Claire Arrowsmith

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since May 24, 2014
Claire likes ...
bike forest garden fungi
Toronto,ON
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Recent posts by Claire Arrowsmith

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.
Good luck!

~Claire
1 year ago
Shaun,

: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,
Claire
1 year ago
Thanks for your response Erwin!

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.
1 year ago
Howdy!

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,
Claire
clairowsmith@gmail.com
1 year ago
Hi Paul, and thank you for reaching out!

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!

New Year Blessings <3
Claire
2 years ago
Hey Permies, Merry Christmas

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
Blessings,
Claire
2 years ago
Hey Matt, I'm wondering if you've found a renter yet.

Merry Christmas
Claire
2 years ago
Hey there,

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.

Blessings and gratitude,
Claire


2 years ago
Check out Aprovecho in Cottage Grove OR! aprovecho.net
Also Lost Valley Education Center.
3 years ago
Hey Andrew!

In just a couple weeks I'll be not far from you - interning this spring on The Vital Farm (mentioned in Dennis' comment) near Liberty, NY.

Check it out online or on facebook and stay connected as we may host some workshops/classes, possibly including instruction from Mark Shepard!

Best of luck this season, I look forward to hearing more about your projects' progression as I am looking for a place to settle in the northeast.
Maybe our paths will cross in the Valley!
3 years ago