Friday, February 8, 2008

Welcome and Help Wanted!

,Welcome to our blog. We are embarking on a lifelong dream adventure: building our own straw bale home with a modified post and beam structure, on a meadow in need of permacultural lovin'. There is also a masonry heater in the plans. We live off the grid, and get our power from a small, independent (privately owned and managed) hydro electric system on the creek that runs through our land. This glacier water is also used for our drinking water and for irrigation. We are accepting applications from people interested in helping us in any of the many stages of this journey. We can't pay in money, but offer our skills as carpenter and herbalist, as experienced organic gardeners, as well as a part of our off-the-grid-paradise we call home to stay in, organic food to eat, and the best air and water one can ingest as an exchange for help. Families are welcome to apply - we have a small child who loves to play with others. We have a strong desire to share a little bit of our little bit of paradise with others, and to teach what we know. We often hear of people's dreams to get out of the city, out of the rat race, find some wilderness and connect with not only the land, but with the people living on the land. We have enjoyed sharing our life with WWOOFERs (willing workers on organic farms), SOIL apprentices (stewards of irreplaceable lands) and herbal apprentices who all come because they want to see how others live, and to learn new skills without paying lots of money to do so. Their help is in exchange for room, board, and skills sharing. These people come from all walks of life and from all parts of the world, and they use these organizations not only as a way to learn or practice skills, but also as a way to travel, and share, and experience life "outside of the box".

We are in the beginning stages of this project. We have dug and mostly finished a root cellar made out of concrete blocks that will be the basement of our house.
Some of the holes for the footings have been dug. The house plan is almost complete. If you have any interest in participating in any of the stages of this project, including "landscaping" using permacultural methods, please let us know. For accommodations, we offer a tipi, a basic cabin, or acres of land to tent on or bring your camper to. There is a nice guest outhouse, and we can outfit you with a propane stove and a few dishes should you want to have some private meals or a quiet cup of tea. Otherwise, we will share our home (a trailer) with you, where there is a small, but complete kitchen, shower and bath, laundry, internet (hot water and internet are subject to limited use depending on how many people are around) and we have 2 cats as well (they ask that you leave your dogs at home!). An outdoor bathing situation is in the works. We get eggs from our neighbor's organic chickens, though our own chickens using "chicken tractors" are also in the plan. A horse or 2 may be here by the summer of 2008, if our wishes come true. We grow a lot of our own produce, including over 50 varieties of potatoes, many of them heritage varieties, along with our neighbor.
We are situated in the rain shadow of the South Chilcotin Mountains, in the transition zone between the Coastal Range and the Dry Interior of British Columbia, near Lillooet.
We are a 4.5 hour drive from Vancouver, and public transit will get you as far as a couple of hours away; arrangements can be made with suitable folks to be picked up. The valley we live in is proud to have many musicians as residents, so if you play an instrument, be sure to bring it along for music nights. We are meat eaters, but can accommodate vegetarians or vegans. Mountain biking is a popular activity in these parts, so bring your bike and gear for time off. Schedule wise, it will have to be flexible depending on the season, weather, and what else is happening on the farm or with our life outside of house building. Work days will vary from 4 to 8 hours, and everything is by agreement!! We ask that people participate in helping out with regular home life, such as dishes, cooking, etc, as much as possible. Please post a comment here to let us know if you have any questions, or email us: More later~


In Sharing said...

Sounds interesting. I'm currently involved in similar pursuits. How may I contact you?

gillian and jonathan and jamie too said...

hi there

our email is,

tell us about your project!

cheers, gillian

Unknown said...

Hi G and J;

Nice blog and good on ya for getting this project started and making it an interactive effort with friends and soon-to-be friends.

Your invitation is just the kind of thing I like. A vacation with purpose, and I want to be part of it. I'd like to come when you most need help. Assuming it works with my own sched, of course. Do you think you'll post or send emails to folks when you have need of help for particular tasks?


Astrid said...

Congrats you guys! Your story is similar to ours. We're on an acreage north of Grand Forks. We'll most likely be working on our own place this summer, but perhaps we'll make it out your way. And you guys are always welcome out here, too. We have an Airstream as our guest house.

All the best,


roy said...

right on! my dream is to come and live with make the buck creek ranch the place i call home, too. is that possible/reasonable/acceptable?

see you in august...

raw oyster

gillian and jonathan and jamie too said...

Thanks friends for the awesome response. What's that saying, never doubt what a committed group of people can do together? We will definitely send emails and make an announcement on the blog when we need a bunch of hands on deck for a specific project. And i like the description of the holiday with purpose. That reminds me, we'll need to build a sauna and hot tub! We have a great telescope!

Roy Wonder: The possibilities are endless, the feasibility is only in the details, all that's left is the work. Come and talk, hang, hack, sit, August i hope!

Unknown said...

I hope this isn't a repeat of my comment. I've dreamed of building a straw bale house for 20 years! Don't know if we'll ever get around to our own; wish we could help with yours. Teaching summer school this summer, so that won't do; if you still need help next summer, let me know!

derekja said...

Sounds lovely! I wish you all the best. I've built some small straw bale buildings, but nothing as ambitious as a full house. I'll be watching for updates!