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FAMILY FARM / HOMESTEAD

Position: Garden Assistant
Type: volunteer / exchange for accom., food, more (see below)
Farm: MissTree Farm
Location: Salt Spring Island, BC (must be able to live on the land for the duration of your stay)

Position:

We need some extra help on our burgeoning family farm this season with planting, harvesting, compost building, seed saving and general farm upkeep. Minimum requirement for length of stay is 4 weeks. Depending on time of the season and how many people join us, we may have a yurt or cabin available (roomates are likely), otherwise there is ample camping space on our 78 acre land. We ask each volunteer to work 30 hours/week in exchange for accommodations, food, and access to amenities

Amenities:

We live off grid with access to gravity fed solar powered outdoor showers, cold water laundry machine, sauna, ponds for swimming and plenty of space for hiking, meditating and wandering. We have solar panels with a charging station available for devices. Internet is limited to one area of the land where the router lives, and internet access can be spotty depending on the weather.

Location:

We are on a fairly remote part of Salt Spring Island on top of a mountain. We usually recommend volunteers have a car or love to bike to give them easier access to all the great things happening around town. Town is a 30-40 minute drive and has access to harbour, amazing food, farmstands, beaches, shopping and Farmers Market.

How To Apply:

Please send us an email with your name, gardening/farming/homesteading experience, dates you'd like to be with us and any questions you have: theforestgardens@gmail.com


More Information On Our Current Projects

The Garden

We currently have about 1500 sq. ft. of no till raised garden beds, planted with a variety of vegetables, herbs, medicinal plants and beneficial insect attracting plants. The beds are irrigated with a gravity fed, low pressure drip system. This year we will expand the drip system, create more garden beds and increase the density of our plantings to better use the space we have. Amending the soil with compost and compost teas and mulching help us build fertility as we increase production. The garden is a central hub of activity and learning throughout the growing season with lots of work involved in preparing beds, planting, tending, harvesting and preserving the food that’s grown.

The Food Forest

We are turning 2.5 acres of land of logged and planted forest into a food forest. We are processing the existing trees into firewood, building materials and wood chips in order to make best use of the legacy of the forestry industry as we transition the land into a diverse polyculture of productive and beneficial species. We have put close to 800 perennial food forest plants into the ground this year, and maintaining them will be a big part of the work this season.

Soil Building

To grow all the plants we want to, we are going to need huge amounts of soil. We have developed a number of different ways of building soil and we want to expand on all of them this year. We are making huge piles of compost with the wood chips from the trees that come down, as well as food scraps and plants harvested from the land.

We are also creating biologically active compost using Elaine Ingham’s Soil Food Web method. These compost piles are smaller and require more care and attention than the wood chip piles, but they yield a much higher quality compost. From this compost rich in soil micro-organisms we make compost tea & extracts to increase the number of organisms and then apply this to the soil and plants.

We have been experimenting with making biochar and this year we will continue to refine the process and make larger quantities of biochar to add to the soil.

We’ve set up a vermicomposting system and harvest the worm castings to add to our compost and compost teas, along with two large worm farms to process larger amounts of material into high quality nutrient dense soil.

Greenhouse

After building a small greenhouse to grow tomatoes and basil in last season we wanted more protected growing space! We now have a high production 100 ft greenhouse filled with heat loving veggies. Garden helpers will spent a high portion of their time in the greenhouse, in the new garden beds built beside it, and in the newly planted Food Forest up at Buddha Corner.

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Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: Jul 3 2022    ID: 65013