Cob & Community in Twin Lakes

cob_twin_lakes

Our friends Bryce and Kelly who taught and helped us build our “epic rocket stove wood oven” last year are teaching an intensive 2 week full on Cob Workshop this Summer in Twin Lakes, BC! These guys are awesome and this will be a dynamite way to spend two weeks, learning all about natural building from wonderful people. Check out there beautiful web site for more information… dreamweaverscollective

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tricycle acres permaculture internship 2014

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We had such a fabulous internship experience over the last 2 years that we are happy to announce we are accepting applications for our 2014 program!  We are currently accepting applications for 1-3 week internships for the April-October 2014 season. This is your chance to get your hands dirty implementing permaculture principles in paradise!

We are going into our fifth season of growing food and building here in the Kootenays, and are looking for eager and hardworking interns to help us implement more permaculture techniques, test theories and explore new integrated systems. Essentially we want WWOOFers who want to dig in to permaculture hands on! We have 2/3 of an acre of organic primary gardens, which employ many interesting techniques; guilds, sheet mulch, companion planting, herb spiral, hugelkultur, 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 year have been broken down by season (see below) and we have a pretty clear-as-dirt idea of  what we’ll be doing in these time blocks, and encourage applicants to consider activities and timing when applying.

Early Spring:

  • woodworking / carpentry / pole building
  • willow bed implementation
  • firewood / chainsaw skills + chopping, hauling + stacking
  • seed starting / garden planning / transplanting / soil blocking
  • planting expanded perennial food system
  • Valley Permaculture Guild – permablitzing, tour, learn and implement at other local farms

Early Summer:

  • soil building / compost tea brewing based on Soil Food Web research
  • garden planting / transplanting /guild building
  • woodworking / carpentry / pole building / tree house building
  • wild crafting
  • foraging / harvesting early berries
  • Valley Permaculture Guild – permablitzing * tour, learn and implement at other local farms

Late Summer / Fall

  • harvest , harvest, harvest! / seed collecting
  • canning / drying / preserving
  • mushroom foraging
  • root cellaring / cellar building
  • woodworking / carpentry / pole building
  • firewood / chainsaw skills + chopping, hauling + stacking
  • Valley Permaculture Guild – permablitzing* tour, learn and implement at other local farms

We currently have 26 0 laying heritage hens after our bobcat buffet, who knows by summer we will likely have any number of new critters on the homestead. We have 2 working dogs who keep the beasties away (bearscoyotes & cougars to name a few). We have a top bar bee hive we hope to expand into 2 hives this year, and are considering turkeys as well as ducks and a pond system.

As a tricycle acre intern you will enjoy mainly vegetarian from scratch home cooking but the occasional ethical omnivore meal makes it’s way to the table (unless of course you don’t eat meat then we can easily accommodate this). The  focus of most every meal here is eating seasonal organic and local whole foods. Your host is passionate about food and blogs regularly at eatingwithSOLE .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: Shauna is a Certified Permaculture Designer, and Dylan is a Master Carpenter with skills in fabricating just about anything out of just about anything. Shauna was a successful bakery owner in her city life and is passionate about cooking, baking, canning and food preservation, gardening and fiber arts. Together we have a good amount of alternative building experiences including: undertaking an earthship internship, building with straw bale and cobb + rocket stoves, composting toilets, waddle and daubyurt buildinglog 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 / fiber arts library which can be accessed during your stay. We also have an extra canoe and bicycles interns can use on hot and sunny days off.

In 2012 we hosted 8 interns throughout the season  and in 2014 we hosted 3 full time spring – winter interns and enjoyed the ups and downs of growing food and building in rain and sunshine, and have more than memories to show for it.

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 internet, limited access to power, be comfortable using a composting toilet outhouse, and a dreamy outdoor shower house heated with a compost pile we need to maintain. We expect interns to 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, approx 5 hours a day weather and project permitting. Lunch, dinner and accommodations are provided, but interns will need to prepare and provide their own breakfast and are responsible for all of their own dishes, as well as contributing with cleaning and dishwashing in the kitchen (to keep your cook happy).

Interested in applying? email us for application information.

2014 Slocan Internship Opportunity

ravine creek farm

Ravine Creek Farm is looking for an intern for the 2014 growing
season. We are a small, family-run, mixed vegetable farm located in
the South East interior, 40 mins from Nelson, BC. We sell our produce
at the Nelson Farmer’s Market and through our CSA program. Ideally we
would like to work with someone (*possibly* a couple) who has been
through a new farmer program of some kind and is seriously pursuing a
life of commercial farming for themselves.

We would like have the position filled as soon as possible, the
position starts April 2014, the accommodations can be available a
little sooner. We anticipate about 4 days/week labor. We have a 100
year old, one-room, off-grid cabin to offer, food, and some kind of
stipend.
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The Slocan Valley is a very progressive and affirming community, as
young farmers ourselves we have been overwhelmed by the support and
enthusiasm we have been shown by our neighbors.

