help exchange   Host 20170
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Help Exchange

All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 36
Persons: 1-2
Category: Homestay
Host ID: 20170
Region: Vancouver Island

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Last Updated: September 29, 2019

September update:
We are looking for 2-3 week stays late September through January, with arrivals on thursday afternoons or Friday mornings to facilitate proper orientation. Focus is garden clean up, chicken coop upgrades, forest maintenance and firewood collection.

Also, we are on the lookout for the perfect skilled person to live with us and help us retrofit a 1975 Mercedes bus and 1967 Airstream Trailer (mix of volunteer and paid work). Must have proven construction and design skills. Potential option for longer term live-in said bus/trailer for work-trade.

About the farm:
90 acres on a rural road in between Ladysmith and Nanaimo BC, no public transit but we can take you to a bus stop; and you can join us on our trips to town or into nature.
Property has forest, river, fields, barns, gardens, eagle nests, mountain views, nearby hiking and ocean access...
House is a rustic hundred years old, woodstove, two covered porches facing sunrise and sunset.
Yours is a large room with big windows and shared bathroom. It's a chilly house during winter months and hot in the summer, so best suited to hardy folk.

Here are some of the tasks we appreciate help with:
- Farm/Garden help: weeding, watering, seeding, planting, shoveling compost, organic fertilizing etc, bed building.
- Cooking and kitchen management
- House Cleaning
- Random indoor and outdoor projects (such as fixing up fencing, clearing blackberries etc.)
- U-pick fruit picking to help stock up our freezer for the winter
- Wild harvesting whatever is in season (nettles, blackberries, rosehips, hawthorn berries, apples)
- Helping with childcare.
- Projects that suit your skills (such as trail building, garden bed making, small construction projects, creative design work etc.)

Food is a very important part of our lives, and if you stay with us you'll enjoy local healthy meals and ingredients and perhaps learn something about natural whole foods healing. Generally speaking, we provide ingredients and food for all meals, though we do ask Helpers to purchase any special ingredients they want that we do not normally supply.
We have two young children who add fun (and noisy, chaos, and love!) to the household. Because helpers live in our home and engage with our kids, we prefer helpers who want a true family experience and expect to participate in household life.
DISCLAIMER: Kids, plus farm, plus full time workers, plus high-capacity dynamic family = very lively, very fast-paced household, best suited to people who think that sounds fun!

We aim to create a safe space, are LGBTQ=2 supportive, and welcome people from all walks of life.

We expect 4-5 hours of help per day, 4-5 days a week (NOT including meal preparation, clean up, and participating as a housemate), and like to host for 2-4 weeks at a time. We can usually only accommodate people who can arrive on a Thursday or Friday, possibly Saturday mornings.
Helpers with the following qualities are encouraged to contact us, please refer to these when emailing us:
- Healthy and safe
- Good with kids
- Can work independently, self-motivated, detail oriented, able to be resourceful and problem solve.
- Confidant to ask questions.
- Some experience in gardening preferred
- Basic English or French, we also speak a bit of Spanish
- Interested in helping with food prep, cooking, and cleanup
- Okay with cats, dogs and chickens
- Absolutely no cigarette smoking or vaping

A bit about us:
We are a married couple in our late 30s, with two children. We have collectively traveled to more than 30 countries around the world and are now 'digging roots' and cultivating community on Vancouver Island. Between the two of us we have a lot of experience and passion: human rights, permaculture, hemp farming, sustainability, facilitation and teaching, indigenous sovereignty, dance, reggae and world music, gardening, camping, holistic health and whole foods, films, playing board games, needle felting, basketball, bird watching and more...
We also often have other people staying with us or visiting on the weekends.

Come join an authentic west coast family for a glance at life on Vancouver Island. Please send an email on how you would make a good fit for what we have described above. We look forward to hearing from you!

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