We live on a 300 acre homestead in the Ottawa Valley in eastern Ontario. Over many years of permaculture and mulch methods extensive rich organic gardens have been developed. We feed our families primarily and put together food boxes for people in our area on a need basis. In the past we vended at a local farmers market which was great but is not our focus at this time. We keep various animals for pets and food. Horses, cows, sheep, chickens, dogs, and cats. This homestead is a little piece of history, established about 160 years ago by polish settler immigrants at the time so we have many hand built log barns and outbuildings some in need of rebuilt barn doors and various touch up- otherwise have been very well kept up. George my father lives in the original farm house; then across the yard I live with my family; children Are Sathya (10), Malu (7), Isla (4), Owain (2) and my partner Rhett. We work together to get chores done. George is the main mind and energy behind it all and I am gradually learning all I can while he is still here. As he ages he need to take more time for himself to tend his aging body and reflect on his life lived :) We talk about scaling down but that its another question if we do so. In which case help during summer months largely focuses on gardening work. During winter we have some renovation projects going on.
On cold winter afternoons and eves we fire up our sauna to deal with the cold of winter.
I am a Registered massage therapist, currently not working in my field professionally as I mainly stay home with children, tend the fire, tend to the garden, chickens and horses. I homeschool our children also and collaborate with neighbouring families for homeschool group.
George (my father) has lived 50+ years on the farm and built it into what it is today, extensive gardens all organic and permaculture methods to build soil in this marginal land. He cares for cows, and sheep and makes sure things happen in there timely fashion- he is a wealth of knowledge, wisdom, and character!
Rhett (my partner) helps us each out where needed on the farm but mostly focuses on his arborist tree removal business in the surrounding towns and area.
Recently my mother had moved onto the farm in 2021 and she lives in a Mongolian yurt. She spends time with my children and helps out around the farm.
We also have a few extended Work exchange farm helpers. A couple whom we met through Workaway And they met also here from Workaway :)
There are many things I think you may learn by staying with us on our farm. We grow food of many varieties and quantity to store And eat throughout the long winter months. I can and ferment various foods for preservation. We still have veggies like onions, garlic, cabbage, many root veggies, squash that we eat from until February and even March and April. So the food storage may really interest you.
Also horse riding and much tending to the gardens, hiking, some building and repair here and there. Possibly if it suits you some childcare or doing crafts with kids.
We look forward to the chance to host you and to share experience together and learn from one another.
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
We live as much from the land as possible, we eat very much seasonally organically and locally. We also are all off grid powered by solar- this makes us very aware of timing for power usage and water usage and such- to time with the cycle of the day!
We sauna regularly to keep immune systems strong through winter and to get heated to the bones!
We have a wonderful extensive local supportive community of people who we barter and help back and forth with, this is an amazing thing to experience I think if you have not before, or if you have to just share in. Opportunities in winter to experience winter are great here, like snow shoeing and cross country skiing as we normally have good long hefty winters. Summers are glorious fast and furious! great swimming in our pond and at nearby lakes and rivers. Also if you come in spring you will learn to live with black flies ;)
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
-gardening; planting, digging, mulching, composting, weeding
-animal care; chicken care, exercising horses/ridding
-harvesting and preserving food
-wine making, and other fun ferments!
- building and maintenance project
-fire wood cutting and harvesting
-animal care; feeding water and hay, chicken care
-indoor simple wood shelving
This host offers a language exchange
My father is fluent in German and I can communicate. A little in German and French. I am always happy to learn a new language and to share what I can with English.
in Summer we have a couple trailer options as well as tent option.
Our cabin is no longer available.
during your time off we have great neighbors to visit with different set ups, friendly and welcoming and making ago of it off the land. We have great extensive trails for hiking skiing or snow shoeing. We have ridding horses one for beginner and other for more experienced ridder as she is still young. In summer there are amazing lakes and rivers to visit. Also in area there are various fun community and social events that go on. Ottawa canada's capital is a 2 hour drive away. Often we have found with guess in the past they often soak up our farm land, going for long walks into the nature wilderness or quiet moments by the fire or on stone fence thinking and soaking up the silence.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
This host can provide space for campervans.
Approx 5 hours a day, 5 days a week