Check out our web page at ravinecreek.wordpress.com
Email or call to get more details about us, our farm and the position.

growing good memories

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This blog has certainly gone through an evolution from progress reports on our families transition to rural life, to being an outlet for the community projects and events I am so passionate about creating and promoting. Today I sit in a warm insulated space (for the first time in years) and look out on to our little mountain side farm and take in all of the blood sweat and tears that have got us where we are today…

Our Kootenay adventure started with a lovely piece of land and a gross moldy trailer. We started with gardens and chickens, built woodhenge, and a new road, two yurts, then a lovely outdoor shower house. We added hugelbeds and food forest systems, amazing onsite fertility programs, then came the rabbits and the bees. A cob rocket oven and a cob bench with outdoor kitchen space in the garden even a new green house. Perennial food abounds and now we are surrounded with community fresh water and love.

We couldn’t have done all that we have without the help, and love and support of our families and friends…. and our Interns. ‘Oh our interns…

Two years ago I took the advise of my friend and permaculture teacher Rob, he suggested I forgo the WWOOf’ers I was thinking about adding into the fold and look for folks who share our permaculture ethics and could really embrace and explore the techniques we are playing with here. So in 2011 I offered Permaculture Internships for the 2012 season, and for the past 21 months we have had continuous interns living with us.

Today is the first day Since Feb of 2012 that we are without interns, namely without Jordan. Jordan came here back in April of 2012 bright eyes and eager to live in the mountains and build on the solid permaculture education foundation he had. His 6 week commitment soon passed and we all decided that the energies we had as a team were worth holding on to.  All of our interns came and went for the season and Jordan was integral to their orientation and settling in.  Actually he was integral to just about everything around here, our fertility program was ramped up 10 fold as soon as we teamed up on the pitch forks! Jordan has a great ability to retain just about everything he reads (I am more of a skimmer) so having him drop facts and stats on a whim was always amazing. Jojo made all the crazy permie dreams totally doable, especially when he introduced us to his white board system of tasks and goals.  Every time I dreamed up another event or community project or planting guild idea, Jordan was there to back me up, or take on the challenge  himself and ace it. Not only is he a kind and amazing person we were thrilled to have here, he had also become my personal spell check / proof reader… you all can probably see by now how important that role is to me, as I’m a copy editors worst nightmare!  At the end of the harvest last year we took on a big project, out biggest ever and he was eager to stay through the winter and we were thrilled to have him, he was after all part of our little family by then. Together we starting creating our internship program for the coming season and soon realized, although we were overwhelmed with amazing applications and emails, we were going to build on the family we had made with Jordan. We invited his CSA team from years early to join ours and took on the lofty task of housing 3 full time – 3 season interns.

It was still snowy when Dave arrived from Victoria, and he was keen to chop wood, haul trees, wild craft and hone some carpentry skills. Jordan and Dave were living in the “Murt” together and built a really great loft space. Dave brought us music, and a good dose of laughter. Dr Kombuchy start brewing kombucha for all of us and caring for all the little critters and wee seedlings. We started our (2nd attempt) and breeding rabbits; we had a buck and 3 does and Dave took on that process entirely; from salvaging scraps of everything to assemble their new bunny palace, through the the daily care. Dave was a vegetarian when he arrived, however he was moving toward eating meat from small, local, organic and loving producers which was totally inline with the way we eat… he was in for a big surprise however when our little piggie, Bacon (raised by our friend) was ready for market shortly after Dave’s arrival. Poor guy sat nearby and watched me use every grueling nasty bit of that pig in preparation for Pig-in-a-day. Wow that was a tough 3 days for everyone; Dyl and Jojo did the killing and the skinning and scraping, and face peeling, and I boiled the heads and prepared the organs then created a workshop for 20+ folks to come and learn from our friend Ben the Butcher how to break that beast down.

By the time Isis arrived in the spring there were still remnants of pig… I think she found a hoof buried in the food forest on her first day in the soil! And of course she enjoyed the smoked bacon we were serving. Isis came along to the farm right around the time that Jordan brought home Balou, son of Odin (our golden guard dog) and soon the 3 of them; jordan Isis and Balou were all sleeping outside in the wood shed and Dave had the yurt to himself. Isis was a magic addition to our growing team. Her days were often spent tending to the garden, weeding and planting, and most importantly observing! She is a stellar observer.  Isis and I decided before her arrival that this was the time to finally take on bee keeping.. something we both so wanted to do, so together with the help of some serious queen bee guardians; Elise and Christina, we had the confidence to welcome and care for our new holistically managed bee colony. What a joy. Isis also came to be my number 1 dishwasher (feeding 6 meant for lots of dishes), and wild crafting and harvesting goto. I soon came to know that tone in her voice “…and the cucumbers” this meant I had many a basketful she was hoping to bring in and have me process in short order “the squash, the tomatoes, the grapes, the cabbage (the blue ribbon cabbage that is)…” the list goes on and on. We had our most productive and abundant year ever and this I blame heavily on Isis and her garden fairy magic.

As harvest wound down and the wood supply stacked up it was time for Dave to move on, back to the coast again with a soul-craft stop over. Dave is working with “Farmer Mike” (who I look forward to meeting someday) doing urban farming in Victoria. Maybe Dave’s most important legacy he left in the Kootenays was our daughters new interest and skills in music namely the ukulele and the songs they rocked together at open mike! Dave we raise a cup of turmeric tea to you, and wish you nothing but the best. love + gratitude to you.

