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,