wanna get your hands dirty?

We are happy to announce that we are accepting applications for 2-6 week internships for March-August 2012 season. This is your chance to get your hands dirty implementing permaculture principles in paradise!

We are going into our third season of growing food and building, and are looking for eager and hardworking interns to help us implement more permaculture techniques, test theories and explore new intergraded systems. Essentially we want WWOOFers who want to dig in to permaculture hands on! We have 1/3 of an acre of  organic primary gardens, which employ many interesting techniques; guilds, sheet mulch, companion planting, swales, herb spiral, etc… along with a newly guilded fruit system, the foundation of a food forest, many established fruit trees and vineyards. 2+ year round creeks, and over 6 acres of mossy diverse mushroomy forest.

Our projects this season include: adding to our animal systems, building and planting food terraces, establishing a living fence for rotational grazing, and planting a willow basket field, meanwhile we plan to be building our cargotecture timberframe upcycled home! We currently have 26 laying heritage hens, and are breeding a couple varieties, as well as 2 working dogs who keep the beasties away (bears, coyotes & cougars to name a few). We are welcoming worms to our farm next month, who will soon be snacking on rabbit droppings as we expand our animal systems.

Interns will have humble but private accommodations, and be provided organic homegrown meals; you host is passionate about food and blogs regularly at eatingwithSOLE . Interns will enjoys vegetarian or ethical omnivore, as well as allergy friendly foods, all of which are focused on eating seasonal organic and local whole foods. You’ll drink and wash in living mountain fresh creek water from the source, and enjoy a magical forest full of wildlife, wild edibles and medicinal plants, right in the heart of the Kootenays most diverse and wonderful community, with it’s ample art, music, learning living events. Rivers and lakes, beaches and mountains to explore.

Your hosts have a wealth of knowledge to share: Permaculture design, master carpentry, fabrication, cooking, allergy baking, canning and food preservation, & gardening to mention a few. Along with many alternative building experiences including: undertaking an earthship internship, building with strawbale, composting toilets, waddle and daubyurt building, log building, and of course our favorite building material… GARBAGE! We are a young small family eager and open to constant learning and exploring of new ideas. We also have an extensive permaculture / building / growing / cooking / primitive skills library which can be accessed. And we have an extra canoe and bicycle interns can use on hot and sunny days off.

Applicants should have reasonable amount of permaculture knowledge, and should be physically able to dig, shovel, lift and haul heavy piles of materials (largely organic inputs). Applicants should also be prepared for near off grid living; no TV, limited and painfully slow internet, limited access to power, use composting toilet outhouse, outdoor showers, and not create or bring unnecessary wastes onto our site. We expect any intern to follow the permaculture ethics, and understand that those are our guiding principles. Interns would work 5 days a week, aprox 5 hours a day weather and project permitting. For more info or to apply please email shauna ( at ) rbrand ( dot ) ca your interests and experiences along with availability  and any other relative information. Couples are welcome to apply and work together. Interviews will begin Feb 15, so spread the word and drop us a line!

epic snow in

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We have been drown in deep fluffy snow, and for the last  24 hours it has barely stopped… inches and inches have accumulated and finally after a really COLD week (the first one of the year) it is warm and wintery! I actually starting whistling Christmas songs this morning as I was ploughing through feet of snow in a virgin parking lot! Today is a lot like last winter… I guess I had forgotten the fun of big snow, and doughnuts in he snow!

Dave and Colin are here this week (Dyl’s Dad and Bro) and the boys have been hard at work building a hunting blind up in the forest, way way way up in some trees! It looks a little scary, but I am sure once it has railings and some camping chairs and a beer cooler it will be a great place to piss away a day. Dave tucked into the shovel today and carved out a path all the way down to the barn and his car, which was well buried. Thankfully they have delayed their departure due to the epic snow storm we have on hand. We have been catching up on our Settlers of Catan gaming, and  all this extra Fidler testosterone.

Colin was the first to carve out a snowboard track on our driveway ever… I think Dylan is envious that his bro thought it up first… Colin didn’t so much like the treck uphill but enjoyed the runs down both driveways. The dogs sure loved chasing him down!

Unfortunately and sadly as I was running down to snap a picture of him carving up the new road I notices a bunch of black feather on top of the crisp white snow… followed by the prompt departure of a beautiful bastard hawk, who murdered one of our “little blackie hens” (an amerucana) poor dear:(  I screeched at the hawk and it did a tricky tango with the deer netting before taking off… and while I sat in the coop with a loaded gun, I hoped and preyed his chicken buffet days were over and I am hopeful he was spooked enough between me and the fencing tangle to not return.. but tomorrow I will net the girls into their tiny snowed in winter space, and hope for the best.  Otherwise this moma bear is going to get mean.. because I am getting sick of loosing my food security, and I take a lost bird pretty seriously. I know Dylan thinks I am a little overboard but I have raised these chooks from babes and everyday I trudge out to make sure they are safe, and sound, warm and fed, loved and happy, I thankfully receive their beautiful rainbows of eggs each day and I count them as a commodity and blessing. These gals (and the cocks too) are a huge part of our food security and I’ll be damned if that hawk is going to dig in to my pantry!

