Welcome: We are a 10 acre rural (within city limits) farm, and we are also in the Agricultural Land Reserve. We are nestled in a wide north south valley with the North Thompson River at our doorstep. The land is very rich and fertile as it has been an ancient river bed with the silts coming from the rolling hills around us. It is important to us that we keep this land in food production as an example of self-sustainability with small parcels of land. It is also important that we share our hard earned knowledge of growing our own food with others.
A driver's license, and/or own transportation is useful, for exploration of the area. There are 100 lakes within the Kamloops region, and many are very easily accessible for fishing, swimming and other fun water activities. The Kamloops webpage "Boldly Unscripted" is information on the many things to explore, see and do here. A wildlife park, outdoor Theatre, and many places to hike, etc.
We are raising chicken, and turkey for meat. There are 7 acres in hay which we trade with our neighbour's for their work in cutting & baling. As a lifetime organic gardener our vegetables and fruits supply us with food year around. We store root crops in the veg shed; the onions squash and garlic in the cold room, where there is also an abundance of preserves. Our poultry are raised outdoors under fruit trees, and use the shrubs for shelter and the opportunity to behave as wild birds would. Their manure keeps the gardens rich in nutrients as it it worked in with the vegetable compost.
Our ranch styled home is surrounded by colourful ornamental gardens, grassy areas connecting the vegetable gardens, grape vines, and fruit trees. As a retired landscape design & installer Tricia's passion is PLANTS!
As Leo works full time from his home office as a geologist, he has only a little time to look after some mechanical needs.
Tricia is the farm administrator, bookkeeper (for Leo's business), organizer, cook, cleaner, planter, gardener, pruner, and doer of all other tasks. Although there is always time to teach or mentor our guests, as that is part of the reason we invite people to share the chores of the garden.
As there are many things to learn on this farm the preferred length of stay is 4 weeks or longer.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
As a lifetime organic gardener Tricia has a vast knowledge of growing a garden, and is a horticulturist, with knowledge of pruning fruit trees and caring for many plants.
We have had travelers from all of Europe, UK, Mexico, Australia. Everyone has improved their English, and we pick up a little of another language, but it's the culture and the methods of preparing food that is the excitement of an organic farm. Together or in turns we create wonderful exciting meals to enjoy and share experiences of our travelers.
There are many opportunities to explore the surrounding area. Whether it is a fishing trip to a lake 20 minutes away, a visit to a fall fair, or rodeo. It could be theatre, a leisurely stroll downtown listening to the buskers, cruising through the many shops, or taking in the farmer's markets and craft fairs. Within the city there is a nice hike to a waterfall in Peterson Creek Park. Kenna Cartwright park covers a large area, with views of the three valleys that converge in Kamloops. Riverside Park is downtown, with a swimming beach, and pre-COVID years a huge multicultural celebration on Canada Day. Within two hours drive there are great parks with many waterfalls, whitewater rafting, and campgrounds on a nearby lake.
Our seasons are quite mild, winter this year was about 3 weeks, and little snow in the valley, but we have two ski hills within a one hour drive, and the season is open until Mid April at Sun Peaks Resort, a bus leaves and returns daily from downtown. The x-country trails there become Fat Bike trails, and hiking. The golf courses are sometimes open until mid December, and open again by mid to late February.
The help required depends on the season of course.
SPRING -March April
is usually mending fences, tackling small DIY projects, a wood storage rack for this year, as well as extension of chicken protective shelters. Some chainsaw help in removing overgrowth of trees. Pruning of fruit trees, grape vines, and late flowering shrubs. Tending to the perennial beds, some transplanting. In January we had a long trench dug through our property, and we now must rebuild the areas it went through, raking the muck flat, and covering it with mulch, or grass seed. Seeds are started for the garden indoors, and then transplanted to the greenhouse prior to planting. The compost is turned out into the garden for tilling, and there is always pruning of shrubs, and then a cleanup burn pile by the end of March. This year another task is to spread mulch in the shrub beds.
Once the weather is warm enough, the garden is to be planted. The timing is planting the cool vegetables in late April, early May, and then the warm vegetables (peppers, tomatoes, carrots) by May 23 (usually).
