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Position: Eco Building Assistant
Term: June-Oct 2018, with private accom., stipend, more (see below)
Organization: Fletchwitz Forest Farm
Location: near Durham, Grey County (Southwestern Ontario), Ontario

Fletchwitz Forest Farm is a 92 acre abandoned homestead that we are revitalizing using permaculture principals and holistic management techniques. We are located 2.5 hours northwest of Toronto near Durham, Ontario in Grey County. We are relatively new to the area and are integrating into a small, progressive community that values creativity, environmental responsibility, family and relationships. On our land, our first order of business is to build infrastructure. In the past three years we have built a 2800 sq foot greenhouse-barn, the foundation of our home, and the timber frame structure of the house. In 2018, our goal is to continue the construction of our ecohouse and we invite 1-2 people to be part of this process. We see this as an opportunity to teach skills and design concepts in exchange for help with the construction.

The house is a timber framed, two storey home with a steel roof and strawbale walls. It uses passive solar design elements and pattern-language inspirations. We are off grid using solar panels for electricity, greywater beds for water management and a composting toilet. In construction, the focus is on using local, renewable resources whenever possible and longevity is prioritized. We have designed this house from the beginning, including the architectural drawings, and are fulfilling a lifelong dream to build our own home.

This position is ideal for anyone who would like to maybe build their own home someday and would like to be part of the experience before committing to such an undertaking. It is also ideal for someone who would like to develop more carpentry skills, learn about straw bale construction, and experience living in a rural setting. We are looking for someone with similar values, and an interest in permaculture would be an asset.

Skills you may develop, depending on interest and aptitude include:

  1. Basic Timber Framing Assembly
  2. Larson Truss Construction
  3. Roof Installation
  4. Straw bale Construction
  5. Plastering
  6. Windows and Door Installation

Simon has been working in construction and home renovation for over 10 years and has many skills to teach. Talia has been building with Simon for the past three years, and will be involved part time on the project as she also has a full time job off farm. Experience is not necessary, but an asset (we provided training of proper tool use and habits)– the right attitude is paramount.

Characteristics we are looking for are:

  • Honest
  • Good work ethic
  • Willingness to learn
  • Listening and communication skills
  • Care with tools and yourself in rough terrain
  • Physically able to lift and maneuver with 40 lbs regularly
  • Understanding that adventure means to live without many comforts and conveniences
  • Can follow direction well and communicate what you do and do not understand
  • Able to work as part of a team and independently
  • Flexible, mentally, emotionally, physically and socially
  • Attention to detail

We are looking for someone who prefers to take the time to do something well rather than just get it done. Our working philosophy values quality over quantity, and assigning appropriate standards to different applications.

This position extends from June until October, but we may consider a shorter stay for the right candidate. The work schedule is somewhat flexible and will in general be 5 days a week for 8 hours a day (9-6 with an hour for lunch). Some days may be longer, others shorter depending on weather and the task at hand. We know the physicality of this work and can ease you into a more physical lifestyle, however we expect a certain amount of fitness before your arrive. For your contribution, accommodation and a stipend is available. There is a private, clean, rustic one room cabin in the cedar woods with it's own pond, lane and outhouse. This setting is ideal for a single person who likes time to themselves, a couple, or close friends, and we are flexible to take couples or friends (2 ppl total) to enrich the social aspect of cabin living.

A stipend of $250/week is offered to cover your food and personal needs. Couples and friend pairs will have an increased stipend established case by case. There may also be an opportunity to volunteer at a local Biodynamic Organic farm once a week for your vegetables. If you are without a vehicle, we can pick up groceries for/with you. Lunches and some dinners are eaten together but generally, you will have dinner to yourself to give us some family time.

We look forward to hearing from you. Visit Simon's Instagram account Preservingearth, Simon Fletcher, for images. He has been documenting a lot our of our work and lifestyle. Please email your experience, contact info and why you're interested in working with us at:

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GoodWork ID: 43399       Date posted to Feb 2 2018