Author Message
Gordon Haverland
Post     Subject: Canadian gal looking for land for long term growth! work-trade/landshare/internship

Hello Carol-Anne.

I wish you the best.

In reading top-down, my feeling is that you aren't looking for someone with autism.  And I was blessed with this.  And it seems I am almost twice your age.  But allow me to develop the argument.

And I realise this is a public forum.  It might be useful to others, to know what possibilities are out there.


Having autism, I've never been married, and I have no children.  No dependents.

I will be 60 in the spring.  I've spent more than half my adult life with no income.  There will be no retirement; I will work until I die.  My Mom gave me the farm (40 acres on a north facing slope 1 mile south of Dawson Creek, so no mountains but they aren't far away).  The last time the farm was worked, was when I did it in high school in 1976 or 1977.  Now, I have every weed found in a pasture in The Peace; including wild rose, aspen and willow all over the place.


About 20 years ago, Mom and dad divorced (what is the response to, "It would have been more convenient for me if you would have died on the operating table."?).  Mom had bought the farm when we moved here in 1975 with me going into grade 10.  A few years after Mom got divorced, I got laid off (I've spent more than half of my adult life with no income) and nothing was happening, and when I ran out of money I moved in with her (the Grande Prairie).  About 5 years ago, the house on the farm got renovated; and we both moved here.  Since then, Mom sold me the farm for $1.

So, what do you do with a farm that has been ignored for more than 40 years?  And climate change is happening (the mountain pine beetle already escaped from the BC interior through The Peace.).  The farm is within the agricultural land reserve, it should be farmed.  And so, I am starting to do things to reign in the weeds and allow the farm to have products to sell, under the permaculture umbrella.  The place where climate change is happening the fastest in the Northern Hemisphere is apparently the Dempster Highway (which has Dawson City, Yukon at one end).  Dawson Creek is not all that far from Dawson City, and this is why we are seeing climate change so much more than other places.

My farm is 1/8 mile wide by almost 1/2 mile long.  Long dimension oriented N-S.  Prevailing winds are two: from somewhat north of west, and from the SW (typically chinook/foehn wind).  We can get strong winds that are retrograde (from the east, killed the first corn crop I tried).

I have a dugout on the property, it is completely exposed to the wind.  We are abotu 5 miles downwind of a 130+ MW windfarm; if you need some guess as to how much wind we get.

I need to re-establish a windbreak to protect that dugout from winds.  This will involve digging a bunch of swales.  I am thinking orchards in a couple of places, one being the small part of the farm which has an east facing slope instead of north.  The part probably needs to be terraced.  Because we can get strong retrograde winds, I am thinking of a single row windbreak (oaks and black walnut) on the ridge of that change in slope.

The lowest spot on my farm is in the NE corner.  Some water can accumulate there.  I am planning to put about 1-2 acres of sugar maple and associated species into that corner.  To keep winter sun and chinooks from damaging the sugar maples; I am planning a sun screen of nut pines (and dawn redwood) just south (and uphill) of the sugar patch.

I am hoping I can keep my health to get all of this started.  There is no possibility I will be alive to see the windbreak come to fruition (who designs windbreaks of 100 foot tall?)..

So, my hope at the moment, is to eventually set up an enduring corporation to own the farm; and to run it after I die.  There is nobody to give it to.

Now, the farm just looks like yet another abandoned farm.  Which was homesteaded in the mid 1920's and has probably never had chemical inputs (other than me dragging around a dandelion bar for a few times in one year on the lawn, and maybe using 1/8 of it) or me using a balanced fertilizer to spread crimson clover in some letters on the landscape.  The dandelion bar was by me, but before I lived here.


I am thinking of a few things this spring.  Mom's memory is getting worse, and having Mom, my next younger sister and I go on trips in the pickup isn't working.  It forces Mom to be int he back seat; and there isn't enough room.  And so, we will get a new car related to the Subaru Crosstrek she had when she had her accident.

This will let the three of us  travel places more economically, and be comfortable for all three of us (but this cuts into working on the farm).

I am thinking of getting a rough collie this spring.  I've been thinking about a LGD, but I find it hard to justify buying an animal that may kill at some point, and I have to put down.  But, I think Mom and I could use a dog for a friend, and I think a rough collie is a good breed.

I am thinking of getting some animals on the farm this spring.  Some chickens (,maybe a dozen, and I need to build a chicken tractor for them).  And maybe 3 pigs and 3 lambs to work in the various "woodlots" on the farm.


