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Birch Hills
All Year: May - June 2012
Area (ha): 90
Persons: 1-2
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 13463
Region: Saskatchewan

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Last Updated: February 17, 2012

Our Metis family farm is located right next to Jumping Lake, south of the Town of Birch Hills, at the site which used to be the historical railroad town of Waitville, Saskatchewan.
We have been chemical free since 2006, and we are thinking about pursuing Certified Organic status. For several years we primarily grew hemp for seed and fiber, along with Red Fife wheat, Spelt, Oats and Barley. We also produce hogs and chickens, both raised outdoors, free-range.
Since 2009, we have moved a large part of our focus to Permaculture development on our farm, hosting workshops that teach people about Permaculture applications on the broad scale. Our main areas of focus are:
1. large scale swales: Water collecting ditches on contour, designed to be planted with productive plant communities that will thrive as the swale captures and store in the land, rather than the water draining off to the nearest sink.
2. Food forest establishment: Diversity of species from root crops, herb layers, shrubs, vines, mid-storey trees and canopy trees planted to mimic a forest while producing an abundance of usable, edible, medicinal products.
3. Wildlife habitat rehabilitation: Re-planting forests and focusing on more plants that produce protection and food for birds, insects, and mammals. Additionally, we re-create wetland habitats for amphibians, insect, birds and reptiles.

The work to be expected will include
-measuring contour lines on the land using water-levels, transit and A-frame levels.
- preparing freshly dug swales for planting.
- Planting herb layers and trees on the swales
- Mulching swales
- Sowing grass and herbs on reclaimed farmland to create prairie habitat.
- Assist with 3 day permaculture workshop to be held sometime in May.
- Assist with building of small farm structures such as outhouse, birdhouses, and pig shelters.
- Small scale hemp fiber decortication. Using hemp stalks from last year, we will "crush" the stalks to separate the outer bast fibers from the inner hurd fibers. The hemp we extract from this process is to be used in experimental cob building on the farm

Food on the farm is fairly traditional and healthy. Some of the foods we eat around here include potatos, carrots, wild rice, buffalo, pork, chicken, eggs, green salads, bannock, bread. If you have food intolerances, let us know what they are and we will see what we can do. Meals are served in the house, there will be breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Accomodations consist of a 5th Wheel Trailer, 1990's model. It is nice and clean. Showering can be done in the main house in the evenings and there is an outhouse.

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