Help revitalize an old historic town, farm and woods in the beautiful Ottawa Valley, Canada



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  • Description


    We have just bought a very big piece of land that includes a farm (pastures), woods, and parts of a former ghost town that has a gorgeous creek (with waterfall) running through it. This is a dream come true and we would love to have lots more people be part of helping us start it!

    We are a young(ish) couple who left the city years ago to live more lightly on the land, grow our own food, and be part of the solution more than part of the problem.

    August is an engineer who has been working as a carpenter and farmhand in the area, constructing an offgrid cabin, homesteading, and learning to train oxen for draft power. Bozena is a teacher who has been living in a commune closeby, growing food, dabbling in all sorts of crafts (weaving, embroidery), and organizing folk music and dance events, including Folk Camp in the summer. We met here and not long after realized we had a shared dream- to homestead and revitalize a village and grow a community!

    August's particular passion is oxen, building and design, and community economies. Bozena's passion is cultural vitality and education, traditional arts and folkways that make communities thrive.

    We both value sustainability and practicality of well designed systems as well as holistic practices that look to nurture and build resilience. Tending to the land is a holy endeavour, and we believe our intentions and practices should align. We are starting out on the biodynamic farming path, focusing on soil building with compost and biodynamic sprays on the land. August has studied biodynamic farming in Ontario and in the US, and Bozena has studied anthroposophy at the Steiner Centre in Toronto. We've learned a lot by wwoofing/working on other farms, helping our parents (Bozena's family has a small organic veg farm), travelling, reading, attending conferences, and sticking our hands in the dirt...

    One of the reasons we settled in the area is the awesome community of "back-to-the-landers", especially the handful of young families who chose Rockingham to be their home, and who work with horses, grow lots of food and homestead in harmony with the land and their neighbours. They've made it possible to farm organically by sharing resources and building connections, and we are so grateful to have them all as neighbours. Lots of kids and lots of cool young enthusiastic, passionate parents who have built their own homes, cleared bush, and are all around awesome people! We gather for seasonal celebrations and regularly meet to sing, dance, and work together.

  • Types d'aide et opportunités d'apprendre

    Types d'aide et opportunités d'apprendre

    Pratique d’une langue
    Aide avec des éco-projets
    Bricolage et projets de construction
    S’occuper des animaux
    Aide dans une ferme
    Baby-sitting et jeux créatifs
    Cuisine/repas pour la famille
    Aide à la maison
    Entretien général
    Aide informatique / avec Internet

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Objectifs de développement durable de l’ONU que cet hôte essaie d'atteindre

    Objectifs de développement durable de l’ONU que cet hôte essaie d'atteindre

    Objectifs de l’ONU
    Pas de pauvreté
    Faim «zéro»
    Bonne santé et bien-être
    Éducation de qualité
    Égalité entre les sexes
    Eau propre et assainissement
    Énergie propre et d'un coût abordable
    Travail décent et croissance économique
    Industrie, innovation et infrastructure
    Inégalités réduites
    Villes et communautés durables
    Consommation et production responsables
    Mesures relatives à la lutte contre les changements climatiques
    Vie aquatique
    Vie terrestre
    Paix, justice et institutions efficaces
    Partenariats pour la réalisation des objectifs
  • Echange culturel et opportunités d'apprendre

    Echange culturel et opportunités d'apprendre

    We've both lived here off-grid since we arrived, with wood fire for heating and cooking, and solar power for electricity. We've learned to live well with less appliances and extra frills by doing lots of preserving of the summer's bounty, (including canning fruits, veg, & meat, fermenting our own cider), making our own herbal medicines, and of course, sharing resources with our neighbours. We are happy to host and teach others, and to share whatever skills we have gained over the years in this regard.
    We are especially excited to share with you the aspects that make this simple life so good. We enjoy so many comforts and pleasures, including the joys of working closely with animals and plants, eating supremely fresh and flavourful food, going for regular swims in the waterfall, and having the time to make music, do crafts, and share stories.

    We look forward to cultural exchange with you! We are interested about the world and others' experiences and look forward to learning about you, your culture, and places you've experienced. Bozena loves to sing and we both love to dance and have music in the house- so we look forward to more people to learn songs from, and dance with :)

    We live in a pretty unique part of Canada, in the upper Ottawa Valley, where some of the most marginal land, rocky and poor, with cold snowy winters, has attracted (and retained :) the hardiest freedom-loving people around. This land was first stewarded by the Algonquin people; in recent centuries settled by Kashub peasants, Poles, the Irish and Germans; and later by American hippies and draft dodgers during the Vietnam War. A handful of 'urban refugees' like us have come in recent years and added to the mix. There's a uniquely Canadian landscape to take in, mix of cultures to observe, and homesteading lifestyle to learn.

