All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 4 hectares (10 acres)
Persons: 2 to 6
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 38736
Region: Vancouver Island
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Last Updated: February 20, 2018
This magical, organic farm with amazing views of the Pacific Ocean Vancouver Island†is incredibly inspirational.†We enjoy our vegetable and herb gardens, goats, chickens, honey bees, livestock guardian dogs and many other wild creatures that visit us daily.†This history here is rich: this was the location of the Saanich Peninsula's first schoolhouse and more recently is where NoŽl Richardson wrote her 4 famous cookbooks and contributed to CityFood Magazine for years while peering out over the spectacular gardens. Her husband, Andrew Yeomen, was also an author and amazing gardener. Together they created a very special place that at the time (1979 until 2014) required from them a significant leap of faith and subsequently plunged them into the world of organic farming. We (Brea, Todd and 2†children) couldn't be more honoured to be the guardians of this land.†An adventure like theirs has been something that Brea has dreamed about since childhood, and for her the reality of living this dream is much sweeter then she could ever have imagined.
Brea and Todd are also owners of Pacific Rim College, a globally-recognized college of holistic medicine and sustainable living†located in downtown Victoria. Pacific Rim College provides†programs including Permaculture Design & Sustainable Ecosystems,†Holistic Nutrition, Western Herbal Medicine, Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, and Holistic Doula Training. You can find out more on the Pacific Rim College website.
Farming/Gardening Work (see details below).† During the growing season we usually have 3 to 5 people doing this position. You must be happy to work in the hot summer sun (25C to 30C+) and/or during rainy, cool days (snow is unusual but not unheard of). Please see below for a detailed list of duties included in this position.†We are happy to have you stay for approximately 3 weeks to 1 month at a time. Longer or shorter stays may be possible, but please contact us about these.
Farming/Gardening Position: work will include the following, depending on the season and your timing of your stay with us:
- Tending to the herb and vegetable gardens (watering, weeding, planting, harvesting, etc.)
- Harvesting herbs, vegetables, fruits, and berries
- Seed collection
- Occasional care of goats/chickens/ducks/dogs
- Collecting manure and hay from goats/chickens for mulching garden beds.
- Beekeeping (we offer a unique hands-off approach to beekeeping that we are happy to talk with you about)
- Small construction projects (only if you would like)
- Helping build healthy compost
- Trimming, weeding and maintaining gardens
- Working with fruit trees
- Building new garden beds
- ...and then you might want to find a magical place to relax and soak up the beautiful ocean, mountain and valley views!
What we need from you/what we provide:
We are looking for someone willing to work approximately 30-32 hours per week and who is physically capable to work in the gardens for hours at a time regardless of the weather. You will have 2 days off each week and they may or may not be†on weekends. We enjoy friendly, health-conscious people who are happy keeping their home tidy and clean. We ask that you enjoy being around children as our children are often with us while we work and they are very interested in meeting new people.
In exchange for your help we will provide the following:
- Tent: (very large and gives lots of space for†1 person or a couple - in other words, each person will have their tent). Summertime option only. Guests in a tent have their own beautiful private bathroom/shower nearby).
-†A wonderful 5th-wheel trailer: (year 2005 and sparkling clean and cozy) to call your home, complete with a full kitchen and bathroom. It actually sleeps 6 people so has plenty of room for 2 to 3 people to share. There is even a shower, toilet, and small kitchen for you to use. This is often not available from May through August, but may be on occasion.
Food for all 3 meals a day and gardens from which to harvest (Todd cooks almost all dinners). We eat about 90% vegetarian, however, we do slaughter our roosters and hence, use chicken stock in some of our cooking. We also cook with our pastured eggs, goat milk, and cheese. ***Please take note in case you have any food restrictions or allergies.
- Laundry facilities
- Unlimited long-distance calling anywhere in Canada/US. And if you would like to purchase a phone card you are welcome to use our land-line for international calls.
- All utilities are included (hydro, gas, water, etc.)
- One bicycle for shared use
- Swimming pool (in the summer only)
- Hundreds of books for you to enjoy!
- If you are travelling here by ferry, we will provide you with very specific bus directions and will pick-up you up from the nearby bus-stop.†If you are travelling here or away by plane (Victoria International Airport) we will happily pick you up and/or drop you off so long as we are available at that time (please note that we aren't available for late night pick-ups but you can easily take a taxi here).†
We prefer to have people at Ravenhill that are excited to learn how to grow herbs and vegetables, and enjoy being around animals. If you do not enjoying eating healthy food, or being around animals, please don't apply to come here. Also, if you have an extreme fear of dogs, you may not be comfortable here. Our dogs are gentle giants, but indeed, they are exceptionally large.
About our location:
We are located in the stunning Mount Newton Valley on the Saanich Peninsula (yes, the ocean is on both sides of us and within walking or biking distance). We also have a provincial park behind us with many kilometres of trails and much wildlife to explore. The town of Saanichton is about 1600 metres away. From there you can easily bus into Victoria (35-40 minutes) or Sidney (20 minutes). Both places are fantastic and full of cafes, adorable shops and farmers markets. You can harvest food from our land and create your own wonderful dishes. Or you might want to spend a lazy afternoon basking in the sun with the goats,†chickens and ducks. The possibilities are endless. We are truly honoured to live in such an amazing place and we look forward to meeting you here!
In tending to the farm, we want to be stewards of sustainable and regenerative practices. We are dedicated to taking a holistic and "beyond organic" approach to every aspect of farm life - from growing produce and raising chickens, goats, and bees to living in a conscientious manner. We don't use toxic chemicals/pesticides/herbicides of any type, as nature has created an incomparable symbiotic environment where the harmful effects of pests and fungi can be mitigated naturally. We try eat from the land as much as possible and enjoy a higher nutrient content in our food because of this.
We are dedicated to continuous learning and realize that although the learning curve will always be steep when it comes to nourishing our farm, it will also hold many wonderful surprises. We are so excited to be living this adventure and to be able share it with the community! We are loving every minute!
We do apologize, but we are often only able to respond to those applications that we can move forward with.
***We DO NOT ACCEPT SMOKERS (thank you for understanding)***
***Please note: For everyone's safety, we will photocopy your photo ID upon arrival. Thank you.***