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Cargill
All Year: Fall and Spring
Area (ha): 50 (20 hectares)
Persons: 1 or a couple
Category: Homestay
Host ID: 42837
Region: Ontario

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Last Updated: October 31, 2017

We are living on a 50 acre woodlot in the midst of traditional farm country in southwestern Ontario, where we manage an 800 tap maple syrup operation and a 40 hive apiary. We are also home to a few Canadian riding/driving horses, couple of barn cats and Jake, our young Chesador Retriever.

We have both worked in education. Peter as an art teacher and as a school principal; DarylAnn as a teacher of science and phys-ed. We are both very interested in learning new languages. Peter speaks English, Dutch and some German and we are both working to improve our french.

For the spring, February-April of 2018:
(We now have enough help for this period:)
We would welcome someone who is interested in learning and helping with all aspects of maple syrup production: we run a wet-dry vacuum system and pride ourselves on producing a high quality syrup on a wood-fired evaporator. We would prefer a volunteer to stay for about 6 weeks, from late February to mid-April, which is our typical syrup season.
Because the sap run is weather dependent and our weather is more and more unpredictable our working hours are very irregular. There will be outdoor work, repairing lines and assembling equipment - possibly on snowshoes! And while we wait for the first spring thaw we may invite you to help with some small building projects. You might also be interested in experimenting with us making new products from beeswax, working with the horses/doing barn chores, or getting out for some x-country skiing or hiking.

For the spring, April-June 2018:
If you are interested in gaining experience working with bees you would be welcome during this time when the hives become active. We remove winter wraps, feed bees, clean and build new hive equipment, make splits and breed queens.

For a few weeks in October/November 2018:
This is our favourite season of the year, when the woods are spectacular, and bug free.
We would welcome someone who would stay for at least 2 weeks to help us install new sap lines and bring in and split firewood for our next syrup season. On rainy days we will be working on some home improvements.

We are looking for volunteers who would work in exchange for meals and accomodation. You would live with us in our home, with your own bedroom and use of two shared bathrooms. Cooking is a passion here; we prepare all our meals from local meat and produce whenever possible and are willing to accommodate most dietary needs. The food is generally very good :)

The nearest village is a 15min. drive and our closest towns each 30min away by car, but we make frequent trips every week. We also find time to run, ski, cycle, swim, ride the horses, find local entertainment. You could join us!

Although we are in a very rural setting we have a few luxuries at home: moderately reliable high speed internet, a large workshop, a well tuned piano and an outdoor hot tub to take the chill off/relax at the end of the work day!

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