Help with farm projects and DIY on our “unusual” homestead in Argenta, Canada

  • 71 “me gusta”
  • Última actividad: 4 jul 2024



 Estancia mínima:  Sin mínimo



  • Descripción


    First of all, welcome!

    We’re homesteaders. That means we try to produce as much of what we need as we can, right here. So we have a big vegetable garden, three little orchards, sheep, chickens, sometimes ducks, hay fields and pastures, forest for lumber and firewood, and so many flowers – all squeezed onto a couple of hectares of land that we cleared ourselves.

    We don’t earn a lot of money, so we build our own buildings, repair our own plumbing, fix the wiring if we need to, put on a new roof when we need to. When you come stay with us, you’ll learn some of those skills, depending on what our latest plans are, what needs to be picked/harvested/preserved/built/repaired, and what you’d like to learn.

    Somehow it all adds up to – well, a good life. As you read through this and look at the photos, you’ll see that, in all sorts of little ways, how we live could be different from anything you've experienced before. Most visitors find it beautiful and amazing, though we're never quite sure why. A few volunteers have even decided to do something similar, in their own ways, for the rest of their lives.

    There are two of us – two men, Seán and Uli – plus occasionally our grown son, and often a repeat or two from the hundreds of volunteers who have come to stay with us over the years. We’re new to WorkAway, but we’ve found many volunteers and apprentices on other websites, and also by word of mouth. (Our first volunteer, for example, was a young Frenchman who was on his way, by bicycle, from the Yukon to Guatemala City. Someone told him we spoke French, so he made a big detour to say Bonjour – then he delayed his trip for three months while he helped us renovate the house.)

    And renovating this old house was a big deal! When Seán bought it, it had no plumbing, no electricity, there was a hole in the bathroom floor big enough for a cow to fall through, it needed a new roof, and the whole thing was rotting slowly into the ground. Over the years we’ve fixed almost everything. And moved the house!

    We’re celebrating our log house’s hundredth birthday this year.

    Where is this? We live in Argenta, which is a friendly place of about 100 people — Quakers, hippies & just folks — at the northern tip of Kootenay Lake, in southeastern British Columbia. Argenta is too small to be a village, so we call it a "community". It's 45km to Kaslo, the nearest village, and 120km to Nelson, a lovely city of 10,000 people. We're surrounded by wilderness: forest, mountains, lakes, animals and wild beauty. Look at the pictures – that's where we live.

  • Tipos de ayuda y oportunidades de aprendizaje

    Tipos de ayuda y oportunidades de aprendizaje

    Práctica de idiomas
    Construcción y bricolaje
    Cuidado de animales
    Ayuda en una granja
    Cocinar para toda la familia
    Mantenimiento general
  • Intercambio cultural y oportunidades de aprendizaje

    Intercambio cultural y oportunidades de aprendizaje

    First of all, we have a lot of homesteading experience and are happy to share what we've learned: skills, of course, but also what we've learned so far about the choices we all make in our lives.

    What skills could you learn? There are lots of possibilities: Basic plumbing, wiring, construction. Gardening: preparing the soil, tilling (or not), seeding, weeding, fertilizing, harvesting. Caring for fruit trees and animals. Discouraging the nasty bugs. Preserving: canning (bottling), freezing, pasteurizing, pickling. Slaughtering and butchering. Making pâté. Making soap. How to ice skate, or swim. Back-country camping. Back-country survival. Lots more – the skills you learn will depend on your choices, our needs, and the time of the year.

    But we hope it won’t just be “skills” that you’ll learn. For example: If you want, we can tell you how to react when a porcupine climbs over you. But, in the long term, it will be better if you can learn more basic... what’s the word? information? attitudes? Whatever it is, we hope you can learn enough about how to relate to animals so you... well, so you just *know*, when the time comes, how to pounce on a hawk and catch it in your hands, or how to hold a conversation with a bear.

    There are other attitudes you could pick up, if you find them useful. (Or you could reject them.) How do we manage to enjoy living close to skunks, cougars, pack rats, stink bugs.... Do we really need a new whatzit? What can we really afford? Can we afford *not* to buy a labour-saving device -- say, a rototiller? I hate to wash dishes, so what can I do instead? Is it conceivable that I could learn to enjoy doing the dishes?

    Other things you could figure out here are more... philosophical, I guess. Our main lesson might be: You don't have to live the way other people live, or the way other people want you to. Instead, you can map out your own kind of life, think about it very carefully, then go for it.

  • Ayuda


    What kind of work do we do? We've always got farm work to do (gardening, animals, preserving food and lots more), projects (building, fencing, wilderness trail building, sewing...), and "routine" work: cutting and moving firewood, pruning fruit trees, making hay, cooking...

    This year's big projects: cutting trees and moving logs to be milled into lumber; finishing the rock-mortar-and-concrete foundation for a new greenhouse and building the wood structure that goes on top; moving the strawberry beds to their new home; figuring out how to control the apple coddling moth (which arrived here -- ouch! -- last year); putting walls and windows in the shop we've been building for... ten years?! Plus more projects I can't think of right now -- always lots of interesting things to choose from. (Sometimes it's clear that we have to do something-or-other *now*; other times you can choose from several alternatives. A lot depends on what you like to do and want to learn.)

