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Come help and learn with us, on our off-grid homestead in the West Kootenays of British Columbia, Canada

  • Canada
  • Favourited 40 times
  • Last activity: 13/11/2022



 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks



  • Description


    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, approximately 0.8 ha. (2 acres).

    We have a large garden where we grow our vegetables, dry beans, soybeans, sunflowers, grains, and an orchard with 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.. We heat water using wood in the winter and a solar hot water heater in the warmer months.

    We are pragmatists and base our practices using science as our guide. 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 electric chainsaw for cutting firewood, and various electric “gadgets”, such as a small, handmade threshing machine and nut cracker. 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 (on hold for the last three years because of COVID), we have been teaching a garden and orchard course tailored for our area.
    Spring is a very busy time for us. Starting in early spring, we prune the fruit trees and vines. In March, we start our early garden crops in pots. In April, we are 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.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
    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

    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 on 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.

  • Help


    We are specifically looking for someone who has a particular interest in simple mechanical and/or electrical systems, and enjoys working on these type of projects, as well as some building projects. Examples of this could include improving our micro hydro system, working on ways to improve our water intake system, and many other projects. An ideal worker would be a good ideas person; one whom ideas could be brainstormed with to come up with creative solutions to specific problems. Of course, there are a lot of gardening and orcharding chores that need doing, and these would provide many learning opportunities for the right person. Both of us tend to be perfectionists, and therefore like to think thing through and do a good job on whatever we do, so having similar traits would be preferred.

    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.

    As we have 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.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    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.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    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 kind of lifestyle.

    We have hosted many volunteers, in the past, including college students, and a few interns.

    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, smaller mammals, and other wildlife, which may be sighted from time to time.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    Although we have a room in our house, having your own living space is ideal for us and for you. We do have a tent, which could be an option.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    A dog is alright as long as it is not aggressive. We do not have a pet at the present time.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 767391369715