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We are a family of 5 on a small farm on Orcas Island. Orcas Island is a beautiful island in Northwest Washington a ferry ride away from the mainland. A shuttle bus can easily taken from Seatac airport in Seattle to the ferry terminal in Anacortes.
We are Mom, Dad and 3 teenagers, a little white dog and many animals. Our farm is located about 3 miles from the main town on the island. We love cultural exchanges and have hosted exchange students the last 3 years. We look forward to meeting you and introducing you to our beautiful home and island. We are property caretakers, as well as writer, licensed massage practitioner and 4H volunteer leaders. Our kids participate in the 4H program and that's why we have the animals, although the kids take care of their animals there is a lot of other projects to keep up on a farm and a house -that's where you come in-
We are working toward a permaculture design, and we'd love to have your help!
We are all non smokers, and this is a non smoking farm.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
We have hosted exchange students from other countries and very much enjoy the cultural exchange. We can help you with your English and introduce you to our island. Working on the farm offers many opportunities, depending what projects we're working on, it will be learn by doing, there's plumbing, learning how to cultivate food, learning about goats, sheep, horses, chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks, rabbits and guinea pigs. Some exposure to Permaculture concepts. We will share any knowledge we have with you as the topics come up through work or conversation.
We need your help with various projects from general maintenance of fields and fences, to painting, and improving infrastructure like fencing and gates, and building maintenance. We may ask you to care for the animals if we need to go away for a few days. We need help cleaning up a forested area and maintaining walking paths. implementing a permaculture design plan phases. We need help in the vegetable garden weeding and harvest. We need help with cutting and stacking firewood, mowing lawns, prepping for the winter, and whatever else comes up.
Chinese (Mandarin): Beginner
We have a small vintage Aloha travel trailer for you to stay in, providing you with something of your own small house. We generally eat our dinners together as a family and invite you to join us for this meal *With COVID this may change to us providing you your dinner in your trailer, or we may all eat outside when weather allows.* Your other meals are up to you to make in your quarters. You have the shared outdoor shower and composting toilet. (The trailer offers, an ice box refrigerator, a propane cook stove, double bed and dining area currently no electricity).
We also have a basic 10x10 cabin (Twin bed) not insulated no electricity in the garden with a basic outdoor kitchen with cooler and camp stove, composting bucket toilet and shared outdoor shower.
There will be the food we grow in the garden to share, seasonally.
We have a bicycle to lend you so you can explore the islands.
We're happy to host couples, and families, although the more guests would require tenting.
*Note that in the summer and Fall months (until rains return), we're all on shower limits, since we're on a small shared well we limit showers to 3 minutes.
*FAMILIES We are open to accepting families with mature kids old enough to work alongside us and follow directions for independent work. A family will likely depend on camping in you own tent, or possibly a combination of tent and camper. Because of this, we only accept families for july and August-our two months that have reliably little rain and wind and comfortable temperatures.
During your time off you can enjoy the beauty of the San Juan Islands, visiting the other islands, biking (we can provide you with a bicycle), Our farm is right next to the golf course, we highly recommend swimming in the beautiful lakes (or windsurfing on one of our old set ups) surrounded by evergreen forests, there are many beautiful hikes to take all over the island, and some beaches to relax on, you could volunteer in other non profit organizations on island, and possibly even find a paying job for your time off (we'll leave the legalities up to you to figure out:), We have a small sailboat and enjoy sailing we may offer to take you sailing. There are kayak rentals and whale watching options, and Victoria B.C. is just a ferry ride away!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Maximum 4 hours a day, 4 days a week
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