We are a small family farm, specializing in grass pastured, free range animals (chicken, duck, geese, turkey, sheep, and goats) raised in a sustainable manner, using no drugs, no antibiotics, no chemical, all natural. We have Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGD's) who convince predators (bears, wolves, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, skunks, crows, etc.) to go elsewhere for a meal, protecting our farm animals without harming the wildlife. Our 113 acre farm, powered by our own wind and solar power system, is located in Providence Bay, on the shore of Lake Huron (one of the famous Great Lakes), on Manitoulin Island (world's largest freshwater island), Ontario Canada.
It's just the two of us, and Judy works full-time off the farm. Judy is a Registered Nurse working in a Health Centre for a First Nations (North American Indians) community. Glenn spent 25 years as a Professional Engineer and Management Consultant (Engineering & Business Excellence), then made a major shift to apply his prior experience to sustainable farming for the last 5 years. Glenn speaks French and English, Judy English only.
We are hoping to share our home, farm, and experiences with someone who would like to learn farming, work with animals, market gardening, and have great discussions in the evening about everything under the sun. We assume and expect that your learn & grow from your experiences with us, and we can achieve the same.
Due to the time & cost of travel, and the orientation period, we require a commitment of at least 2 weeks. After the 2 weeks, we can discuss you staying on as an Intern if it is mutually beneficial.
My 25 years prior experience in management consulting and Professional Engineering (and confirmed by 5 years of sustainable farming) has taught me that if you have all of the following characteristics, or you want to develop these characteristics inside yourself, then you are the perfect Workawayer we are looking for:
*️️ You are aware (of yourself, other people, & the world around you).
*️️ You are willing & able to be safe (safe both on farm, & during your personal leisure time, as an injury in leisure may mean you can't work the following day), and you help all others to stay safe also. This requires a gung-ho attitude (ie. do whatever it takes, willing to invest themselves in the task at hand,
*️️ You have a positive, can-do attitude, where everybody is your friend (until proven otherwise), you enjoy new experiences, you look forward to hanging out & learning from others with diverse or different backgrounds than yourself, you are trustworthy (ie. you can put the interests of others ahead of your own, you practice open & honest communication, you're competent at what you do, and have predictable behaviours), you desire to learn and be involved on a hands-on basis, you're responsible for both your actions and inactions, and are willing to work hard (even when its difficult, inconvenient, somewhat unpleasant or frustrating or boring at first),
*️️ You deeply care, and want to make a difference in the world (not in the abstract or the distant future, but from the opportunities & resources that are around you each day), you desire to try new & different things, and have great perseverance (won't give up, even when its frustrating or boring at first)
*️️ You aren't a clock-watcher. You choose to leave your electronic devices in your private room while we are fully engaged for 5 hours with the here & now on farm; rather than checking Facebook, emails, and text messages every 5 minutes.
*️️ You are willing to share (enthusiasm, knowledge, effort, resources, etc.) with the world, due to your enthusiasm for yourself, your prior & current experiences, and a deep sense of abundance (neither desperation nor scarcity).
*️️ You seek out, understand, and wholly adopt the shared Vision, Purpose, and Shared Values of our farm and other Workawayer who are here on-farm.
If that is you today, or whom you want to be in the future, then this is the place for you to be.
For example, you will learn and practice, and help teach all others the 5 Rules of Work:
1. What is my team trying to accomplish?
2. Are we able to do this overall goal, and the current step towards that goal, in a safe, efficient, and environmentally acceptable manner?
3. How can I best help achieve the current step, or inspect and validate prior steps?
4. What can I do to prepare for the next step?
5. How can I clean, unclutter, or re-arrange my team's work area so that it's better?
We have dozens of similar teachings and life skills awaiting you and other Workawayers to learn and practice.
If all of the above make sense for you, please come.
To get here, you can fly your private plane to Gore Bay Airport on Manitoulin Island, 20 km from our house, and I can pick you up there. No private plane? No problem. ;-)
In that case, you must get to Canada, usually Toronto Ontario (Airport Code: YYZ ) being the gateway. From Toronto, you go to Sudbury Ontario (Airport Code: YSB ) by car, plane, train, or bus. From Sudbury, you travel to Espanola Ontario via bus or car. From there it is car, taxi, ride share, or hitch hike, a 2 hr ride one-way to our home. Once we have an agreed start date, we can advise you on making the necessary travel arrangements, or may be able to pick you up at Espanola bus stop.
Our new 30' W x 50' L x 16.5' H farm storage building erected with help of Workawayers' Johanna, Chris, Jeremy, and Tobi. THANKS! We have moved to our next priority of getting our market garden planted, then the arrival of our day old chicks. Busy time!
