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Duncan
All Year: yes except Dec/Jan
Area (ha): 2 (5 acres)
Persons: 1 or 2
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 48657
Region: Vancouver Island

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Last Updated: February 15, 2020

Hello Helpers!

Welcome to our little farm in 2020!

We are booked fully until fall. Thank you so much for reading!

We have a lot going on with a very active toddler, home schooling, farming and building and could use help in the house, with the kids and the garden. If you really love being with toddlers, please let us know... someone to hang out with our littlest while Mama and daughter "do school" would be handy. Usually we look mostly for farm help, but with a toddler around, we need a little more indoor help than usual... If a nice balance of lending a hand with housework, child care, cooking (including making jam, freezing berries and vegetables, drying herbs...), and gardening... besides trips to the nearby swimming hole and picnics under the plum tree sounds like your thing, please write to us! We don't bite!

We're a young family (Two adults, a 7-year-old and an almost-2-year-old) plus 1 small indoor dog and 1 large outdoor dog, a cat and 37 chickens creating a haven of organic, sustainable living and food security. We homeschool our daughter and are raising our children bilingually. We live on 5 acres about 6 km outside of Duncan, on Southern Vancouver Island in the beautiful Cowichan Valley, where outdoor opportunities abound. Besides spending time developing our land and buildings, Ezra provides residential tree service and also works in the forest industry. He grew up on a ranch "off the grid" and has many skills to share. Hanna is a veterinarian but staying at home with our son and daughter. We love meeting new people, learning about new ways of looking at the world and new ways of doing things.

We have been on our land for 7 years. The property came with two ponds and some older fruit trees, one of which is our "shade tree" in the hot summer days. Most of the land here was quite unusable and had or has never been farmed (but now it is!). We expanded and renovated the house (still requires finishing), built two chicken pens and coops, have put in two vegetable/fruit gardens, two greenhouses, built a timber frame sawmill shed, a root cellar, walk-in freezer and wood shed and a big workshop (though we are currently using it for storage) and are always preparing more land for food production. We have fenced all five acres and, despite the persistent deer invasions and enthusiastic digging by Ursa, our big dog, managed to grow a bountiful and beautiful veggie garden these last six years. We added more fruit trees to our orchard, as well as raspberries, blueberries, currants, gooseberries, figs, kiwi and grapes... This year will see the addition of a few more fruit trees and a herd of sheep. We have lots planned and lots to do...

Depending on the time of year, weeding, mulching, staking, training, sowing, transplanting, planting, hilling, harvesting and preserving are some of the "garden" things our helpers help with...

We're always working on building something. It's never not changing around here! At the moment we are building a small house on our property for Hanna's father, adding onto the front of our house, and preparing land for sheep pasture and more fruit trees.

We send out a big thank you to all who have helped and made their mark here.

There is a LOT of landscaping and beautification to be done... lots of room for creative input! Come join our family as we transform our piece of earth into a sanctuary for people, birds, insects and other small beneficial animals... Colour and food year-round for everyone! No specific skills needed, (although we love it when you bring carpentry, general handyman, culinary and gardening skills and knowledge to share) but a cooperative spirit and willing attitude is a must. You have to be able to work physically and on your own and take initiative.

Spring and fall can be rainy, and the summer hot so please be prepared for that. We expect you to care about our home, our family and our farm while you are here and to put effort into your activities. Please note that we expect help with meal preparation and clean-up and house cleaning, just as any member of the family would participate in, and that when something is being done, it gets done with effort and care.

We eat organic, wholesome, home-prepared meals, mostly from our own and neighbouring farms. All meals are gluten-free. The only gluten in our house is in ancient grain bread, which is eaten by those of us who tolerate it. Rarely a day goes by that we do not eat meat, so if you are vegetarian, please be aware that we will try to find alternatives for you, but cannot turn our way of eating upside down.

It seems that it works best when our helpers simply want to be part of things and no one counts hours or days... We definitely don't live by the clock... Part of the beauty of life in the country. If you need "numbers": If you work efficiently and help out otherwise as mentioned, we are happy with five hours five to six days/week of good, honest help in exchange for accommodation and food.

Accommodation is in a private bedroom with a bed, couch and coffee table or in one with a queen-sized bed. Bathroom is private as long as we have no other visitors.

Thank you for reading and we look forward to hearing from you!

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