Tricycle Acres: Permaculture Smallholding Internships in the Kootenays

Posted by Laura Hannant on February 27, 2014 1 Comment

In 2010, our family of three (Shauna, Dylan, and Mia) cashed in our cards and left the sprawling metropolis of Calgary, Alberta. We headed for the hills seeking a simpler life. Since then, we have hardly paused.  Tricycle Acres is the permaculture homestead we have created in British Columbia’s Slocan Valley – a little mountainside heaven with a loving and bustling community at it’s heart, a place where fresh clean water runs strong and the trees are old and diverse.

We have had such a fabulous internship experience over the last 2 years that we are happy to announce we are accepting applications for our 2014 program!  We are currently accepting applications for 1-3 week internships for the April-October 2014 season. This is your chance to get your hands dirty implementing permaculture principles in paradise!

We are going into our fifth season of growing food and building here in the Kootenays, and are looking for eager and hardworking interns to help us implement more permaculture techniques, test theories and explore new integrated systems. Essentially we want WWOOFers who want to dig in to permaculture hands on! We have 2/3 of an acre of organic primary gardens, which employ many interesting techniques; guilds, sheet mulch, companion planting, herb spiral, hugelkultur, etc… along with a newly guilded fruit system, the foundation of a food forest, many established fruit trees and vineyards, 2+ year round creeks, and over 6 acres of mossy diverse mushroomy forest.


Our projects this year have been broken down by season (see below) and we have a pretty clear-as-dirt idea of  what we’ll be doing in these time blocks, and encourage applicants to consider activities and timing when applying.

Early Spring:

  • woodworking / carpentry / pole building
  • willow bed implementation
  • firewood / chainsaw skills + chopping, hauling + stacking
  • seed starting / garden planning / transplanting / soil blocking
  • planting expanded perennial food system
  • Valley Permaculture Guild – permablitzing, tour, learn and implement at other local farms

Early Summer:

  • soil building / compost tea brewing based on soil food web research
  • garden planting / transplanting /guild building
  • woodworking / carpentry / pole building / tree house building
  • wild crafting
  • foraging / harvesting early berries
  • Valley Permaculture Guild – permablitzing, tour, learn and implement at other local farms

Late Summer / Fall

  • harvest , harvest, harvest! / seed collecting
  • canning / drying / preserving
  • mushroom foraging
  • root cellaring / cellar building
  • woodworking / carpentry / pole building
  • firewood / chainsaw skills + chopping, hauling + stacking
  • Valley Permaculture Guild – permablitzing, tour, learn and implement at other local farms


We currently have 26 0 laying heritage hens after our bobcat buffet, who knows by summer we will likely have any number of new critters on the homestead. We have 2 working dogs who keep the beasties away (bearscoyotes & cougars to name a few). We have a top bar bee hive we hope to expand into 2 hives this year, and are considering turkeys as well as ducks and a pond system.

As a tricycle acre intern you will enjoy mainly vegetarian from scratch home cooking but the occasional ethical omnivore meal makes it’s way to the table (unless of course you don’t eat meat then we can easily accommodate this). The  focus of most every meal here is eating seasonal organic and local whole foods. Your host is passionate about food and blogs regularly at eatingwithSOLE .You’ll drink and wash in living mountain fresh creek water from the source, and enjoy a magical forest full of wildlife, wild edibles and medicinal plants, right in the heart of the Kootenays most diverse and wonderful community, with it’s ample art, music, learning living events, rivers and lakes, beaches and mountains to explore.


Your hosts have a wealth of knowledge to share: Shauna is a Certified Permaculture Designer, and Dylan is a Master Carpenter with skills in fabricating just about anything out of just about anything. Shauna was a successful bakery owner in her city life and is passionate about cooking, baking, canning and food preservation, gardening and fiber arts. Together we have a good amount of alternative building experiences including: undertaking an earthship internship, building with straw bale and cobb + rocket stoves, composting toilets, waddle and daubyurt buildinglog building, and of course our favorite building material… GARBAGE! We are a young small family eager and open to constant learning and exploring of new ideas. We also have an extensive permaculture / building / growing / cooking / primitive skills / fiber arts library which can be accessed during your stay. We also have an extra canoe and bicycles interns can use on hot and sunny days off.

In 2012 we hosted 8 interns throughout the season  and in 2013 we hosted 3 full time spring – winter interns and enjoyed the ups and downs of growing food and building in rain and sunshine, and have more than memories to show for it.

Applicants should have reasonable amount of permaculture knowledge, and should be physically able to dig, shovel, lift and haul heavy piles of materials (largely organic inputs). Applicants should also be prepared for near off grid living; no TV, limited internet, limited access to power, be comfortable using a composting toilet outhouse, and a dreamy outdoor shower house heated with a compost pile we need to maintain. We expect interns to not create or bring unnecessary wastes onto our site. We expect any intern to follow the permaculture ethics, and understand that those are our guiding principles. Interns would work 5 days a week, approx 5 hours a day weather and project permitting. Lunch, dinner and accommodations are provided, but interns will need to prepare and provide their own breakfast and are responsible for all of their own dishes, as well as contributing with cleaning and dish washing in the kitchen (to keep your cook happy).

Interested in applying? Email Tricycle Acres for application information:

1 thought on “Tricycle Acres: Permaculture Smallholding Internships in the Kootenays

  1. Hello! My name is Elizabeth and I am very interested in learning more about farming and the farming lifestyle. I am very open to learning anything and everything relating to farming, building, and sustainable living. In the future I hope to open a farming community that is completely sustainable, but for now I need to work, learn, and gain as much knowledge and experience as possible before my dreams can be put into action. Your farm sounds amazing, and I would be excited to learn from you both, especially because it sounds like you have a lot of skills and knowledge that I need to learn to accomplish my dreams. Please e-mail me back and let me know if you still have any openings for apprenticeships this growing season! Have a wonderful day. Love, Elizabeth

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