We are looking for some helpers to allow us to keep up with the demands of the busy developing hobby farm. We are a professional family of four living on 7 acres near the city limits of Nanaimo working to convert the once horse farm to provide food for ourselves and the community who support our farm. Our permaculture farm is working towards regenerative agriculture with building soil quality and water retention being a long term goal. My wife works for the power utility and I work as a science Teacher (on call this year) and an ice sculptor and some part-time math tutoring.
Because of my teaching background and our farms location and diverse operations we are positioned well for offering educational field trips and tours on the farm. Our kids (9 and 11) are active and creative - taking music lessons and horseback riding lessons. Our kids are in a french immersion school and like meeting new people. We enjoy having couples but are open to single travelers too. We are happy to pick you up from the Ferry terminal or airport in Nanaimo.
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
My wife and I are well traveled and enjoy sharing our love of travel and meeting new people. The thought of sharing our space with some fellow travelers is exciting. The chance to have help on our beautiful developing permaculture farm is a wonderful way to get to know people on a more personal level. We enjoy playing games and going on adventures. We don't watch much TV but don't mind some relaxing time with the family playing games or watching a movie. We love eating good food and sharing our food and kitchen with others and learning about what food our guests would normally eat.
Most of the time we will work together but some days we will leave a list of projects for you to complete. Many projects are underway including beekeeping (expanding all the time), chickens (for meat and eggs), Geese (to protect the chickens), Sheep (not for wool) and sometimes turkeys and pigs. Watering and feeding animals a few times a day is one ongoing task. We pick up waste food from a few restaurants and let our chickens pick through it before mixing it into a compost system to finish the break down. We generally follow the deep litter method but occasionally need to clean out the animals stalls. I enjoy being frugal and building DIY projects and learning new skills and farming tips and skills. Scything is one example of an activity that would helpful to master in order to help deal with some of the grass areas that are not getting eaten down by our small sheep flock. Some of the original animal stalls need some repair work to remove rotten or damage wood. We are almost finished installing deer fence around the property/gardens and setting up electric fence system in the pasture to move the animals on a rotational basis. Orchards are being planted and pruned with plans on planting amongst the trees to further improve the soils and moisture. Other project are building a rainwater harvesting systems, ponds and other water catchment systems around the farm to help retain more moisture for our dry summers and support biodiversity. Some weeding and planting in the garden will be needed but it is not a huge area and we use lots of wood mulch to keep weeds suppressed. We are mostly an animal farm. The barn is being repaired and improved as time permits. The gardens are being expanded all the time. We finally got the automatic watering system installed- thanks to our amazing French Workaway. Amazing!
Unfortunately our best soil is the farthest distance from the house and water. Installing a pipe to provide access to this area is needed. Other possible projects could be building a greenhouse, brick pizza oven, installing solar panels on the house/barn, and setting up and improving a rain harvesting system for the barns. We could also build some bunk beds in the barn to help offer lodging to more folk as the interest seems high. We have an easy to operate tractor that is helpful for doing many tasks on the farm and most people I am able to have use the tractor with some basic instructions.
English, Some French and Spanish.
We eat as local as possible. Which means that food from the farm is often served. Meat is a common part of our diet even though vegetarians are accommodated. Our kids think we are trying to poison them with vegetables but we don't back down. Eventually they will come around. :)
The accommodations for quests is a cute cottage very near our house that is in the shape of a hexagon. It is a unique and beautiful building approx 300 sq ft that contains a queen sized bed, dresser for clothes, a piano, a TV and a foosball table. There is a bathroom in the barn (but no shower there yet) and also a private, separate bathroom/shower in the house about equal distance walk to either bathroom. The house is recently fully renovated rancher with nice open spaces and even a covered back patio. There is also a large private room in the barn that is liveable (we lived there while we renovated the house for three months). This could be a private area to hang out, play games or socialize by the fire pit.
We are less than a Km from the city amenities such as shopping, yoga, beer pubs, coffee shops, indoor rock climbing gym and bowling. The city is a major hub on the island with quick access to the Vancouver area with a ferry, or planes. Depending on the time of year there are plenty of outdoor activities to do such as swimming, kayaking, skiing, hiking, boating, and mountain biking. We have an full grown puppy (poodle/pointer cross) who is in obedience training but gets excited with strangers but is able to settle quickly. We have a pottery wheel and small kiln that my mom gave me and would love to get figured out as we have time to do so.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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