Workaway 2017

August 31, 2017

Darlene and Ken with Andrea, Cristiana and Stevie (and Hanna)

Earlier this year, we signed up for a program called Workaway. Workaway promotes volunteering, work and cultural exchange around the world. In a nutshell, as a Workaway host, we can host visiting travelers at our property and in exchange for 20 to 25 hours of work a week, we will provide them with a room and board. To date, we have hosted four travellers interested in experiencing off grid living and a vegan lifestyle.

Our first Workaway was a young man from Great Britain – Shahyan. He housesat for us while we were visiting the kids this spring. In exchange for watching our pets, taking care of the garden, and doing some chores, we provided him with a stocked pantry and a selection of frozen home cooked plant based meals. The experience was very positive. He did have a bit of bad luck hauling in some trees with the tractor (blew a tire) and working the water pump for the garden (put in diesel instead of gas – but not his fault, the gas can was not labelled); however, he did manage to split a whole pile of firewood for us and took great care of Hanna and Sox.

Making beet salad is bloody work!

Our next Workaway was a young lady from New Zealand – Stevie -who contacted us because she was interested in learning more about the Whole Food Plant Based way of eating. While  not a vegetarian, she had no problem adapting to our vegan lifestyle. She has been a great help with the garden – weeding, harvesting and preserving – and with the cooking and landscape projects. I have really enjoyed her company. She hates to follow a recipe and constantly challenges me to step outside my comfort zone. She is also crazy about beets (or beet root as the Kiwis call it) and I have really made great use of the beets in my garden this year. Stevie is still with us for a few more weeks when she moves on to her next adventure.

Building a stone retaining wall for the Patio

Our last Workawayers were a couple from Italy – Andrea and Cristiana. Andrea is a vegan and Cristiana agreed to give it a try for the two weeks she was with us. There was no shortage of fun and laughs while they were with us. Andrea was a great help to Ken on various projects including splitting and stacking wood and building a stone retaining wall for the patio.

Yoga on the deck





Cristiana served as our yoga instructor, spent countless hours washing dishes and tried her hand on creating vegan desserts, including Energy Balls and a No Bake Chocolate Pumpkin Pie.

Our outdoor kitchen got used a lot this August. Ken got the water hooked up to the sink and we had a professional hook up the propane to the gas cooktop. So nice to enjoy the outdoors while cooking.

Andrea is an accomplished Italian vegan cook  and I enjoyed learning from him. He cooked us Potatoes, Pasta e Pesto; Pasta Salentina; Pomodoro e Basilica; and Potatoes with Crema de Fava.

Chef Andrea






Making Pysanky





While Stevie, Andrea and Cristiana were here we also enjoyed showing them our Ukrainian Culture and the best of the Canadian prairies. They tried their hands at making pysanky (Ukrainian Easter Eggs), borshch (Beet Soup) and bread. They biked and ran the quite country roads and kayaked on the lake. They saw bison up close, as well as numerous other wild life. And they had the opportunity to see up close how grain is swathed and combined.

Baking Bread

Andrea catches a garter snake








Bison up close


Enjoying a picnic at the lake








Thanks to our workawayers help, our woodshed is stacked with wood for the winter and the wood for the following winter is split, stacked and drying. And we have a good start on the landscaping on the lake side.

Filling the woodshed for the winter

Laundry day – Hanging clothes to dry

‘Top and Tailing’ green beans for freezing while sitting on the front porch swing.


About Darlene & Ken

Experiencing life off the grid, building a home, and trying to live sustainably.
This entry was posted in Cooking, Decks, Food, Fun, Kitchen, Landscaping, Outside living space and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Workaway 2017

  1. Astrid would like to apply to be a Workaway in the summer of 2022.

  2. Cristiana says:

    It was a very big surprise to find this post, we miss ponderosa so much .. For everyone is following this blog, we suggest you to visit them for and experience full of fun and laugh (and food 😀 )

    • We miss you here Cristiana and Andrea. We are still doing morning yoga but miss your leadership and expertise but we days do one more bridge pose, the best you can, just for you. Come back to visit some time.

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