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Sainte-Marie-de-Kent
All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 20.2
Persons: Up to 2
Category: Non Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 48139
Region: New Brunswick

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Last Updated: May 12, 2016

Not far from the sea and Kouchibouguac National Park, we invite you to join us on our 50 acre homestead. We are new to Help Exchange but we have been WWOOFer hosts for 4 years. We are a family of 4 (Aaron, Shelley, Griffen who's 5 and Clem who is 14 months), striving for self-sustenance as well as earning a small living from our bit of paradise. We have a thriving garden, laying hens and meat chickens, a few pigs and ducks. We have a 35 acre woodlot with a small sugar bush, blueberries, apple/plum trees and are surrounded by acres of Acadian forest that are just waiting to be explored. We often hike and try to increase our knowledge of local medicinal plants. We work hard but also balance this every week by taking as much time as we can to hit the beach, explore the national park or explore the local rivers by canoe and kayak. We do a lot of canning and food preserving as well as make wild crafted jellies for a local craft sale. Much to be done but much to explore and learn.

Presently, our need for help for spring 2016 include...
-garden bed preparation
-planting garden and transplanting
-daily care of chickens, pigs and ducks
-tomato trellis making
-painting signs
-forest pruning and management
-foraging for plants to make wildcrafted beer and wine and jellies and collecting fiddleheads
-barn expansion
-fence and corral building
-incubating chicks

There are trails with plenty of wildlife in the Acadian forest accessible behind our place. In the winter we snowshoe, cross country ski and fish. We both have environmental backgrounds and take time to inventory and survey our land to find out how to best manage it as we work on it. The gardens are at the point that they make up much of our diet in the summer so the food is good! We preserve much of what we grow. The canning pot and dehydrator is constantly on!

Each season of the year yields wild crops like fiddle heads, maple sugar, fish, clams, mushrooms and anything else we can find. We try and use our limited spare time to take advantage of these resources. We do a small scale maple syrup operation. Our wildcrafted jellies include Spruce tip jelly, Rose petal jelly and Fire weed jelly. We are expanding our knowledge and skill in wild medicinals and make tinctures and vinegars from the plants on our property. We also make maple, rose, and strawberry wine along with mead and spruce beer. We are working on managing the forest with biodiversity as our main goal and selective wood harvesting for fuel and construction materials. We are using the forest to learn non-timber forest product harvesting.

Projects for 2016 season (depending on time and available help):

-Planting, weeding, harvesting and preserving garden produce
-small market garden
-raising pigs, laying hens, and meat birds
-incubating chicks
-wild food gathering, strawberry, blueberry and apple picking
-Daily animal husbandry jobs
-Crop tree selection and pruning (forestry)
-Tree planting
-Building fences and corral
-Barn expansion and improvement
-various carpentry jobs
-maple syrup for own consumption in March and April
-volunteer activities to increase food security/sovereignty

Our dream and challenge has always been to live a sustainable lifestyle with self sustenance as the long term goal. We have both worked in the environmental field. Shelley has a degree in environmental science, a diploma in ecosystem management and a certificate in organic gardening. Aaron has a diploma as a forestry tech and one in geographic information systems. We are both involved and interested in food security or sovereignty. Aaron works as a food security coordinator and Shelley runs a community kitchen. Due to Aaron's job, there are numerous interesting volunteer activities to be involved in relating to food security. We want to use our skills as a base to learn how to be modern homesteaders. We are also big on community so we share our skills and time with others around us who are also living the rural life. We barter in time and goods. Sometimes helpers will have to work independently as Aaron works full-time but is around evenings and weekends and Shelley is busy with the 2 boys.

Camping is available as well as space in our house.

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