles to take a swim at the lake only a few kms away, borrow a truck to tour the area or take a hike in one of the many conservation areas nearby, & enjoy campfires, good food and comfortable accommodations.
Patrick is very well-read, enjoying politics, global events making for stimulating conversation & cultural exchange. He is also a master Carpenter with experience building houses and designing kitchens, so he builds all of our pig and chicken houses, designs water systems, and is always doing something with his hands. He is more than happy to let you work by his side and learn the art of construction.
Valencia comes from the emotional side of the coin, meaning she will discuss topics like local & native plants that are edible or have medical properties, her passion for saving the oceans & reducing pollution, & she has an interest in the places you've been and the things you have learned, especially if it involves how humans have lived before technology and stored food or made things from what they found in their environment. She loves reusing stuff and hates throwing away things that could become a funky garden ornament or be repurposed for a trellis.
We are excited to welcome you to our home and hope you will enjoy staying with us :-)
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
Vegetarians can come and learn about ethical and humane meat production to give them an idea of what really happens on a small pasture-based operation- see that we are not cruel heartless killers who truly do love our animals. We want you to experience the joy of raising livestock for food.
We offer the chance to see the famous Land 'O Lakes region, and enjoy everything it has to offer for outdoor activities. We offer bicycles, a truck for touring the area (you pay the gas) and hopefully one day a canoe!
We hope to learn much from you, and will be asking you questions about your other workaway jobs, and listening to your stories about other countries and farms you've been to. You can really expand your knowledge base with us, and suggest new ideas or ways to do things and we will listen and put them into practice if they make sense, giving you the chance to teach us and show off your skills! We give you the chance to practice your current skills as well as learn new ones such as driving a tractor or operating a chainsaw, if you want to try just ask, and we may need you to learn so that we can put you on a job that has been getting behind or needs done like weed whacking (trimming), or driving the atv out to check water twice a day.
We live in an area full of conventional farms and cash crop operations. We are trying to lead by example and show others that there is a way to farm ethically. By doing it ourselves in the heart of Hastings County, we can educate schools, tourists, and people of all ages. You can help by giving us a hand to design and build more signs, post flyers, and participate in daily farm life. We hope to do fundraisers for the Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre and have a huge grand opening event in 2020 which will require all hands on deck.
This host offers accommodation and payment.
Jobs vary by season but these are the current ones we need help with:
-dog walking daily (we have 5 dogs!) Take them off leash through the farm for 30 mins or run them behind the ATV if it's not too hot
-Getting ready for and attending farmers markets on Sat OR Sun (if you want to come, attendance is optional)
-Daily food prep like chopping up fruit & veggies for snacks and help to make dinner
- Daily housework such as dusting, vacuuming, cleaning bathroom and floors, dishes etc. Schedule is posted for you of which job to do on which day. If we all take turns it will stay clean and be faster to do for everyone! With 5 dogs the hair gets all over and burning wood and living in the country means lots of dust.
- fencing (installing electric insulators, running wire, pounding posts, checking fence lines)
- brush clearing and chipping
-gardening ( weeding, mulching, pruning, installing trellises, building raised beds, harvesting and canning, starting seeds in the greenhouse for winter fodder, etc)
-designing & painting road signs, advertisements
-computer work like posting to social media, sorting receipts, finding and printing recipes, printing market pamphlets and price lists to hand out at markets
-filling and delivering orders
-Socializing baby animals to human contact meaning petting and scratching baby pigs, petting kittens and cuddling baby chicks :-)
-feeding and moving animals, livestock health care including tagging and handling wounds from injuries or accidents
-brushing the dogs in the summer to keep burrs out of their fur
-washing the dogs before they come inside if they get really muddy in the spring
-barn/coop cleanup (we practice deep pack bedding so daily cleanout or mucking of stalls isn't required! We do it seasonally instead of daily and it stays clean, dry and less mucky, hooray!
-organizing tool shed, garage, basement etc
-yard cleanup, stacking wood inside for winter, splitting wood and felling trees
- and much much more! We have something for everyone!
We offer 3 types of accommodations:
-A very comfortable air mattress in the office on the main floor of the house, close to the bathroom and kitchen with internet and a computer to use.
