Hi, good to hear from you!
I recently moved to BC to pursue food preservation/preparation/processing.
Gonna take some more years of work before I'm ready to invest in land and really commit to a place.
We'll see how it goes! Always keeping the northeast in mind.
:O I am so sorry to hear about your cabin. Feel free to stay in touch through email, I'm interested to hear more about your plans for new land and farming.
At this point I'm looking for spring-winter work in a BC cafe/kitchen (hopefully like-minded as far as food philosophy) as a way to gain more experience and get to know an area, its people and farms. I don't have recent experience in a certified kitchen however, so some training may be necessary :) I'll see what I can find but it might be better to head out sooner and job search there, and I'll probably need a car so I'll have to put some thought into driving cross country.... good thing I bought a new down sleeping bag.
Thanks for reaching out and I look forward to hearing more,
I've played with kombucha a bunch (on a small, personal scale), but not beer. It's a consideration for sure, though we can't live on beer (unfortunately), so I'm definitely more keen on food as a starting point. Fermented vegetables ("kraut-chi") are the one ferment I've managed to always keep in supply amidst all my farm-wwoof travels, and something I cannot go without. There are probably more breweries than kraut production facilities in the northwest, if I had to guess.
You bring up a great point about the farmers market! Definitely a factor in choosing the next place to be.
Now back where I grew up in Toronto, researching work-life options in British Columbia for this season. I've been told the islands are better known for permaculture activity, but I'm a mountain girl and would revel in the likes of Revelstoke - or perhaps the Okanagan, the Rocky foothills at the very least. My intentions are twofold: to see and experience Western Canada for at least a season, and to continue working towards a career of some sort. This second intention limits the first, because while I'm also more of a country girl, I'm learning that it may be necessary to live in a more urban area for a while in order to gain the job experience I seek. I've spent the past 5 seasons working on various farms and homesteads (animal, vegetable/fruit, nursery, 'permaculture', herb) on the East and West coasts of the States (I'm a dual citizen), but mostly and most recently on the Northern California coast. [This latter and most recent experience could prove useful in BC]. And while I have helped do everything from starting seeds to processing the harvest, and while I still love gardening and consider it part of my ideal daily routine, I'm not sure that I'm a full-time farmer. It takes a certain type of person to run a farm (without mentioning starting and supporting it financially from the beginning) and make a living from this good work (well done, you), and while I did strive for this kind of path in the past, I might try a different route this year. I love the farm life and would love to maintain close ties with an existing farm out there - perhaps working out a work trade agreement involving food and/or rent, a part-time commitment, etc. This year I think I'd like to focus more on food processing, and build upon my already active repertoire of such tasks as drying, fermenting/soaking, canning, sprouting, cooking, freezing, extracting (medicine making), etc, with the intention of creating value-added products to sell. One simple example: I help start a bunch of cabbage seeds, transplant into farmers' beds, cultivate & weed, harvest, then process into sauerkraut. To continue working on my foraging skills would be excellent, too! Perhaps there is a farmer out there looking for part-time help interested in diversifying toward a few value-added products. Or perhaps there is already a facility where farmers can bring their fresh produce, and where I might apply for a job turning this food into more shelf-stable, nutritiously dense, easier to digest or ready-to-eat products. I don't know much about what's out there, only a little about where I'd like to go and what I'd like to do, an ever-evolving journey. The ultimate goal is to settle in a somewhat rural, local food-centric Northern farm community in or near mountains & forest, conducive to implementing sustainable energy systems (humanure, solar, forestry for wood heat...) .... but that's a ways off. BC's for sure a-callin'.
Any advice, recommendations, referrals, or responses of any kind are truly appreciated! All the best for the new year,
For the time being I've found a good situation in Northern California. I will be sure to update if anything changes!
This winter I'll still be focusing my time on finding a longer-term partnership in northeastern New York State, or Northern Vermont.