Isis and Jordan are back home in the rambling foothills of Alberta now ready for a new page in their adventure together. With a heated home (novel idea) and lots of land to craft and observe, manage and care for. Our community’s loss is Black Diamond’s gain. Those two will do great things together. Jordan, Isis we love you both so much, and can’t wait to see how your future evolves. We wouldn’t be here without everything you have done to help us achieve our dreams. Thank You!

Slocan Valley Farm Opportunity #6: Five Rock Garden

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We are a family of 4: Annie & Chris, with 2 energetic boys 6 and 8. 1 dog, 1 cat and 14 chickens are part of the extended family. Our German and Quebec roots found new soil here in the heart of the Slocan Valley. In exchange for food and a roof we are looking for some help in the garden between early-may to end of june.
The garden is a very important part of our life and it’s getting bigger every year, yet we are  still new at it we are learning a lot. We are interested in permaculture ideas and designs, preservation and self-sufficiency. We are looking for motivated help for the preparation of the soil: primarily and foremost lots of weeding and digging. Many other tasks available though. This spring, we are starting the construction of an energy efficient house, this will bring new challenges in our life!

We offer a beautiful environment to spent some time in the Kootenays, good healthy food and a modern large camper as private space. We are happy to share our small kitchen and bathroom space.

We live on a beautiful open piece of land in midst of the Slocan valley, 3 km north of the village of Winlaw. This valley is an attractive place to visit, surrounded by wilderness full of outdoor possibilities. Lots of community events and people to meet.

Come and play with us!

Slocan Valley Farm Opportunity #5 – Appledale Farm

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SMALL FARM IN APPLEDALE OFFERING WORK TRADE/INTERNSHIP POSITION:
We are a small organic farm with gardens, horses and chickens, seeking some creative folks, with positive energy to help out on the land.  Jobs include: gardening, fencing, infrastructure improvements (horse shelters, hay, garden sheds, cold frames,etc), compost improvements, livestock care, and all-jobs “farmy”, we would like to incorporate more permaculture and sustainable living techniques on the land and increase our efficiency.
Expect aprox. 25 hrs./week (in farm work in exchange for accomodations and some foods…this is very aproximate, as some seasons are busier than others and the more energy one invests, the more we have to offer)
What we have to offer:  a cute cabin fully equiped for comfortable living, a camper with all amenities, sauna, campsites, close to the river and bus route, great views and quality farm living in the valley, some organic meals and foods provided and facilities to do your own cooking with farm fresh ingredients, experience in all-things gardening, including experience in cultivating, wildcrafting and preparing herbal medicines, livestock care and general small-farm maintenance. 
We are seeking healthy-living folks with experience and knowledge in gardening, permaculture, handy-work/building, skills that may improve the farm.   
Contact Jane and Fred at 250-226-6863 or  email at with some info about yourself and your experience, when you are interested in being here, and any questions.

Slocan Valley Farm Opportunity #4 – Cedar Creek Farm

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How does Heaven on Earth sound? we have a 10 acre organic farm in the heart of the Slocan Valley, Interior BC Canada. In addition to a market garden, we raise poultry (meat birds,layers, ducks, & turkeys), pigs, dairy goats & sheep. WWOOFER duties will be mostly focused on the 1/2 acre market garden. We have camping spots and a second house on the farm. Our ideal WWOOFER is self-motivated and nature loving. We expect workers to work 5 days a week, approx 5 hrs a day weather and project permitting. There is a full kitchen and bathroom available for use. Lunch will be provided on days you are working. Food will be provided for dinner. Sometimes dinner will be prepared and other times it will be up to the wwoofers to cook for themselves. You will need to prepare and provide your own breakfast and are responsible for all of your own dishes as well as contributing to general kitchen clean-up The mountains and waters of our region provide inspiration and recreation for your enjoyment. From fishing, canoeing, whitewater kayaking or just chillin at the beach, the lakes and river of our area are known to provide 1st class outdoor adventures. The mountains can be your playground as well, with hiking, rock climbing, hunting and mountain biking all easily accessible. If you want to learn about self-reliance and sustainability in the mountains, contact us for more info.

Spring projects:
Fence repairs, greenhouse bed prep and planting, seed starting, transplanting, garden planting, barn mucking, compost making, general spring clean-up, harvest over wintered carrots, clean and trim animal hoofs, raising chickens and turkeys, milking goats.

Early summer:
Compost tea brewing, weeding, transplanting, harvest and replant salad greens, fencing & cross-fencing, wild crafting/foraging, chicken tractor repair and use, turkey house construction, begin going to farmers market, milking goats.

Late summer:
Harvest, canning, drying, preserving, milking goats, farmers market, root cellaring, seed collecting, firewood/chainsaw skills, butchering chickens, turkeys, pigs & sheep, winterizing garden beds.

~PLEASE REPLY TO US BELOW AT TRICYCLE ACRES OR EMAIL vpg@rbrand.ca IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN THIS FARM OPPORTUNITY~