  • Idiomas

    Idiomas hablados
    Alemán: Fluido
    Inglés: Fluido
    Francés: Fluido
    Español: Intermedio
    Turco: Intermedio

    Este anfitrión ofrece intercambio de idiomas
    We're happy to help visitors learn English, if they want. (Seán has quite a lot of experience teaching it.) Maybe we could try a joint German-learning project! -- Uli speaks German as a first language, and Seán needs to learn it. Also -- anyone interested in learning Esperanto, together?

  • Alojamiento


    You get to live in the "Palace" (about the size of a long, low tent, but with walls, windows, a comfortable double mattress and electric heat), the "Chalet", the "Studio", or perhaps a tent or a bedroom in the house. We'll keep you warm and comfortable.

    We've always got good food, vegetarian if necessary; we all share the cooking and cleaning up. You're joining the household.

    There's an indoor bathroom with hot water and all that stuff, but we often prefer to build a fire under the outdoor tub, wash from a bucket, then soak in the tub under the sun and stars and — maybe — cool off by jumping into the pond.

    Our idea of the good life.

  • Algo más...

    Algo más...

    On our homestead, we’ve got lots of things to amuse you: To begin with, a pond for you to go skinny-dipping in. If you get too hot working (or any other time), you can jump in! (Or swing in on a swing or a Tarzan rope. Or fall in off a log. If it’s too cold, you can skate on it.)

    And... years ago, a wonderful volunteer organized us to build a cob oven outside; we like to have pizza parties around the oven, when each person makes their own little pizzas – they bake in a couple of minutes, so you can eat two or three or four different ones, all delicious (if you remember to take them out of the oven in time).

    Volunteers often come up with their own time-off projects: exercise, sewing, writing, carving, painting, archery, whatever....

    And there’s a lake down the hill. It’s 120km long. We’ve got bicycles and canoes you can use (also a sailboat that needs some love). And fishing gear.

    We love to take volunteers hiking or skiing, for ten minutes or a week or whatever. If you're not experienced, we can teach you the basics and help you stay comfortable. (And, if the weather goes bad, we'll keep you alive.) We live on the side of a mountain, between two mountain ranges: the Purcells and the Selkirks. (These mountain “ranges” are part of the Rocky Mountain “cordillera”.) That means there is gorgeous, beautiful hiking that few people have yet discovered. You could walk out of our house, cross the dirt road and take one of the little trails through the forest, then keep walking for ... well, if you go in the right direction, you could walk – or snowshoe – for a couple of weeks, and might not see another human being until you get home. It’s “wild”!

    Music you want?: In the house, we've got a piano, a harpsichord, a pump organ, a couple of trombones, a terrible guitar, a darbuka and our voices. (Seán loves to have volunteers he can sing or play piano duets with.)

    This is a total, 100% clothing optional place – you (and we) are welcome to be nude wherever and whenever you like. Or not! – you are also welcome to wear clothes wherever and whenever you like. Of course. But you are probably going to see naked people while you're here.

    Maybe, you can be the person you’ ve always wanted to be.

    - o -

    Argenta is halfway between Vancouver and Calgary. To get here, the usual route is through Nelson and Kaslo. There's a bus (once a week!) almost to our door, and various other ways to travel. Or, for a real Canadian experience, start in Invermere, B.C. and ski, snowshoe or hike here on the Earl Grey Trail. It’ll take you three to five days, and our place is the second house on the left. Read our information letter carefully if you want to do this, and be absolutely sure to learn how to behave around bears!! And moose.

    We generally use English, but at least one person in the house speaks German, French, Spanish or Turkish, so you can communicate with us in those languages if you wish.

    We welcome all kinds of people: naked hippies, stodgy old foagies, gay, straight and other... We look forward to hosting lots more interesting, lovely people!

    NOW PLEASE: In your first message to us,
    - send us your email address. Then we'll send you an information letter with many more details: how to get here, what you need to bring, what to expect, and lots more.
    - and also please tell us what you liked about our profile -- what led you to send a request to us, rather than to somebody else.
    Thank you!

    We look forward to meeting you!

  • Un poco más de información

    Un poco más de información

    • Acceso a Internet

    • Acceso a Internet limitado

      Acceso a Internet limitado

    • Tenemos animales

    • Somos fumadores

    • Puede alojar familias

  • Puede acoger a nómadas digitales

    Puede acoger a nómadas digitales

    Fibre-optic to the house; good wifi.

  • Espacio para aparcar autocaravanas

    Espacio para aparcar autocaravanas

    There aren't a lot of flat places in the Kootenays! If you let us know what you need, we can usually figure it out.

  • Podría aceptar mascotas

    Podría aceptar mascotas


  • ¿Cuántos voluntarios puedes hospedar?

    ¿Cuántos voluntarios puedes hospedar?

    Más de dos

  • ...

    Horas esperadas

    We generally work around 5 hours a day, 5 days a week. Generally, you'll do one kind of work in the morning with Uli. Then we have lunch and nap time (!) In the afternoon, and then do a completely different job with Seán. Then it's tea time! And then supp

Número de referencia de anfitrión: 965743297318

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Join us at our Lakehouse on Adams Lake, BC
Love to meet new people on our family farm in Lumby, BC, Canada