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Fort Steele
All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 137
Persons: 2
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 868
Region: BC, South Eastern

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Last Updated: March 27, 2020

We will need help starting mid April.

If you like mountains, wildlife and exercise and you are interested in a true country experience this is the place to be. We would welcome any help and would love people to share their organic knowledge with us. No experience is necessary just enthusiasm and a love of the outdoors. Throughout the year we have a wide variety of tasks to do.
In March and April the cows are calving and we often complete some small building projects.
In May we are preparing the fields for planting; there is ploughing, discing, seeding, picking rocks and setting up the irrigation system. We also plant the large vegetable garden in May and June. For the rest of the summer we are haying, moving irrigation pipes twice daily, building and fixing fences, gardening, hand pulling invasive weed species,and on checking the cattle, harvesting garlic, sometimes traveling to the Farmer`s Market on saturdays
There are tasks for all skill levels and strengths so don`t be afraid to join us.

Remember that being a farmer is about growing food,thus growing food for the cattle and for ourselves is our main occupation.
July and the beginning of August are the busiest time of year for the farmer with the 1st cut of hay and stacking the hay in the barns. We will also spend two weeks on a Grassland and Rangeland enhancement project which means the identification and removal of invasive weed species. Participation in this project will help you learn about the grassland ecosystems. In August we usually have time for a camping trip into the mountains. Helpers that don`t mind sharing the meal preparation will be greatly appreciated.
At least once a week we need to check the cattle up on their summer range. In September we are harvesting the second crop of hay and also repairing corrals and fences. In October the cattle must be brought back home,the garlic planted, the irrigation system shut down, and all the general maintenance done before the snow arrives.

We are looking for helpers that wish to participate in the life of a small Canadian cattle farm. This means being flexible and realizing that it is hard to have a set schedule when we are working with livestock. So much also depends on the weather, and we find that our best laid plans often go awry. As a helper noted in his review, life on a farm can seem chaotic to those who are used to the very scheduled work hours of the office job. So we welcome you to life in the great outdoors!

Our ranch is situated in the country, some helpers find it a bit isolated without shops and nightlife but those of you who want to experience a different way of life you will appreciate this. We do travel into town once a week and you are welcome to join us if you feel a bit bushed.

To arrive at our farm you need to travel to Cranbrook. You can fly into Cranbrook to the Canadian Rockies International Airport from Calgary or Vancouver. We are about 4 hours from Nelson B.C. or 5 hours from Calgary by car. There is a shuttle from Calgary airport to Fernie where we could meet you.
You will also have limited internet access, depending on how many others would like to use it. Sorry we do not have Wifi.If you can`t live without social networking daily then it is probably best not to choose an isolated farm as a host. :-)

While staying on our ranch we ask that our helpers refrain from using drugs or alcohol.

Enjoy your own room in the original farmhouse in one of the most beautiful areas of Canada. On your free days get out and do some hiking in the Rocky Mountains or just swimming in a nearby mountain lake.
After 15 years of hosting and much thought we have decided to set a minimum age level of 21 years.

After spending some time in Italy as a helper 12 years ago I have even more appreciation for this wonderful help exchange program. It has been an amazing learning experience for me to participate as a helper. Most of all though, I have even a greater appreciation for all the helpers that have come and stayed with me on our farm. Thank you all again for all you have given us!


Details of photos:
1- Simmental cross heifers testing their boundaries
2- the last river crossing of the cattle drive up
to the summer range
3- the lake ten minutes walk above the farm
4- fields in different stages of the haying process
5- cattle grazing fields in October
6- fields in the summer evening. photo by Florian
Photos thanks to Ariel and Josu

reviews (40)
Helper: Luca Corda Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United Kingdom Date: June 30, 2018
Silvertip was a very important and special experience for me, Patricia and Gr... view complete review

Helper: Bex and Chris Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: New Zealand Date: August 2, 2017
Thanks so much to Trish and Greg for having us. We thoroughly enjoyed our tim... view complete review

Helper: Anna and Jannik Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Germany Date: July 23, 2017
Don't hesitate and visit this wonderful place on earth!! Patricia you are so ... view complete review

Helper: Lola D Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Belgium Date: April 7, 2017
Staying here was an amazing and fruitful experience! Living in the middle of ... view complete review

Helper: Thomas and Alexander Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Germany Date: November 9, 2016
We stayed for two weeks in late September on Silvertip Ranch, helping Trish a... view complete review

Helper: Sarah Nelson Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Australia Date: October 30, 2016
What a wonderful time it was for me here. I was here for 2 and a half weeks, ... view complete review

Helper: Emma Colen Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Netherlands Date: November 15, 2015
Me and my boyfriend, Frederic, stayed with Patricia and sometimes Greg for li... view complete review

Helper: Doreen Schroeer Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Germany Date: September 14, 2015
I stayed here during the past four weeks. The only negative thing to mention ... view complete review

Helper: Emilie SAELENS Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: France Date: April 22, 2015
J'ai passé deux très bonnes semaines au Silvertip Ranch. Le travail est essen... view complete review

Helper: James Davidson Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Australia Date: February 18, 2015
It’s hard to do justice for this place in just a few short sentences here, so... view complete review

