We are a couple living on a small homestead, in SE British Columbia; we have been here since 1976. We own 5.3 ha. (13 acres), most of which is forested; our homestead encompasses, a fenced, .8 ha. (2 acres).
We have a large garden and an orchard where we grow our vegetables, dry beans, soybeans, sunflowers, grains, many kinds of berries, and 50, or so fruit and nut trees. We also have five laying hens for eggs. In this way, we try to grow as much of our own food as possible; we grow all of our fruit, vegetables, nuts, and most of our grains for the year. We also save a good deal of our own vegetable seeds.
All of our power is produced using a unique micro-hydro system, using water from Little Cayuse Creek. We use wood heat, and cook with a wood stove. We heat water using wood in the winter and a solar hot water heater in the warmer months.
We choose to live a conserver lifestyle. We do lots of things “by hand”, using simple tools, such as shovels, rakes and axes. However, we do have a chainsaw for cutting firewood, and various electric “gadgets”, such as a small, handmade threshing machine. We also have cooking appliances that run on our power system.
Frank likes inventing, tinkering, and fixing things. He has invented and built various tools and devices to help us on our homestead.
Libby has a special interest in native wild plants, and is familiar with the edible ones in our area. She has taught many wild edible plant classes, through a local college.
We both have extensive knowledge of small scale garden and orchard growing, and homesteading. Since 2008, we have been teaching a garden and orchard course tailored for our area.
Spring is a very busy time for us. In March, we will have already started our early garden crops in pots. In April, we will be in full on planting and transplanting mode. The garden beds will need to be dug and raked in preparation for planting. May is another busy planting month, for us. As the season progresses, there will be crops from the garden and orchard to harvest and process.
On a mostly self-sustaining homestead, there are always a multitude of tasks and projects that could be worked on. A lot of the time, this is where we need the extra help.
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.
Good conversation is always welcome at our house; we like to engage people in wide ranging topics. We also like to learn about other people's lives and experiences.
Learning opportunities abound at our homestead; including many aspects of gardening, fruit and nut growing, grain growing and processing, freezing, canning, drying and storage of garden and orchard produce, cooking from scratch, with existing supplies, creating and maintaining a micro hydro system, building and other aspects of creating and maintaining a homestead.
We are looking for someone who is self-motivated and interested in working with us on various projects, and in our garden and orchard. These include, but are not limited to, digging and planting the garden, harvesting and processing produce, cooking, from scratch, getting firewood, fence repair, making improvements to our water and micro hydro systems, building, innovating, experimenting, etc.
Having been doing this work for a long time, we can offer the teaching of various skills involved with running a homestead.
We are flexible with working hours, a baseline being, 4-5 hours/day, 5 days a week. We have a trial period of one week. if both parties are satisfied, we would like a minimum stay of two weeks, but are open to someone staying the entire growing season.
It would be highly desirable if this person is handy with using tools and has a mechanical aptitude.
We are offering a room in our earth-sheltered house during the cooler times. During warmer weather, we will have a tent set up on our beautiful homestead.
We are omnivores, but do not eat much meat, and can accommodate vegetarians. Our meals are mostly prepared from what we grow here, and will be shared with us.
One of our philosophies is trying to live a less consumer based life. Our world revolves around our homestead as we try to live more "sustainably". We feel this would be a great opportunity for someone who thinks they would like to learn this lifestyle.
We have hosted many volunteers, in the past, including college students, and an intern.
We are fairly isolated, with no really close neighbors; the nearest town, Castlegar, is about 32 km (20 mi.) away. Several km away, there is the small community of Deer Park. It is mostly made up of “summer home” people, but there are some permanent residents, and we have friends there. There are no services, such as stores or gas stations in Deer Park, so having a car would give a workaway person more freedom.
We are within walking distance to Lower Arrow Lake, which is good for swimming in the summer. There is also easy hiking around our place, because it is an open type of forest, for the most part. The West Kootenay area is home to spectacular hiking trails, but a vehicle would be necessary to access these.
Being in a forested area, we have forest animals, such as white-tailed and mule deer, elk, black bear, bobcats, cougar, big-horned sheep, smaller mammals, and other wildlife, which may be sighted from time to time.
We are flexible with working hours, a baseline being, 4-5 hours/day, 5 days a week. We have a trial period of one week. If both parties are satisfied, we would like a minimum stay of two weeks, but are open to someone staying the entire growing season.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week