The chores related to the chickens and turkeys is NOT a Workaway task. These duties will be performed by either myself, or a workawayer. Early May sees the arrival of one day old broiler chicks which we raise to 8 weeks, and then have processed.
Watering and weeding throughout the growing season, picking and processing as vegetables come to maturity. Lifting and drying of garlic is a July task. Onions are to follow. Throughout the summer picking our salad fixings, beans and peas, etc. for the dinner table. By September we should be well into processing tomatoes for salsa, and sauce, apple sauce, grape jelly, strawberry and raspberry jams, and dill pickles.
Last year we harvested 365 lbs of onions and 585 lbs of potatoes - yes for our OWN (and guests) consumption. I won't list the quantities of beets, carrots, squash and fresh produce - its too much for description. :)
Lawns and line trimming are done every 5-8 days, as well as areas that need weed whacking.
Manure collecting, and shavings from the barn are added to the gardens and compost piles. This returns to the land to enrich the soil of the garden.
Tiding up the garden, composting all the garden plant material, trimming shrubs, plants throughout the property as required. Raking up of leaves, planting garlic in mid October.
Folks who have some experience in light construction (use of tools, and light machinery), some maintenance of lawns and beds, who like a diversified work day, and have some stamina for working in all weather, will find their day goes quickly. These are qualities that ensure a person can find satisfaction in their tasks.
Everyone is taught planting and caring for vegetables, as well as the harvesting of same for the dinner table.
Our guests are treated like family in that we share meal preparations, exchanging recipes and food ideas. Visitors would also be responsible for clearing up after meals, keeping their bathroom clean, as well their sleeping area.
We work as a team, in that way tasks are accomplished quickly and leave everyone with more free time.
Hours can be flexible, if persons would rather make a few longer days, to allow whole days off, adjusting schedules is an option so long as all tasks are accomplished. In this way, it would allow me to facilitate trips with the canoe, or hiking in the parks etc.
Accommodations are in the home, separate sleeping areas, two couples, or singles. A separate shared bathroom for Workaway guests, who are responsible leaving it clean for others.
Pre-COVID years, we have had as many as 20 Wwoof helpers in a year, staying 4 weeks at a time. However, we would welcome more long-term stays for the comfort of all. There is an RV for the self-isolation period of two weeks, or persons could choose a tent and "camp out" within the gardens. We have tents and sleeping bags for use while you are here.
After your work day, there are shady rest areas by the fish pond, or patios. We have horseshoe pits, and a large bocce, badminton or soccer area. We have a canoe and bicycles for use.
The North Thompson river is a 10 minute walk one way, and the Bachelor range (rolling treed hills) 10 minutes the other way, for hiking. We have two cats who are amenable to cuddles and a brushing.
As we are a rural property, there is no bus to our area, but it's 6 km walk (or cycle) to the nearest shops where the bus will take them into the city proper.
In the evenings we have played cards or board games with our visitors, or just relaxed with a good TV show. There is a guitar, bongo drums, and other percussion instruments for your pleasure.
We ask no smoking on the property, and please do not use the internet for gaming. We have good Wi-Fi, but please respect the usage.
As we raise meat we are very much omnivores, so vegans, and pescatarians are hard for us to accommodate. Most of the summer vegetarians have much to choose from, and we welcome the many ways of introducing more vegetarian meals in our weekly diet.
Travel by bus from city to city is limited to the Ebus service, and does not reach to the more remote areas, so obtaining a car will enhance your travels immensely. Rentals are not for anyone under 25. If you have a driver's license in your country, purchasing a vehicle while you are here is a good option.
If you are coming in from Vancouver, note that there is a hostel in the downtown east Hastings area. Recommend to not stay in this area, as many there many homeless and drug deals in the East Hastings area, although it is central to many shops and activities.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
We have good internet speed, and a space for you to work away from distractions.
We have water and power hookup available.
As we have two outside cats, and they are not dog friendly (ie. coyotes are their neighbors). But we have a good fenced yard for guest dogs, with shade and shelter.
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week