Under normal conditions, Workaway volunteers are expected to volunteer their help for up to 5 hrs per day, and a maximum of 25 hrs per week. All volunteers are welcomed to participate on a free-will, voluntary basis for more than these minimums if they choose to do so. Most on-farm tasks can be completed in less than 5 hrs, but in some cases the job must be completed once started (eg. while working on the farm animal's drinking water supply, work on the system cannot be stopped while incomplete on a Friday afternoon and finished the following Monday, leaving the animals with no water for 3 days). While ensuring fairness to both volunteers and your Host, it is expected that volunteers will have the necessary flexibility in scheduling their daily start time, the daily hours worked, and the weekly total hours worked (ie. less this week, more next week, while respecting the aggregate maximum of 25 hrs. per week).
You may be responsible for caring for our farm's poultry (chickens, ducks, geese, & turkeys), livestock guardian dogs, goats, & sheep every day (about 1.5 hrs), plus you can pick a Special Project from one of the many priorities we are working on, or propose your own Special Project that better suits your talents.
We have been slowly working away at getting our new farm storage building erected (Quonset hut 30' W x 50' L x 16' high).
To help ensure cultural sharing and community, everybody (ie. both volunteers and Hosts) are expected to share in the cooking of meals, by each person being responsible to cook at least one meal per week. No prior cooking experience is required, as we will train you on-the-job as necessary. Our our farm, we live a Low Carbohydrate lifestyle (no sugar, cakes, pies, doughnuts, etc.), which makes for extra dietary room for many tasty meats, fish, eggs, yogurt, fresh vegetables, etc.. If you want to eat differently, you will be responsible for purchasing & consuming these other foods privately. We hope this is acceptable to you.
We have high speed Internet, and you will have access to our WIFI connection. However, there is limited bandwidth and monthly maximum traffic limits that we all must share on a fair basis. Excess usage is charged to your Host by our ISP, and is very expensive. Video streaming &/or large file transfers will be limited.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
Hands on experience on a wide range of tasks and technologies. Discussions while we work, and in the evening where we will discuss life, current event on the farm and around the world. Interactions with the local residents and cultures will round out your experiences in Canada.
We are building state-of-the-art chicken coup and brooder for our grass pastured, all natural, no drug, no antibiotic poultry farm. We are looking at adding a biogas digester system to generate electricity and topsoil from animal manure, solar water heating system, and radiant floor heating system. We are involved in a social activism project to get affordable, locally produced, sustainable food for all Canadians. We are also involved in a project for combating numerous epidemics (obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer's Disease, etc.) through nutritious foods, exercise, & optimum diets.
We have the foundation installed for our new 30 ft. x 50 ft. corrugated steel barn (ie. Quonset hut style). We need 5 people to erect the steel building onto the foundation. No prior experience required, we will train you and rehearse for the big day of erecting the building.
If you don't know much or anything about any of this, that's OK for we will teach & show you, or we will all learn together, as long as you have excellent awareness of your surroundings, you care, you have perseverance, and you're willing & able to learn.
Whether you need to find yourself, or loose yourself, this is the place to come.
4 bedroom house, you get your own room. House is on waterfront of Lake Huron, one of the Great Lakes. House is surrounded by 113 acres of forest with nature trails and quiet country roads. This is a remote site (7 km walk through forest to our small village), and a 3 hour drive away from a major metropolitan city (Sudbury Ontario, hard rock mining capital of the world (mined for nickel, gold, silver, copper, platinum, zinc, lead, etc.).
Local activities at or near our house are:
Aboriginal (Indian, Native) Festivals, Pow-wows, Dance Contests, & Spiritual Gatherings, Country Fair at Providence Bay, Fall Colours Tour of Manitoulin, Museums & History, Ontario Outdoor Adventure Getaway Packages, Summer Vacation Cottage Rental, Winter Getaway at the Christmas Cottage, Outdoor Sports & Leisure, Astronomy & Dark Sky Observations, Birding & Bird Watching, Boating (power & sail), Campfires, Hotdogs, & Marshmallow Roasting, Fishing, Deep Water trolling, Fly Fishing (Drifting or Waders), Shore Fishing, Small Boat fishing, Ice Fishing, Fossil (Pre-historic) Hunting, Golf on Manitoulin Island, Hiking & Nature Trail Exploring, Horseback Riding, Hunting, Whitetail Deer Hunting, Bear Hunting, Lighthouse Tour on Manitoulin Island, Rock Climbing on Manitoulin, Rock Hounding & Collecting, Sailing at Manitoulin & North Channel, Satellite Watching, Snowmobiling & other Winter Sports, Summer Sports, Swimming, Sand Castles, & Sunning, Wildlife Observing & Photography, Shopping, Antiques, Made on Manitoulin, Organizations & Clubs, Manitoulin Snowmobile Club, Private Retreat & Meeting Centre, Training, Planning & Organizational Development
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
5 hours per day (max 25 hours/week)