Good food is important to me and I expect foraging and the cultivation of healing and edible herbs and other plants/fungi to be among my responsibilities in this partnership, as well as time in the kitchen preparing ferments and other value-added products! Please let me know if you think I'd be a good fit on a particular farm/homestead/piece of land!
I have been wwoofing/interning/laboring/volunteering on farms/gardens in the States since 2013, and while I now have a general idea of where I'd like to live (Northern NY/VT), I'm looking for a place for the winter, preferably covering rent with labor. I'm a dual US-Cdn citizen and theoretically could go anywhere in North America. I'd be happy to tell you more personally about my work experience and am always eager to learn more about plants, fungi and building/carpentry (if I had to choose just 3 topics ). I enjoy simple accommodations and love to cook and ferment things. It is my long-term hope to collaborate on a piece of land and build a diverse food forest.
Please be in touch if you're looking for help this winter
I'm sending out a "feeler" for all those in NY/VT/NH/MA/CT - trying to get an idea of anyone out there with land but not enough time/hands to work on implementing a food forest that is sustainable long-term. I'm looking for some type of work-trade arrangement that will allow me to practice design and (hopefully for you) eventually implementation of a resilient forest garden. I already have a couple options and am reaching out what may be one last time before visiting any landowners I've heard from come summertime. I'm not necessarily looking for the land on which to spend the rest of my life - I've been a traveler all of my 25 years and while I am actively searching for a 'stead to call home, I know circumstances are always changing and very few things are forever. The best I can offer are my hard work and dedication to the project while I'm there. I've been living and learning permaculture on various farms, gardens, homesteads and a nursery across the country since finishing college and participated in Dave Jacke's 9-day Forest Garden Design Intensive in Helena, MT last fall - I am more ready than ever to immerse myself in a design project, which could be as small as a fraction of an acre, but hopefully not too large since that will take more time and commitment. Small and slow solutions, right? In exchange for my design services in addition to a modest amount of daily farm/garden/homestead chores I'm looking for room and ideally board though all is of course negotiable, especially if I'm helping to grow and preserve my own food - though the goal is to practice design of predominantly perennial systems, not annual vegetable gardening.
If you or someone you know would be interested in some sort of partnership, I'd love to hear from you
You can find more detailed information on me and my experience in some of my earlier posts.
My name is Claire, and I don't care -- just kidding, I really do care, that's why I'm posting here!
I am 25 and looking for a new home, community and place to practice what I already know while learning much more by helping to build a permaculture oasis somewhere in the northeast -- I have heard great things about Vermont (Montpelier, anyone?) and have yet to really explore the area.
Like probably all of you I dream to live and work on land that I've designed to meet all of my needs and those of my community and planet; closing the loop at every opportunity with plants and animals serving many functions: food, fuel, fiber, fodder, fertilizer, farmaceuticals, fun and, of course, fungi -- yes, I did complete Dave Jacke's 9-day Forest Garden Design Intensive in Helena, MT this fall and would love the opportunity to practice what I've learned (*more on skills and experience a little further down).
I grew up a dual citizen in Toronto, ON, and escaped the city to attend St. Lawrence University in (way) upstate NY, not far from my family's summer cabin in the Adirondacks (my second home, though unfortunately unsuitable to farm). Canton is where I first--finally!--got my hands in the soil, and though I did earn my bachelor's in neuroscience in 2013, I've been wwoofing ever since. The North Country is still my home and I feel it is time to set down roots somewhere in the general vicinity.
The really impatient, somewhat prepper part of me (small but loud) just wants my own piece of land to turn into permie paradise and live happily ever after, but I know better than that. I don't have the money to buy land (thankfully no debt!) though I have enough savings to live comfortably for a while, as I have been, working for room and board. If I continue living frugally and maybe making a little more, I'd consider buying land myself or with the right people in the future. So then the more rational part of me thinks if I spend enough time in the 'right' area(s), establish myself in a community, then sooner or later an old farmer and I will find each other and combine our resources to continue the legacy. Either way it seems like I'm still on the same path: live cheaply, work for rent growing food and gaining skills. Just looking for the right place to do it
...Because after two years spent running around with my partner, seeing the country, backpacking and wwoofing on both coasts, I am looking for a community of like-minded individuals who I can call family, for a while at least.
