WWOOF at Blue Jay Lake
Please see our contact page for directions to the farm, including driving, hitchhiking and public transit options. WWOOFers, please respect farm biosecurity: Do not bring any produce that could grow in this region (especially apples and blueberries), soil, or animal products into our farm. Thank-you for helping us protect our animals and food crops from disease.
The WWOOF Agreement
Blue Jay Lake farm hosts volunteers mainly through the WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) network, and also through the SOIL (Stewards of Irreplaceable Land) program, with arrangements similar to those of WWOOFing. These are opportunities to live and learn at Blue Jay Lake farm in exchange for helping out with farm jobs. We operate year round, have WWOOFers that are both long-term residents and short-term volunteers, and offer a diversity of farms tasks as well as opportunities for learning and exploring the area. There is usually anywhere from 5-10 people living at the farm at any given time including the farm family and others with varied arrangements.
We love good food and enjoy cooking and eating together. We are happy to accommodate vegetarians. Breakfast and supper are shared with WWOOFers and the farm family every day, and you are welcome to prepare a lunch of farm goodies if you desire. We make our own butter, yoghurt and cheese and we preserve vegetables, fruit, meat and fish so that we may enjoy our bounty year round.
A work trade (WWOOFing) arrangement entails 30 hours of work per week, some of which is made up of daily chores like cooking, housekeeping, and animal care. The remainder of the 30 hours is made up of other farm jobs, with plenty of flexibility in scheduling – which allows for an afternoon dip in the lake, or working early/late to beat the heat in the summer. We have a farm meeting every morning to check-in with each other, discuss which jobs are priorities for the day, and ensure we each feel able, supported and interested in the tasks we take on. Common jobs include gardening, stacking firewood, maintaining the farm grounds and buildings, and processing and preserving the harvest. Everyone has one full day off per week and weekends that are free from farm work (we do still have weekend chores).
Living at the Farm
As we are off-grid, we conserve energy and strive for a low impact lifestyle. Lodging options vary seasonally and with availability and may include tenting by the lake, sharing a clean, comfortable cabin or space in the farm house. Washroom facilities with a hot shower and composting toilets, as well as laundry facilities are located in the main farm house and shared between WWOOFers and the farm family.
Suggested items to bring: work clothes (you'll be gettin' down and dirty), an alarm clock that doesn't require electricity, a headlamp/flashlight, rubber boots (even in the summer boots are useful for mucky barn chores), sun protection in the summer (a hat, long, light clothing and/or sunscreen), raingear in the spring/fall/winter, swimming paraphernalia for the lakes, warm outerwear for the winter. We know that WWOOFers are often travelling and need to pack light: bringing your own rubber boots, rain wear, etc. ensures that your gear fits and suits your preferences, though the farm does have extra of these bulkier items available to borrow if you aren't able to bring your own.
Cortes Island is a special place, with a vibrant and eclectic community of alternatively minded people. There is plenty to explore and hitchhiking or biking are easy ways to get around. Summer is great for swimming, in one of the three private lakes, canoeing, kayaking and fishing. In the winter you can soak in the hot tubs and venture onto the lake with skates. There are many hiking and biking trails running right from the farm gate, as well as plentiful wildlife and solitude.