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Thanks for stopping by our profile!
**It's important to us that we are mutually the right fit. Please read through our whole profile (particularly the specific help we're looking for) before messaging, as we're limited in who we can host at the moment. It's a lot of info, but it's important! :) Thank you!**
We're Greg and Tara, living the westcoast-island-life in beautiful British Columbia. We have a 2 acre tiny personal forest with big dreams of making our own small hobby farm amongst the trees.
Greg works long days out of the house as a metal fabricator, I, Tara am a professional dog training, running an in-home training daycamp Tuesday through Friday. I also do one-to-one training sessions evenings, Mondays, and weekends both at home and elsewhere. We have a busy but very fulfilling life.
We're in our early 40s and are a fun, friendly and low-key couple who are working hard to live our dream. We share our home with our dog, Irie, and two outdoor-only cats, Helen and Cake.
Weekdays for us usually involve early wake ups, busy days and relaxing evenings. Weekends will usually find us out in the yard working hard or tackling indoor projects when the weather doesn't cooperate. Later in the day we often have drinks around the bonfire, but we also enjoy just lounging around with a glass of homemade wine. We keep much later hours on the weekends and we often have guests for dinner or friends from the mainland stay for the weekend, with or without their children.
We both love to learn and love to teach. Greg has a vast amount of construction know-how and a lot of experience building things both big and small. He's a competent welder and is often tackling woodworking projects with wood we mill from our property. I have a modest amount knowledge of all things music, crafts, and art, and a vast amount of knowledge on all things dogs.
We also love to travel, and do our best to make it off the continent for a month or so every couple years, but we've mostly put our wanderlust on hold to get an early start on our dream-life, so we do our best to live vicariously through our travelers who visit from faraway. We'd love to meet you and hear all about your travel stories. :)
Tipos de ajuda e oportunidades de aprendizadoProjetos artísticosAjuda em projetos ambientaisJardinagemConstrução/faça você mesmoCriar/cozinhar refeições caseirasAjuda a cuidar da casaManutenção geral
Oportunidades de intercâmbio cultural e aprendizado
Greg and I are both just beginning to dip our toes into organic farming and homesteadings. We invite our volunteers to learn with us and are always happy to share what we know. We would hope that all our WorkAway guests would leave here feeling that they have new knowledge they can use, as well as a new appreciation for finding their passion in life and making it a reality.
While neither of us are experts on any one particular thing, we both have a lot of experience and knowledge in many different areas. We're happy to help volunteers by passing on any information or skills we can, particularly on the following subjects:
- Woodworking, large and small scale
- Animal care and training
- Gardening and food preservation
- Cooking with fresh ingredients
- Creating cleaning, health, and beauty products from natural sources
- Wine making
- Music, arts, and crafts
- General tips and tricks on living on a low-budget, environmentally-friendly, self-sustaining small acreage
We want our volunteers to have plenty of free-time to enjoy our home, property, community, and the entire island. We invite them to use the art studio and potters wheel, as well as the fully-equipped workshop or sewing area. We'd love to see our guests be able to play a song on an instrument that's new to them, or learn to cook a new meal. We'd be thrilled to see our guests make friends in our neighbourhood and attend some of the free community events that are always happening. If we can be a home-base for our workawayers island travels, that'd be great! We have lots of awesome recommendations for day and weekend trips.
**We currently have limited space and time, so we're asking for workawayers with a high level of specific abilities and skills to help us with specific projects.
Please message us to discuss a stay if you are able to confidently, skillfully and mostly independently take on any of the following projects with/for us:
- Designing and creating a small wood structure pavilion in the daycare area
- Large-ish landscaping projects requiring knowledge and experience, like rock wall building and path laying
- Erecting a ground level uncovered deck outdoor deck from raw lumber
- Installing a fence around our 1/2 acre garden (ground is uneven and bedrock)
- Establishing bee hives and helping us learn to maintain them
- Getting our pottery studio and kiln space up and running, and furthering our beginner pottery making skills
- A massive reno project involving converting a bedroom into a large bathroom and walk-in closet
- Falling trees, chainsawing and splitting firewood
- Restoring our 1973 VW Van, inside, outside and engine-side!
A great volunteer for our place:
- Will be very comfortable with dogs
- Has lots of experience and/or formal education that would help with one or more of the projects above
- Is physically fit as the majority of our projects involve some muscle
- Is friendly, trustworthy and respectful
- Enjoys living in and maintaining a clean and organized home
- Works hard and takes pride in getting job done right, but knows how to relax and enjoy themselves too!
- Is traveling with or renting a vehicle as we live in a small town quite a ways outside the cities
If you can help us out with these specific projects, we're happy to be super flexible with the hours/time you put in, so as long as the project gets done, you can feel free to gallivant about or relax as you'd like. Wanna work two 12-hour days and have 4 to explore? Done. Wanna work two hours a day for seven days and have epic sleep ins? Absolutely. Whatever floats your boat.
**PLEASE MESSAGE US WITH THE PROJECT YOU'D LIKE TO WORK ON AND THE RELEVANT EXPERIENCE YOU HAVE FOR THAT PROJECT. THANKS A BUNCH**
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Thanks and blessings!