    We are also in the heart of what many consider prime cottage country, with many wonderful lakes for swimming and canoeing, and hiking and cross country skiing. Not far away are some world-class white-water rapids for kayaking that attract visitors from all over the world, and Algonquin Park, a huge provincial park famous for its wild places for canoe trips.
    Also uniquely Canadian is the opportunity to collect wild foods like maple sap in the winter, and wild blueberries in the summer.

  • Aide


    There are lots of different aspects to our project, including tending to the food production: gardens, chickens, and greenhouse in town; tending to the farmhouse (cooking, cleaning, feeding the wood furnace in colder months) and maintaining the off grid rental cabin; forest management: clearing brush, developing and maintaining trails through the wooded part of the land, cutting and splitting firewood; maple syrup boiling (in March/April); carpentry; cleaning and fixing up the barns and blacksmith shop; mowing, planting orchards, and helping with anything else that needs doing, including help are around the house, cooking, etc.

    Garden experience is very valuable, as is experience with a chainsaw or axe, but the most important is an eagerness to live in community and a willingness to learn, and listen, and to be curious and attentive. There is also quite a bit of non-garden help for variety, and there may be kids around so childcare and elderly support is always a plus!

  • Langues

    Langues parlées
    Ukrainian: Courant
    Polish: Débutant
    Russian: Débutant

    Cet hôte propose un échange linguistique
    Cet hôte a indiqué qu’il souhaitait faire partager sa propre langue ou en apprendre une nouvelle.
    Contactez-le pour en savoir plus.

  • Hébergement


    Our new land has an old farmhouse to host visitors, right in the heart of the old town of Rockingham, but you may prefer to camp in many picturesque spots a little further afield during the warm months. The farmhouse is on grid and has modern conveniences such as phone, internet, running hot water, shower, electric stove, refrigerator and freezer,and a washing machine. The kitchen is fully functional and available to use. We will share some meals and share the cooking. Some meals you can make on your own, or with other visitors. You will have your own bedroom but share other spaces.

    The farmhouse has a piano and we welcome you to bring any instruments and good vibes. We have always hosted lots of music and dance events and hope to continue doing so (when Covid restrictions lessen), and look forward to making space and time for singing and dancing and sharing tunes alongside lots of hands-on good hard work in the gardens, woods, and pastures.

  • Autres infos...

    Autres infos...

    There is tons of forest and creek bed to explore, and a short drive away you'll find lakes and parks for paddling. Palmer Rapids is known for its whitewater kayaking, as is the Madawaska Kanu Centre on Kamaniskeg Lake. Further afield is world famous Algonquin Park with incredible canoe trips and hikes possible. A short drive away you'll find Madonna House in Combermere, an intentional Catholic community, with an amazing thrift store and vintage gift shop. The town of Wilno a little further, has an outdoor Kashub cultural heritage park/museum and a tavern with Polish and Canadian food. There are also two studio tours a year when you can visit local artists' studios. Weekly farmer's markets happen in Combermere, Barry's Bay, and Killaloe. There aren't any public buses in the area, so having a car is useful, but sharing rides might be possible, and for longer trips, you may find rideshares over the internet.
    We work hard, but not crazy, and it's important to us to enjoy all aspects of life. We encourage our guests to enjoy the time off and explore the area by car or bicycle (we have a few bikes for borrowing :).

  • Informations complémentaires

    Informations complémentaires

    • Accès Internet

    • Accès Internet limité

      Accès Internet limité

    • Nous avons des animaux

    • Nous sommes fumeurs

    • Familles bienvenues

  • Espace pour garer des vans

    Espace pour garer des vans

    We have lots of space. We'd have to negotiate your electricity/water/other needs.

  • Possibilité d'accueillir les animaux

    Possibilité d'accueillir les animaux

    We'd prefer you come without pets, but we can discuss details. We could potentially welcome a dog that is well trained and does not behave wildly around farm animals.

  • Combien de volontaires pouvez-vous accueillir ?

    Combien de volontaires pouvez-vous accueillir ?


  • ...

    Nombre d'heures attendues

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

our "backyard"
our laying ladies
dock at the "kabin-ka" on rockingham creek
bread oven in progress!
our beloved "kabinka" :)
haymaking with friends
the original blacksmith shop and barns
Oxen team: Pascal (aka "Pascow") and Kyle
pressing cider using the old press at our neighbour's cider house- fall 2019
eating well from the garden
walking the oxen
working with the oxen in winter
N° de référence hôte : 686319239232