We are an artistic family who lives in Toronto and has a small farm 2 hours East of the city near Warkworth, Ontario.
The farm is where the workaway will take place. Once a working dairy farm, the buildings on the property are slowly being turned into art studios. The first is a letterpress printing studio in the old milk room. A painting studio has been roughed in to the grain shed.
There are lots of projects to work on, from ripping out the existing kitchen in the farmhouse to cleaning old wood and farm machinery from barns. There are less strenuous projects, too—tree trimming, lawn mowing, various gardening.
The farm is situated in a picturesque area of rural Ontario. The closest town in Warkworth which despite its small size, has a vibrant arts community, horseback riding, camping and more.
DIY and building projects
The property is a fine example of 1920-1930s Ontario rural property. The community is a wonderful mix of farmers and artists. There is a rodeo in the fall where you can experience the traditions of the area, farmers markets for fresh produce and a studio tour for the local art scene. For the right candidate, the access to a print studio with a 1920s C&P platen press with cases of lead type might be a dream come true. Even for someone new to printmaking, this could be an opportunity to see how books were made a century ago!
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
We are looking for anyone with an interest in stone / masonry work, general renovation (minor plumbing, minor electrical, framing, drywall, etc.) or just carrying bundles of junk out of barns! An interest in the arts would be a bonus. Especially printmaking or drawing and painting.
The farmhouse has three bedrooms which each include a bed, dresser and window. It is a little rough around the edges but comfortable. The house is warm and dry and for this reason, we share the house with mice. So any allergies to mice or dust might be an issue. There is a bathroom with shower and a large kitchen which needs to be renovated. Meals would be provided and special dietary restrictions can be accommodated. I.e. Vegan, gluten-free, paleo, allergies, etc. One of us would be at the farm with the "workawayers". There may be an opportunity for "workawayers" to stay at the farm alone for a weekend if interested. While a car would make exploring the area easier, we could pick up at a local train station and drives into town as scheduling permits.
Warkworth, the closest village, is 5 kms away. This is about an hour walk in nice weather. Most travel would require a car or bicycle. The road is gravel but we see road bikes touring past occasionally. This would be an ideal spot for someone looking to disconnect from city living and technology in general. There is no telephone or internet at the farm. We use our cell phone for calling and data. The library in Warkworth has 24 hr wireless internet if needed.
We like to work hard when necessary and relax and enjoy the amazing scenery (when there is no moon you can see billions of stars!) as often as possible. We appreciate others who feel the same.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Our farm has lots of room for campervans! There is no hook-up for electricity beyond an extension cord. The driveway is long enough to have a campervan parked or, if you don't mind sharing a field with a horse, there is lots of room up on the hill...
We are a pet-friendly farm. There is one ornery horse on the property. If you bring a dog that is not familiar with horses you may want them to keep their distance. But Abby only kicks when she feels threatened... Which is very rare.
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week