Skills & Experience: 2011: helped start an annual veggie garden from scratch in Canton, NY
2013: Apprenticeship on an annual veggie CSA farm, Canton, NY; pigs and chickens for meat, quail eggs. Some perennial fruit experience (planting, maintenance, cider pressing).
2014: shorter stays on several farms/homesteads in Appalachia (GA, NC, PA), NY and northern CA. Winter 2014-2015 caretaking at the Solar Living Institute, Hopland, CA: learned solar PV installation, helped maintain the permaculture garden and intern village
2015: Internship at Fern Hill Nursery & Botanical Sanctuary, Cottage Grove, OR; helped prepare for Farmer’s market, garden work, workshops and open houses; performed all daily chores involving chickens, ducks, and irrigation for gardens and greenhouse. Also completed a 5-day mycoremediation course with Fungi for the People (Eugene, OR) in June.
*For a more specific list of the farming, homesteading and interpersonal skills and further interests I've developed over the past 4 years, please send me a message as I was unable to attach the file
- please note that I do not have a PDC, nor certifications in yoga or nonviolent communication, though I am always practicing and expanding my understanding of these skills.
Also, being Canadian, I am fluent in French (though quickly losing it - used to know some Spanish too), if that's a game-changer for anyone
What I'm Looking for: Not necessarily trying to find the spot to spend the rest of my life--though if that happens, heck yes! Just looking for a good place to set down some roots for the time being.
I have many skills and interests and though I would like the opportunity to practice edible forest design & implementation (& maintenance..?), I think community is most important at this point -- e.g. maybe someone here is already well into their design implementation and could host me for a time in exchange for my help, teach me a thing or two, and knows someone in the area who can't accommodate me but would like to establish a design. Whatever works!
I have never built my own house but I am willing to learn how, in case that's a prerequisite to living in the right place.
I don't have a car and don't particularly want one of my own, though I am a competent driver. For this reason living outside of a town really suits me as I'll probably bring my bicycle wherever I end up.
...another idea is to set out on a bike tour of the northeast in the spring and see what I can find...
You may have already gotten an idea of the activities I enjoy apart from permaculture - I do like to stay active in my community and surroundings, engaging my mind-body-spirit through a variety of activities on a regular basis.
That's all I can think of for now! Please shoot me a message with your questions, comments, concerns, curiosities... If you or someone you know is interested in establishing an ecological design for your property but unable to pay a professional, maybe I'm what you need! A professional work trader, that's me. Even if you just want to share some wise advice, I'm ok with that too
Gratitude, blessings & may all your permie dreams become reality,
I recently posted in the wwoof forum (Experienced wwoofer looking for next experience on West coast/Hawaii this fall/winter) where you can find a list of my experience. If you could use some help this fall/winter, I'd love to talk more! In my post I list some key projects with which I'd like to gain experience, but I am open to learning much more, especially more design experience. I have also helped grow, harvest and process cannabis, though I could use more experience with this as well.
Look forward to hearing from you!
My name is Claire and I have been wwoofing for the past couple years, with some backpacking in between. I am looking for a permaculture-oriented site (I know it may not be perfectly permaculture!) where I might trade my labor (I work hard and usually enjoy it) for food (home-grown is best but I'm not picky!), accommodation (I will have a tent), and knowledge--this last part is very important to me as I value my work and am becoming more selective in my experiences. I am no longer a clueless wwoofer simply looking to get back in touch with the Earth (though that's always a part of it!), I am seeking the experience necessary to tackle these projects in my future as-yet-undetermined community.