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You'll be housed in our front, downstairs bedroom that we call the Music Room. There is a queen bed, and we'll provide bedding and towels. In return, we ask that you keep your room clean, including regular dusting, mopping and laundry. Please note there is no closet or dresser in the room.
There are three bathrooms in the house. We use the two upstairs and you'll be using the guest bath downstairs. Because it's a shared bathroom, we'd ask that you keep it very tidy and clean at all times.
The Music Room has many instruments to play. There's a fully equipped art studio that doubles as our dog boarding room. There's an open concept media area, living room and dining room, as well as a sunroom and covered back deck. You'll have access to all the areas. We do like to use the living room in the evenings to relax most weekday evenings but you'll have access to our office with a comfy daybed that you could use for a sitting room if you want to hang out somewhere other than your room.
We have wifi and a landline with free Canada/US calling you're welcome to use.. We have a television in the living room we hook up to our laptops, but we don't have cable or TV channels. If you need computer access, it's best to bring your own laptop, but we can lend you ours if you need to do a quick email check.
We have some food restrictions that can be really hard to accommodate. Because of this, we like to do things one of two ways with visitors. In both scenarios you'll have full access to our pantry of general food supplies, such as grains, spices, oils and condiments.
The first option is to have you take care of your own grocery shopping costs and cooking of all meals. If this works best for you, we'll be happy to reduce the hours worked to 3ish hours a day.
The second option is for you to provide us with a weekly grocery list and we'll purchase what you need for you to do your own cooking...and working the full 5 hours per day.
That being said, we're both pretty good cooks and almost always prepare a home-cooked meal each night and we are happy for you to join us for a shared dinners a few night a week, pitching in ingredients, helping with meal prep and clean up, above and beyond your volunteer hours. We're happy to discuss what'll work best for each unique situation.
And of course, you'll be expected to clean up after yourselves in the kitchen, including washing up your dishes, keeping counters cleared and wiped down, and ensuring garbage, recycling and compost are dealt with.
Often times we might need you to help us out with a project on the weekend or evenings to accommodate our work schedules. Other times we might just hand over a project to you and ask that you get it done as you see fit.
Either way, whenever possible, we'd like to offer you the opportunity of extremely flexible hours and days. We'd love for you to want to put in your hours in longer stretches and take a few days off here and there to explore Vancouver Island or just relax! We like to work hard and relax hard, so we want you to have that option as well,
No cigarette smoking in the house or anywhere on the property, please!
We are very particular about the dogs we accept as guests in our house. Vaccinations are required and they must be very dog and people friendly, as well as polite and quiet. We have to be able to do a temperament test prior to committing to your stay.
The doggy daycare is run in the main house and dogs can start arriving quite early in the morning during the week, so be prepared to be woken up early by the noise. Also be prepared to be bombarded with up to 11 overly-friendly dogs excitedly greeting you weekday mornings. It makes us happy, but it's not for everyone. ;)
Greg has to be up at 4:30am so is usually in bed quite early, so we ask everyone is relatively quiet after 9:00pm during the week (we don't have to whisper and tiptoe, just be respectfully aware of our noise level).
On weekends, however, we often keep late nights and late mornings and often have friends or guests here. It can be rather loud, late...and fun! You will often be invited to join us, if you'd like.
Shawnigan Lake is a gorgeous little town with lots of life to it. It's centered around the lake in the summer with boating, kayaking, wakeboarding, etc happening everywhere. There are countless nature trails in the immediate and surrounding area. The town center is an eight minute walk down the train tracks from our home. It's quite small, but has a few restaurants, a couple corner stores, a coffee house and a gas station. If you need a substantial grocery shop, you'll have to drive or bus the 10 minutes to Mill Bay or Cobble Hill where you'll find a small selection of stores, banks and pharmacies. Big box type stores like Home Depot and Canadian Tire are located 20 minutes away in Duncan. Victoria is about 35 to 75 minutes away, depending on traffic. The airport and the Swartz Bay ferry terminal is 60 minutes or so from us, and the Departure Bay Ferry is about an hour north.
There are buses that run from Victoria to us and a small transit system that services us and the nearby towns. Both are reliable but run on a small-town schedule, so are very infrequent. We're happy to give you a lift where you need to go when possible, but probably won't have a vehicle to lend you unless it's summer and you have experience driving very temperamental standard 70's VW vans. There are several options for travel up island if you wanted to get away for a weekend to see the rest of the island. Just message us with questions.
Mais alguns detalhes
Acesso à internet
Acesso à internet limitado
Pode hospedar famílias
Espaço para estacionar campervans
We can provide electrical hook up and possibly water as well. We have several spots that would work well to park a temporary home in our mini-forest.
Pode aceitar animais
We can accept friendly dogs for workawayers staying in an RV or camper (but not in the house). Due to the nature of our home business, visiting dogs will need to be up to date on vaccinations and pass a temperament test to show that they interact well with other dogs and people. Sorry, no cats.
Quantos Workawayers pode acomodar?
Mais de 2
3 to 5 hours, 5 days a week, with a lot of flexibility