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LOOKING FOR 2-3 people for August 20th onwards. We prefer a 4 week stay as we find it takes about 2 weeks for ppl to become truly comfortable with us and the farm, and get used to the routine. There is alot to learn!.
Our names are Patrick & Valencia, and we both do different things throughout the day. Patrick works outside with the animals and equipment, and Valencia is in charge of the house and garden, and does the farmers markets, but has an autoimmune disease that makes housework and cooking a challenge somedays.
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 4 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 checking in on the baby cows and piglets being born, caring for the baby chicks. You will love petting the baby animals and barn kitties. Young cows are soooo fuzzy!
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. We have many dreams but without your help we are just stuck doing the basic chores. It would be wonderful to host you and make new friends. Most helpers who have come end up staying longer than planned, we have a way of making you want to stay ;) jk. But we love meeting new ppl and will welcome you into our home as if you were family. Our place is your place and we want you to be comfortable and have a good time here. Read our IG or facebook to see what we are all about!
We have 5 dogs who love to be petted, brushed and 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 and how to make things easier, 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 & to help set up 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 harvesting, watering and keeping things working smoothly, or outside with Patrick in the fields doing fence repairs, driving tractors, or building animal houses from lumber made from our own trees! You will learn to run a chainsaw (if you want, all safety gear included), and operate the large sawmill we own. Theres nothing better than cutting a piece of lumber yourself. Everyone enjoys it, even the girls!
If you come in the winter you will learn what it takes to farm in the cold of Canada, which is why heritage breeds are the preferred choice of regenerative farming. Dress warm and get cozy in our home as you learn new skills and enjoy the beautiful snowy hillsides. Fall is gorgeous here, and in the spring we make our own maple syrup! Pancakes anyone??
Our area has tons of local history in regard to mining, farming, & Native American culture, including First Nations reservations nearby (for cheap smokes and gas!). We have the smallest jail in north america, tons of lakes for fishing and swimming, and dozens of walking trails nearby. Take the truck and go for a drive, we supply the fuel. You are free to go to town whenever you want.
We are excited to welcome you to our home and hope you will enjoy staying with us :-) Thank you for reading our profile.
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 and how the earth can actually benefit and heal from eating food right in your backyard. You can't get more local than that! Help reduce your food footprint by eating food raised right here on the farm!!
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 and a canoe too! We have snowshoes and an atv to drive.
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 making our own lumber for building.
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 nearby and have a huge grand opening someday which will require event planning and all ha ds on deck! We want to do ecotourism and have tours, children's events and seed starting workshops among other things.
This host offers accommodation and payment.
Jobs vary by season and you may choose to work mostly indoors with Valencia, but if you come for a full farm experience these are the current jobs we need help with:
-learn to drive our large tractors and help with hay (raking, moving baked with the tractor, grabbing manure for gardens, moving trees for milling etc)
-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
-Food prep like chopping up fruit & veggies for snacks and help to make dinner (if you want to)
- Daily housework such as dusting, vacuuming, cleaning bathroom and floors, dishes etc - A Schedule is posted 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 with burning wood and living in the country it means lots of dust. Farm life is more than being outside, you still have to eat and have a clean house! But we aren't perfectionists, its messy here. Bring slippers or indoor shoes!
- fencing (installing electric insulators, running wire, pounding posts, checking fence lines)
- tree clearing and chipping using a large chipper run off the tractor
-gardening (weeding, mulching, pruning, installing trellises, building raised beds, harvesting and canning, starting seeds in the greenhouse during winter etc)
-painting coops/sheds, signs, trail markers
-designing advertisements and signs
-computer work like posting to social media, sorting receipts, finding and printing recipes, printing market pamphlets and price lists to hand out at markets
-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 vaccines, healing wounds
-brushing the dogs to keep burrs out of their fur and hair off the floors
-washing the dogs before they come inside if they get really muddy
-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 4 types of accommodations:
-2 single beds downstairs, separated by shelving, with some privacy but close to the wood stove where it gets very hot, but you will have internet and dont have to worry about being cold lol
-A tent trailer parked near the house for moderate privacy and the sense of camping - it had internet access but we can't guarantee it will always reach you out there. You will share our kitchen and bathroom. SUMMER ONLY
-FULL PRIVACY BUT NO INTERNET: our 30 foot fifth wheel trailer with a queen sized bed, living area and kitchen. ELECTRIC YES, WATER NO. Parked near the forest trails with amazing sunset views over the rolling hills (behind the barns, a slight walk at night with a flashlight, some may not like being that far from the house). Sleeps 3 comfortably plus the table bed for children. Help us build a deck off the front and put in a natural rock fire pit this summer using all the big rocks we have here! Use the tractor and save your back! You can come to the house for internet and tv at night and play a game or relax and watch a movie with us. Shower and toilet inside the main house only.
-NEW: A 30' trailer with a double bed, parked in the driveway so you are close to the house and have internet. It can get hot on warm days but you will have a fan and moderate privacy. Power for charging your devices is an extension cord.
MEALS: we are not able to support vegans as it is too much work to cook for that diet. We apologize. Vegetarians: I am willing to learn and dont mind purchasing what you need, but you will have to help prepare meals and cook something we can all enjoy. We eat meat regularly with lots of vegetables on the side. I will cook with you in mind, but making sure you have enough protein and iron are your responsibility.
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.
Lunch: you must prepare our own lunch. You can eat leftovers from supper or have eggs, sandwiches etc.
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 from the garden in season and sometimes pasta or other starches. We will make sure you are well fed!!
When Valencia's AutoImmune Disorder wipes her out she will have to sleep more than normal, so you may have to help cook on those days. We usually have leftovers at least once per week. If she can't 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 but she cooks most days.
If you don't know how to cook Valencia can teach you. She's 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 Napanee (preferred), 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 to sled down!!
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 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. We also enjoy evening CATWALKS, but you will see what that means when you get here. We hope you like animals lol
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
Can host families
More than two
30-40 hrs per week as jobs vary by season
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