What I'm looking for: Some specific items with which I'm keen to gain experience:
(*indicates major interest)
*Mushrooms--I recently took a 5-day introductory mycoremediation course and am learning more about cultivation & foraging
*Bees--would love to learn how to keep them (alive & happy)
*Trees--The Food Forest's the Ultimate Goal, right?! Well, I have a lot to learn about trees: pruning, grafting, identification, care...
Ponds--creation & maintenance
Waste--turning it into a precious resource, i.e. humanure, greywater...
I haven't taken a PDC (yet?) but am seeking hands-on experience with permaculture design--that's to say I am always learning more about ecosystems, plants, animals, guilds, soil and all the rest. I understand I'll be hard-pressed to find one site engaging in all of these projects, and anticipate visiting a few different sites over the course of the season.
My experience: +5 months (full season) on a veggie CSA farm in way upstate (aka Canada) NY. It was a lot of sowing, weeding and harvesting. I am also now fairly confident with chicken slaughter.
Several short stays (1-2 days to a month) helping with various gardens across the country
4 months (winter 2014/15) caretaking at the Solar Living Institute, Hopland CA. Lots of work in the garden, intro's to PV installation, aquaponics & cob/natural building
Interning since March at Fern Hill Nursery & Botanical Sanctuary, Cottage Grove OR. Have learned a great deal about propagation, hard & softwood cuttings, soil fertility & compost, raising ducks & chickens, keeping up with watering, transplanting...basically everything to do with raising happy plants we also grow a lush garden and the start of a food forest to feed ourselves.
I believe that interpersonal connection is equally important as the knowledge and experience I gain in exchange for my work. Here's some extra stuff about me:
I work well by myself but enjoy working with others too. Sometimes I find it hard to multi-task, aka maintaining a conversation while working, but I'm a work in progress too...
I find it necessary to maintain somewhat of a yoga practice (stretching, basically) throughout the work week, so it's a bonus for me if others are into that or an opportunity exists in the local community
I love to cook and consider myself pretty good at it, though since wwoofing I've gotten used to eating others' cooking, which I also enjoy very much
My first jobs throughout middle and high school involved working with kids (babysitting, tutoring, coaching) and though I'm pretty good at that too, I am not looking for more experience in that domain, though if it's the right situation I won't object to occasional childcare
Having been raised in Canada until college I am/was fluent in French and quickly falling out of practice. Les Permies Francophones, existez-vous??
That's all I can think of for now. Please send me a PM if you think I could help you maintain/create/design your permaculture oasis!
Awesome thank you I will look into that! I've heard back from a few places on the Permaculture Association LAND Centre directory--very useful source. I should have no problem finding a couple sites to pass my short time in England, so best of luck to all of you UK permies out there! Keep doing what you do
I do not live in the UK but will be visiting in March. Any tips for me to get hooked up with a project somewhere roughly during the 3rd week of March? Any wwoof hosts out there? Just trying to learn and help out...
I'll be visiting my grandfather in Norwich in March and am looking for something permaculture-oriented in England to fill my time during the 3rd week of the month, roughly Mar. 16th-21st. I have 3 seasons of farming/gardening experience here in the States and have been learning more about permaculture for over a year. I enjoy learning hands-on and would be happy to participate in any projects you have at that time. As I'll be traveling during that week, I am interested in a work-trade possibility for housing--I may have camping gear with me as well. I am particularly interested in gaining more experience with forest gardening, as I'll be working on a permaculture farm in Oregon later this year.
I'd be happy to give you more details as per my work experience if you're interested
Thanks and I look forward to hearing more about your garden, or that of someone you know who could use a helpful hand!
Hi just wondering when work will start, what the living conditions/accommodation/compensation will be while working, and whether technical training is necessary or a few years' experience and willingness to get busy will do thanks
Wow! I've been so busy reading Gaia's Garden, I almost forgot I posted here! Thanks for your input!
Will, no plans on going to Arkansas anytime soon, but who knows what the future holds, I'll keep it in mind.
