We are homesteading, modern style!
Our property consists of 35 acres in the Cowichan Valley on beautiful Vancouver Island. Our farm was untouched for 30+ years. This provided us with beautiful second growth forest, intermixed with cleared areas. We have big plans: a food forest, market garden area, pasture layered under orchards, agroforestry and beautiful ecofriendly buildings.
We have completed the house/garage/suite structures and are still finishing the interiors during winter. Plans are in the works for a sugar shack and a barn though these are slow endeavors as they will be timber frame structures and need extensive planning and approval processes. We have three mobile coops and plan to expand on this as we get better at pasture raising poultry and ducks. I have just finished a new set of nesting boxes and we have a fuel shed, enlarged pond and deer fencing in the works for the foreseeable future.
In addition to maintaining your space weekly and contributing to the household, we have daily chores of caring for our livestock, managing our farm stand and standard weeding. Where we shine is our projects, like building timber frame structures, building with our own milled wood and working out the logistics/business side of farming. We are learning as we go and are currently in the process of establishing new commercial sized fields of perennial polycultures surrounded by wildflowers and a hügelkultur of edibles, medicinals and herbs.
I will not ask you to do jobs that I am unwilling to do myself. We have monthly work weekends where everyone on the farm pitches in to do bigger projects. I will often need an independent worker over the next couple of years as I finish a permaculture certification, organic certification and establish best practices for the farm, but my heart really does lie in the outdoors. I hate work on the computer and tend to procrastinate on those projects.
Our family consists of a husband and wife and our three children. The father works off the farm; the mother is a retired professional and manages the farm and household. All three children are school aged, and attend a school off-site. We have family on-site, running the market garden component of the farm, their two children also attend local schools while the parents work onsite. There may be occasional opportunities to help on the market garden as well.
We hope to attract volunteers that are:
open to hearing other points of view, have a healthy sense of self and an equal interest in the well-being of others with well-defined boundaries, and a willingness to abide by our rules and agreements.
As a developing farm, we likely spend too much time working, but plan on more excursions to see all that the island has to offer and establishing a better work/play balance. Having a volunteer around will definitely motivate us! We also have about 2 Km of trails through the farm with plans to add stairs and small bridges to make it easier to use for both running and biking. We welcome volunteers that want to explore the Island and surrounding area, and also appreciate someone to babysit the farm occasionally as well.
We live in the Cowichan valley, which is the epicenter of the food and wine industry for the island. As such you will find multiple vineyards, cideries, distilleries and breweries. We also have a large variety of farms in the valley; from Deerholme Farm, Westholme Tea Farm to Providence Farm, which hosts music festivals, culinary students, therapy riding, and was the recipient of James Barber’s attentions when he was alive. There are numerous music festivals throughout the summer and a large variety of cultural events that occur throughout the year. We also have access to cities (Victoria and Nanaimo), mountains, rivers, lakes, open ocean and the inside passage. Needless to say there are many things that make this a wonderful place to both live and visit. If you want to investigate further, I suggest following this link to begin with (link is external).
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
A rural Canadian and West Coast lifestyle; practice English, enjoy how life is slower and how hands-on work is rewarding and enjoy the outdoors in many different forms. We have the coast, rivers, lakes, woods and mountains. We are very close to transportation hubs, so visiting Vancouver, Victoria or the Island further afield is pretty easy. A vehicle (bike/car) is an asset as I already play chauffeur to our children. Help with the occasional pick up/drop-off will not go amiss as I struggle to get in 5 hour work days for myself.
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
We are currently seeking someone who identifies as a female, perhaps enjoying household activities in addition to gardening.
Gardening, Animal care, Carpentry, Clearing land/trails, Occasional cooking and light housework
Accommodations include shared kitchen, living space and laundry with the family. In addition, there is a bedroom with Murphy bed, clothes storage, exterior door/window and TV/DVD. The full shower bathroom is through the kids lounge and outside will be a seating area where you can enjoy the view(currently in the works). The bedroom provides enough space that yoga could be done in private. We ask that volunteers keep their bathroom(cleaned 1x/week), bedroom and lounge clean, and that the main floor be ours after dinner so that we can finish the day with our children's nightly routines. Breakfast and Lunch are self serve from our groceries, often lunch is leftovers or previously frozen batches of soup. Dinner is made nightly and it would be appreciated if volunteers make a meal at least once a week and help with dishes daily. We are a Celiac family, so gluten is not allowed and we can accommodate most diets, except for nut allergies and vegans. Our diet is a whole foods diet, consisting of meat at least a couple times per week, dairy and large portions of veggies. Our diet is approximately 60% organic though often much higher. We ask for no smoking of any kind, we are highly sensitive to the smell and we have yearly droughts with extreme fire risk. There are no drugs allowed on premises and we require that if you partake, you do so while away and stay away till you are no longer high. Failure to follow this will result in the immediate termination of the contract. Alcohol is permitted, however this is a family home and thus we ask that consumption not be excessive and out of control behavior will result in a request for you to leave. We expect you to purchase your own alcohol.
During time off, there is access to mountains, rivers, lakes and the ocean. most sport specific equipment can be rented locally if you do not have your own. We can provide occasional transportation, but there is also public transportation in the form of buses, taxis, and ferries. Carpooling can also be arranged through our local community. Interesting getaways would be surfing in Tofino, visiting gardens around Victoria or enjoying the local foods and adventures.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
We have optic cable internet and one of the farm residents is a programmer.
We have space for a campervan or motorhome. We can have a discussion over details, but we have water and electricity available though no grey/black water capabilities.
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week