Helper: Marijke Verhasselt Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Belgium Date: October 17, 2014
I needed a few days to ‘adapt’ to the absence of animals after a previous far... view complete review

Helper: Emily Perrins Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Australia Date: November 12, 2013
It's only been a couple of days since I left Silvertip, but I'm already missi... view complete review

Helper: Sarah Moulds Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Australia Date: November 11, 2013
Wow how do I put into words what a life changing experience I had at Silverti... view complete review

Helper: Haynes Cheng Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Canada Date: July 4, 2012
I was driving up and down this dirt road in the middle of the night for half ... view complete review

Helper: Thomas Thompson Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United Kingdom Date: June 28, 2012
I spent a brilliant 5 weeks here this spring, during calving season. Patrici... view complete review

Helper: Elaine and Douglas Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United Kingdom Date: June 14, 2012
We stayed here for two months and enjoyed every second of it. It is an amazin... view complete review

Helper: Gaia and Angela Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Italy Date: January 1, 2012
It took almost a year to write a review here, because it was really hard to f... view complete review

Helper: Sandra Helmke Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Germany Date: November 4, 2011
I was here for 8 weeks from the middle of July until the middle of September.... view complete review

Helper: Mickael GALIBERT Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: France Date: September 9, 2011
I helped here this summer (2011) from June 19th to July 30th, and I spent six... view complete review

Helper: Eneko Garitaonandia Azueta Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Spain Date: May 15, 2011
I was here for three weeks in August of 2010. It was my first experience as h... view complete review

Helper: Jane and Damien Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Australia Date: September 14, 2010
We stayed here for a month in July 2010 and loved every minute of it! It wa... view complete review

Helper: Nicolas Delafosse Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: France Date: August 12, 2010
I stayed here during 6 weeks and I had a wonderful time! I've learnt a lot of... view complete review

Helper: Christophe Gilson Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Belgium Date: July 13, 2010
I stayed about 2 weeks in Patricia's organic farm. Although the start was a b... view complete review

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Helper: Fanny and Nicolas Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: France, Metropolitan Date: May 12, 2010
Thanks Patricia for all what we learn with you for farm work to english gramm... view complete review

Helper: Jossi Groote Profile: hidden - premier members only  
From: Netherlands Date: November 11, 2009
Stayed 4 weeks here in October and had a wonderful time. Beautiful Mountains/... view complete review

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Helper: Scott waldron Profile: hidden - premier members only  
From: United Kingdom Date: September 25, 2009
I had a truly amazing time at silvertip ranch!!! Patricia is a wonderful host... view complete review

Helper: Tom and Katelyne (aka Tommer & Butch) Profile: hidden - premier members only  
From: Germany Date: August 31, 2009
What a wonderful time we spent here with Patricia’s family, friends and other... view complete review

Helper: Oliver Baur Profile: hidden - premier members only  
From: Germany Date: May 21, 2009
I spend about 5 weeks at Patricia's place from March until late April. If y... view complete review

Helper: Alistair Armstrong Profile: hidden - premier members only  
From: United Kingdom Date: January 25, 2009
Well Well Well Patricia, what can i say. I stayed on the farm for 5 weeks... view complete review

Helper: Ariel Avissar Profile: hidden - premier members only  
From: Israel Date: January 19, 2009
I spent 7 weeks with Patricia this summer, and would gladly have stayed for 7... view complete review

Helper: Jessica and Gavin Profile: hidden - premier members only  
From: United Kingdom Date: January 4, 2009
Hey there. We are a little late in adding this review but I logged on the ot... view complete review

Helper: Florian Schmellenkamp Profile: hidden - premier members only  
From: Germany Date: September 4, 2008
I was lucky to spent two weeks on Patricia's Ranch. If you like to work ha... view complete review

Helper: Paul Woodcock Profile: hidden - premier members only  
From: United Kingdom Date: August 30, 2008
I'm a little late in writing this review. I actually stayed with Trish way b... view complete review

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Helper: Silvia and Michelangelo Profile: hidden - premier members only  
From: Italy Date: December 13, 2007
Hi Tricia and hi all. We are a little bit late to write a comment, but we are... view complete review

Helper: Josu RIBOTE SUALDEA Profile: hidden - premier members only  
From: Spain Date: November 19, 2007
I was very happy here. I stayed here for a month in june-july of 2007. I like... view complete review

Helper: Nina egleton Profile: hidden - premier members only  
From: United Kingdom Date: May 13, 2007
I stayed at here for about six weeks and loved it! I felt very welcomed and r... view complete review

Helper: Maria D. de Quijano Profile: hidden - premier members only  
From: Spain Date: November 30, 2006
Me and Samu have been about one month and half here. It was a great experienc... view complete review

Helper: Anne Schmidt Profile: hidden - premier members only  
From: Germany Date: August 18, 2005
Wir sind jetzt seit 3 Wochen bei Patricia und ueberlegen, wieviele Wochen wir... view complete review

Helper: Becky O'Connell Profile: hidden - premier members only  
From: United Kingdom Date: May 21, 2005
I spent a month here and loved it. It's a beautiful place and if you like bei... view complete review

Helper: Frédéric Fred Profile: hidden - premier members only  
From: Canada Date: February 16, 2005
I have stayed here for few days and the only bad thing I could say is that it... view complete review

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