I've been thinking of some enduring corporation.  Something which can continue this farm into the future; and show local people how to deal with climate change.    And maybe I can use my engineering education to do some things which can help farmers (robots to prune trees, robots to plant/weed/harvest "cereal" crops, other stuff.  My Background is materials science and engineering, and in that vein I would like to make beehives that are well insulated, have solar power, have computers and instrumentation in the walls and can do thing like measure how much honey is in the beehive.  Slightly less high tech, is a dog house which can measure a dog's temperature and record its heart rate.


Having autism, I could go on forever.  But then I could never submit.  

Carol-Anne, I wish you the best.
Kate Michaud
Post     Subject: Canadian gal looking for land for long term growth! work-trade/landshare/internship

Hi Carrol-Anne.  

Lovely post, sent you a PM.  

Cheers!  K
SarahElizabeth Hoffman
Post     Subject: Canadian gal looking for land for long term growth! work-trade/landshare/internship

We have barren ag land in MB (near Brandon) and while we are a ways away from inviting folks - it's defo on the list of things we plan to do!
carol-anne besler
Post     Subject: Canadian gal looking for land for long term growth! work-trade/landshare/internship

Aww, thank you so much Jocelyn! I'd be back in Montana in a heartbeat if it weren't for that pesky border and all its rules. Sending y'all lots of love <3
Jocelyn Campbell
Post     Subject: Canadian gal looking for land for long term growth! work-trade/landshare/internship

I would like to enthusiastically vouch for this beautiful-inside-and-out human!!

Carol-Anne spent some time here at wheaton labs: and it was a joy to get to know her.

I've added your thread to more forums. Just let me know if you'd like this in other forums (using the report to moderators button works for this, too!), or not, in the ones so far.

Wishing you joy and loveliness wherever you land.

carol-anne besler
Post     Subject: Canadian gal looking for land for long term growth! work-trade/landshare/internship

Building relationships take time, and I am patient (most of the time). This post is just me wishing to start a dialogue with a landowner/permie that is open and willing to consider a lease-to-own/work-trade for rent/land share type scenario within the borders of Canada with myself and my dog, Doodle. If you vibe with what I'm writing, let's get to know each other via the interwebs to see if we'd fit within each other's mid-term vision.

These 31-year-old bones are road-weary from the constant movement of my 20's -- exploring, learning, developing skills and finding my passions, working on numerous homesteads, farms, permaculture design sites, and living and developing shallow roots in many communities all over Turtle Island. I probably was not ready to grow deep roots anywhere, there were too many places to find myself at still, but these days it is what I crave most; to grow into the lands and the people who dwell on them, slowly and purposefully.

Where? I have a vision of a lush valley within the mountains, and wild waters that travel through. I'm open to deviating from that ;p however for long term purposes it has to be in Canada.

What? Depending on the season in which this all comes to fruition (before the snow flies this year, or Spring 2020 would be so ideal) I desire to build my own little simple cabin or refurbish an existing cabin that is primarily off-grid but still wifi-capable so that I can work online. I desire the creative freedom to experiment, design, build, manage, and grow a garden and experiment with agroforestry, while documenting it all over a few years.

I am
; a community-orientated hermity-type who requires solitude on a daily basis as well as loves lotsa human interaction and affection. I'm looking for my own space, yet within a reasonable distance to a vibrant community to participate in.

; a writer, yogi, plant-lover, astrologer, tree planter, cyclist, human design student, permie with lots of projects and crafts in the gestation phase (sewing/dying own clothes, medicine harvesting/making, woodworking/furniture building, book writing, creating hand-stenciled birth charts to name a few) looking for a workspace to see them come to fruition.

I feel at my best and most fertile when I am hands-deep in the soil, face sooty from keeping the fires stoked, preparing foraged food over a castiron on the woodstove, singing and playing music with folks after the work is done for the day, spending days in the kitchen preserving the harvest, spending time watching the forest move and change throughout the seasons.

I love working hard on projects, and love my downtime. I'll spend months pushing for completion on projects and then enjoy months of lazy days of meditation, self-reflection, writing, processing, herbal foraging, cooking and baking, fermenting and crafting in the winter months. I see my entire life as a work/play balance and don't see a need to separate the two. playfully work, purposefully play.

I have a numer of skills conducive to homesteading and farming. I've helped out on a number of natural building projects (strawbale, cob, wofati, round pole) although I can't claim to be skilled enough to take charge of a project all on my own. I will build my own little home someday not so long from now, and so these skills are incredibly important and valuable to me and I am willing to work
very hard in order to achieve my dream of designing and building my own home (by helping you build yours!)

This is a teeny tiny taste of what I'm currently about. With the right people in dialogue, we can uncover our strengths and foibles, our visions, values, intentions, and who knows, maybe build a healthy, rewarding land-based relationship!

I have some poetry that might give you an idea of my current philosophies and where I am currently on the spiritual front