Today’s snowy morning was the perfect time to FINALY finish my million hour socks! I am wearing and loving them, and was happily toasting my tootsies by the fire  before noon today. Thanks ever so much to my back road girlfriend Renata at the Red Snow Shoe, who gave me “some assemble required” hand knit socks for my Birthday! I think in actuality I spent about 40 hours total knitting these babies… and while I am eager to dress my toes in more hand knit wool sock.. I am not sure just how eager I am to knit more.. just at this moment, though like child birth I am sure I will forget the pain, and start another pair soon!

We just said good bye to our friends Rob & Michelle (and baby Rowan) from Verge Permaculture, who enjoyed our yarn yurt for a few nights on there travel though the Koot’s, a winter oasis from the crazy urban centre of Calgary. It was great to spend time visiting, cross country skiing, and dreaming up exciting futures!

I am offering an Introduction to Permaculture class, March 17th at the Slocan Valley Hall, through the SVRC and Rob Avis has been super supportive and helpful, as I prep for my first full day permaculture class! Thanks Rob for everything!

To Register or Inquire call: 250-226-0008

tales and tails

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I know lots of you think we are crazy living in the sticks on the side of this mountain, and mostly I think your all crazy for living in a concrete jungle … but the other night I had a stomach dropping few minutes of fear, walking in our forest, this though actually crossed my mind…  “Am I insane living here???… OMG there is a cougar killing something in my yard!!!”

Thats right… Dylan and I went for a forest stroll to enjoy the last little bit of light before the sun went down, we though we would check our “hare snare” when all of the sudden the dogs went quiet (from a crazed barking frenzie) long enough for us to hear, not 200 feet away a crazy loud BIG CAT hiss and snarl and yowl, followed by the cow like moans of some unfortunate deer (or the like) being eaten. More dogs, more hissing, more panic rising in me, picturing my faithful dogs on the menu as they were out of eye site and silent again, more yelping, moaning, hissing…. shit! time to get out of the bush… calling the dogs, heading down the mountain… do we get the gun? are the dogs dead? why is there a cougar in my yard??? all these things raced through my mind.

We had decided to spend the night in the yurt and had it well warmed up after a day of loom set up, and the forest was alive with the food chain in action. What a musical! My interpretation of what happened from the soundtrack went something like this… The dogs finally got the cougar off on his way after an hour or so, and that is when the murder of crows chimed in which invited a pack of howling yelping coyotes to the carcass. Poor dogs they worked for hours patrolling the cougar kill and mountain side, before they got to enjoy any of what was left. Dylan and I will venture out soon and see if the scavengers have left behind any antlers for his new hobby of knife making. I was so happy that Mia was at the local outdoor rink sating with friends, rather than in the bush with us. Oh the joys of living in a wildlife corridor in a scarcely inhabited wilderness area!

With all of that excitement I feel like the rest of what we have been up to seems far less thrilling…

Like I said I have been getting my first (solo) warp set up on my loom, and am looking forward to turning this basket of creamy recycled yarns into a warm and cozy throw!

I spent a few hours with my weaving mentor JC going over my design and having a set up refresher, then Mia gave me a hand winding the warp and my friend Renata came by to help me with my threading. It’s a big loom an a big job, so It was lovely to have so many eager helpers!

I can’t tell you enough just how much we have been loving this yurt space, as a family creative outlet, and our own cozy private home away from home. We spend probably 25% of our nights sleeping in the yurt and I am out there working and organizing as much as I can manage! It’s turning into a really lovely place to be.

We are looking forward to having Dylans Dad and brother out here in the next week or so, which will be great! We sure missed our family this holiday season, but we were happy we made the decision to stay home, as the road conditions just after Christmas were horrible in the passes with avalanches, and fatal collisions and crazy storms. whew, nice to forgo all of those stresses.

Still plugging away on garden and house plans, and trying to finalize designs for the worm bin system as well as the rabbit housing and how they will work together. We have also decided to do a run of turkeys in the spring.. and now I am thinking Bacon….?! hmm it would be easy to work a couple pigs into the mix here and have them do some ground work for me! Get the benefits of rotational grazing and play with curing meats!

Mia is back on the slopes with school and is trading in her ski’s for a snowboard this week! Lets hope she has better luck than I did with that sport!

We are drowning in eggs still so I am cooking lots with all the food I put up and as many eggs as I can muster into any meal. I am blogging lots on my food blog sharing yummy recipes for eating from the root cellar.

Must dash, the dishes are calling and the wood needs hauling.

Best to all,