Ecological Farm, Market Garden and Education Centre in the rolling hills of Northumberland County, Ontario, Canada



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 Min stay requested: at least 3 weeks

  • Description


    Set atop the rolling hills of Northumberland County, Ontario, our 120 acre farm is a mixture of field, forest, meadow and wetland with a beautiful view of Lake Ontario. We moved to the country in 2012 to live a more peaceful and fulfilling lifestyle, closing the gap between field and table. We grow and raise our food using organic and permaculture principles learned through our travels around the world. We feed our family and staff as well as supply ingredients for all our events. Our products are also sold off-farm at local farmer's markets, CSA's and restaurants.

    We have a two acre intensive market garden and a half-acre permaculture garden. We also raise goats, chickens, and bees and will be adding sheep and cattle to our biodynamic grazing system this summer. We believe in a planetary diet that includes eating fresh organic vegetables and meat and dairy from our ethically and holistically raised animals. A planetary diet mimics what Michael Pollen has long advised, "Eat food, not too much, mainly plants." By "food" he means REAL food, unprocessed and as close to where it was raised as possible; "not too much" means understanding the relationship between the energy the earth can provide and how much of that energy we need to live; and "mainly plants" means a plant-based diet but not at the exclusion of meat. We do provide vegetarian options at each meal and serve meatless meals at least 2 times a week.

    We are a community farm with an open door to those who want to get closer to the land but might not have access to it. Aside from farming, we also run an education centre that offers group and corporate retreat experiences including cooking classes, yoga and wellness, homesteading workshops, gardening tours and foraging hikes into our wilder areas.

    When we traveled, we loved working as volunteers side by side with people from all over the world. Now that we are hosts we can relive our experiences all over again! We offer guidance and mentoring in all areas of farm life. We are assisted by full-time staff who manage the gardening, livestock and construction activities. Our farm has a communal atmosphere with everyone gathering together at meal times to cook, share stories and ideas and get to know one another. We hope that our volunteers leave us fit and happy and passionate about growing and eating good food.

    Here is the what we are doing this summer:
    APRIL - cleaning up the property, starting pasture fencing project, preparing garden beds, lots of construction projects. WE NEED - strong people capable of lots of lifting, prefer those with basic carpentry skills and use of power tools.

    MAY - planting, weeding, mulching, fixing chicken tractors, looking after a variety of livestock including new chicks and goats, starting markets, moving compost, continuing with fencing projects, education programs start

    JUNE - AUGUST - all aspects of gardening - digging, weeding, planting, harvesting; help with events and workshops; moving animals on pastures and feeding and watering, continuing fencing project, working manures and composts, lots of maintenance, clean-up and construction

    SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER - harvesting, final bed preparations, reading animals for processing, readying property for winter

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help with Eco project
    Animal care

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We work as a international community in this peaceful and beautiful part of the world and do our best to model the tolerance and diversity which Canada is known for. We also love to show off southern Ontario's forests and lakes when we can as well as our sophisticated cities. We are happy to assist workers with planning trips away from the farm.

  • Help


    Farm work is very physical work and requires strength and stamina in all kinds of weather. Weather in Canada is extreme. May and June can be warm and wet during the day and very cold during the night. The summers are mainly hot, dry and humid. You will be digging, weeding, planting, harvesting, throwing hay bales, carrying water, mucking stalls, cutting wood and building fences. You will be around all forms of livestock that can be intimidating and dangerous if not treated knowledgeably and with respect. Your reward after a hard day of work is seeing the freshly worked soil you've just cleared or the line of seedlings you have just finished planting or the happy animals you've managed and there's nothing better than to eat the fruits of your labours - farm-fresh vegetables, eggs, meat and even foraged foods.

    Construction never ends here. We are always looking for help with ongoing maintenance and repairs. Some of our projects this year include building perimeter fencing in our pastures, reconstructing split-rail fences, fixing up the barn, and opening up new areas for planting. We are also cutting trails through our forest and landscaping around our new straw-bale home.

    We encourage a healthy lifestyle. The working day starts at 9:00 and ends at 3:00 with a one hour lunch in the middle. We work Tuesdays to Saturdays to coincide with our weekend events, but we can negotiate alternate days off. After work volunteers tend to go hiking, running, cycling, swimming at the beach, playing games, journaling, drawing and playing music. In keeping with our philosophy, we provide delicious, home-cooked meals that offer balanced nutrition with limited snack foods. We feel very strongly that our staff should not smoke and that drinking alcohol be limited. On your days off we can help you plan day trips and activities and booking transportation.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken


  • Accommodation


    We have a house, trailers and a bunkie for workers. All living and eating spaces are shared.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We are a 15 minute drive or a 40 minute bike ride to some great restaurants, shops, a lovely swimming beach. Train and bus transportation is quite close and Toronto is just over an hour away. Our beautiful lake-filled cottage country, just north of us, is a favourite destination.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    25 hours a week

Construction project
Harvesting for Market
Beautiful gardens
Tyler and Erin - market gardeners
Haying day
Farmers Tony and Linda
Typical lunch
Kids (human and goat)!
Chainsawing with a view
Barn venue
Farm fresh eggs

Host ref number: 828268561396