Justin, I did check out the gapper thread, and I'm interested...I guess for right now my plans are to head west (Cali) this fall, so I'll see where that takes me...
Converse: Windward definitely looks like a cool place, and one that I'll be sure to check out if I end up making it up to Washington from Cali
Kate: still exploring the states, for now...I do love Canada, and Ontario, but not psyched about the cold climate!
Thanks everybody! There's a big huge world of permaculture out there, so happy I found it
I am a recent college grad in my early 20s with 10 months (over the course of 2 growing seasons) of farming/gardening experience, most of which was spent wwoofing on an uncertified but still organic CSA farm in upstate NY, plus carpentry experience and other odd jobs with Habitat for Humanity and a private landlord. Basically I am a young, hard-working, energetic, enthusiastic person wondering what my next step is. I don't have the money to buy my own land, though my dream is to create/co-create or move onto an intentional community based upon sustainable agriculture and permaculture practices. I've enjoyed my wwoofing experience but I'm at the point where I want to be starting my own projects. I still need both hands-on experience and time to read up on permaculture as I have yet to take a PDC...maybe that's the next step but ideally I'd be able to spend half the day getting my hands dirty, half the day with a book between em, not really a fan of classroom learning at this point and not sure if I want to put more money into learning when it can be done fo free and with a little elbow grease. I'm from Toronto and would love to end up somewhere in the states (I am a us citizen) with milder winters yet tolerable summers and sufficient water (which is why I'm wary of the West) for this reason I've been interested in western NC, I <3 mountains. But beggars can't be choosers so if anyone has advice for what to do next or any affordable opportunities to learn in the field as well as with books, particularly something that could develop into a long-term project and from which I could make a living, please do let me know!
This was a real pleasure to read...I am pretty much in the same boat! Though I have significantly less experience than you two (altogether, about 10 months farming/gardening experience over the course of a little over 2 years, on 3 separate farms, in addition to various carpentry experience), I too dream of moving onto a community built around sustainable agriculture, or helping to get one going. It's a dream some college friends and I started talking about while in school 3 years ago (I graduated last May with a degree that now seems useless). I hail from Toronto but consider upstate NY, where I went to college and earned the vast majority of my farming experience, my 2nd home. Permaculture is relatively new to me but starting to become an obsession for sure. I am looking to gain more experience while still having time to read up on permaculture practices, but I completely agree that one can only help others realize their projects for so long before one begins to yearn for a project of one's own. That's where I stand, I want to keep learning but there's also a lot I already know how to do or could figure out with other knowledgeable workers like yourselves. Everything you mention in your idea of a sustainable community is exactly what I want--and I'm glad you mentioned the beer brewing!! I have looked into numerous communities in the states but you never know what you're getting into until you visit, and traveling's an investment in itself. I am not religious and while many communities deem themselves spiritual and respectful toward all religions, a lot of them still frown upon activities such as alcohol consumption...I am somewhat spiritual but at the end of a hard day's work my idea of the perfect evening is a communal dinner cooked with food from the garden, shared among friends and accompanied by a good homebrew or hard cider (we pressed TONS of apples at the farm in NY) or wine from last year's grapes...whatever! A couple of my friends who shared in this dream were all about the school aspect too, as they've spent the past several summers working on a farm camp in Mass, introducing kids to the garden life.
I also don't have my heart set on any particular place though I've been exploring the states since they're closest to my family and friends, and I prefer the sun to the cold
These are just a few of my quick ramblings so don't let my disorganized thoughts be a turn-off, this is truly a serious goal of mine and something I intend to accomplish, I am just uncertain of how, considering I am by no means prepared to buy my own land or go at it on my own, I just figured I'd keep gaining experience and maybe making money along the way if I can though at this point I think information and hands-on knowledge and good food that I've grown myself are more important to me. I'd love to keep this convo going and hear more about your ideas! Any advice is appreciated