-A tent trailer parked near the house for moderate privacy and the sense of camping - it has a plug-in cooler box, kettle, stove and small sink, with internet access but we can't guarantee it will always reach out there. You will share our kitchen and bathroom.
-FULL PRIVACY BUT NO INTERNET: our 30 foot fifth wheel trailer with a queen sized bed, full standup shower and toilet, living area and kitchen. Parked near the forest trails with amazing sunset views over the rolling hills. Sleeps 4 comfortably plus the table bed for children. Help us build a deck off the front and put in a natural rock fire pit! Make it great for you and other people to stay! You can come to the house for internet and tv at night.
MEALS: we are not able to support vegans for long terms stays unless you tell me what you need for meals, I purchase them and you prepare them yourself. I am willing to learn and dont mind purchasing what you need, but you will have to prepare your own meals or help us make something we can both enjoy! My extended family (brother, sister & dad) are all vegetarian so I like eating the things they prepare, but Patrick and I eat meat regularly and lots of vegetables on the side.
Breakfast: we will supply breakfast foods for you sourced on the farm including sausages, bacon, eggs and ham. Cereal, whole grain breads and yogurt will be available along with fruit and cheese. Patrick eats early (6am) and Valencia eats late (11am) so you will have to make yourself breakfast but there is always lots to eat in the house. Valencia will make a family style breakfast buffet once or twice a week.
Lunch: you must provide your own lunch as we usually skip this meal because we work until 2pm and have a small snack in the afternoon. You are welcome to hunt through the fridge or cupboards and find a snack or join us for ours around 2-3pm. It's mostly cheese, crackers, spreads and fruit and maybe a salad or sandwich.
Supper: you will join us for supper at the main house around 7 or 8pm and eat our own organic beef, pork, and poultry, along with vegetables and sometimes pasta or other starches. We try to eat less starches and grains these days but they are always in the house and I will make sure you are well fed.
If you are a vegetarian you will have to help plan your meals and help cook them, as I am not familiar with vegetarian cooking but am willing to learn and try new things, and will help come up with ideas and then just add meat or put on the side for us.
When Valencia's AutoImmune Disorder wipes her out and she will have to sleep more than normal, so you may have to cook your own dinner at last minutes notice because she will be napping, or feels terrible and isnt in the mood to cook. We usually have leftovers at least once per week. If she cant cook you can use our kitchen and food, so perhaps make yourself some eggs, pancakes, pasta, fry up some pork chops or whatever you want, just help yourself! It's hard to predict but you will likely have a few hours notice if you will need to make your own meal that night.
It would be nice to cook together and if you don't know how I can teach you. I'm not a master chef but can cook fairly good, but would love to learn new recipe ideas and other ethnic foods from you. We have cookbooks here and of course, Google :-)
We are more than happy to pick you up in Kingston or Belleville, the bus can be taken from Toronto or Ottawa to these cities. Once you are there we have an older truck you can use to go to the store, shopping or for fun, and bicycles to use. In the winter we offer snowshoes and tobaggans! We have a great hill lol
There is plenty to see and do only 20 mins from the farm in Napanee! You can get mostly everything you need in Napanee and special items can be purchased on weekends when we go to the city for market.
Valencia tends to get tired in the afternoon from her auto immune disorder, so you may work all morning and take the afternoon off to swim or go fishing. She can often go days with severe pain so having help is vital to the success of our farm. You will have a list of essential daily jobs (e.g. feeding the barn cats), weekly jobs (vacuum or clean bathroom, water garden), and misc jobs to fill in the gaps, so if you are unsure of what to do just pick something off the list and do it! We welcome people who have Initiative and take charge to accomplish tasks. If that's not you then just go to the chore board and ask what is priority for you to do that day.
We like to relax in the evening and watch some tv after working all day, but Valencia enjoys playing games too and we have a few good ones.
Smoking is allowed everywhere outside EXCEPT the barns/sheds, but is allowed in the attached garage. Butts are to be kept off the ground.
We hope to host you soon!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Anytime between 7am-7pm. We expect 5 hours of help but it can be split up into 2 blocks, 5 days a week
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