The Mull River Farm & Nature Centre is a working farm and nature sanctuary committed to learning and sharing organic farming and permaculture practices, supporting local community projects and protecting and preserving our natural world. We are also passionate about diversity, creativity, mindfulness and positive social action and change. We want to empower others to develop a skill and knowledge base that will help us live more naturally and gently on the earth.
We are also exploring the concept of self-sufficiency. If we step back from consumerism, what are we capable of doing for ourselves and in our smaller communities?
Come Learn With Us.
We practice what we call “curiousity-led-learning” and invite you to become a student with us. Bring your passion for community building, healthy living, farming, plant identification and homesteading and spend some time sharing your gifts with others who share the same commitment.
In addition to being a small working farm, we strive to create learning and living opportunities for nature-passionate and farm-curious people that grow skills and nurture the body, mind and spirit.
The farm offers work and learning opportunities to peace-loving and living individuals wanting to spend a week or more in a community setting, participating in aspects of the farm’s projects.
Maybe you are looking to take some time away from city-life to re-calibrate among the giant spruce trees but want to learn about organic farming at the same time. Maybe you need a little rest in nature, but want to get your hands dirty at the same time. Or perhaps you are seeking a full-time work experience for the whole growing season. If you are a learner, we invite you to consider spending some time with us.
There are three ways to get involved at The Mull River Farm.
For those seeking a full-on, rigorous hands-on learning experience, consider our “Social Action” experience. Work directly with our passionate volunteer coordinator to participate in a variety of experiences including learning how to use power tools, practice basic construction techniques, feed the sheep or chickens, take first aid training, discover the magic of composting, help with our organic farming and homesteading initiatives, forage and process wild food, help out in the larger community and take part in social-action initiatives focused on environmental and climate healing.
It’s not all learning-work though! Each day you will have a couple hours for self-care through art, yoga and mindfulness in a group setting, and of course, take advantage of being in one of the most beautiful natural settings in the world. Borrow one of our bikes and ride into Mabou along the trans-canada trail or one of our kayaks and explore the Mabou River from The Landing. Catch a ride to town, go for a hike or just swing in one of a number of hammocks on site.
Your experience will include three plant-based, farm-produced and locally sourced meals each day, camping in the beautiful forest and meadow setting of Firefly Meadow (we provide equipment if you don’t have it) access 24-7 to a community building where you can meet with others or get out of the weather, and composting toilets. Breakfast and dinner will be cooked over a fire or at our three-season kitchen building and lunch will be at the farm’s main building – “The Table”
Our first year’s visitors will be building a solar shower building for the meadow, but until then, there is an outdoor shower at the Common House as well.
Fee for the Work-Away program is $100/week and includes everything you need to stay. You will need to arrange travel to and from either Sydney, NS, or Port Hawksbury. We are happy to get you to and from either at the beginning and end of your stay.
If you are seeking a more relaxed or perhaps “cerebral” experience, join us in The Circle.
Enjoy camping in your own rig (or tent) in the serene surroundings of mixed forest, rolling meadows, wooded walking trails, ravines, brooks and almost a kilometre of river-front on the Mull River, just five kilometres inland from the west coast of Cape Breton Island and the world famous Cabot Trail.
You will have one of 8 private and level gravel campsites and be surrounded by nature. From your campsite, you can enjoy the day to day activities of the farm gardens and projects which happen inside the circle.
Compost toilets are provided, but you have access to the washroom in the main house if needed. Solar showers are in the works, but until then you can use the shower in the Common House. We are a quiet retreat and generators are not permitted, but on occasion we can provide an electrical hook up at the main house for an additional fee to recharge your batteries.
Breakfast is provided each day in the Common House and you have the opportunity to purchase packed lunches and dinners on most days.
Enjoy our stocked art room, hike marked nature trails, studynatural science in our resource library, participate in yoga and meditation classes and know you are welcome to join in on community activities we get involved in, as you like.
Read the volunteer board for the day, and follow your curiosity. Maybe you would like to help transplant seedlings, or weed the beets. Maybe you help make labels for trees and flowers, or get in on preserving some wild blackberry jam. Maybe picking apples or harvesting choke-cherries is your thing, or clearing trails. Maybe you have research or writing skills you could offer, or you would like to offer an inpromptu workshop on something you are passionate about.
Our minimum requirement for participation at this level is that you provide an hour of food preparation or other garden chore for each day you stay at The Farm. Daily needs will be posted in the Main House. Your work helps to keep our young working participants fed, and contributes to making our daily breakfast possible for all.
Fee for a Circle Stay is $250/week and includes dry- camping in your own rig, access to potable water, full breakfast each day, access to art room, nature trails, programs and a wide variety of experiential learning opportunities. You can purchase packed lunches or dinners most days, with a bit of notice.
While there are fees for the above two stays, you may Come to The Farm as an “Energy Exchanger” – fulfilling one of the core volunteer opportunities needed at the Farm. This could include leading or facilitating a program for other participants, teaching a specialized skill, managing the kitchen or providing grounds-keeping. Watch our “Energy- Exchange” page to see what we are needing.
We strive to provide experiences for passionate nature lovers and activists of all ages, regardless of ability to pay. If fees are a barrier, please contact us to discuss individual arrangements.
We encourage those with the means to consider “paying it forward” with a donation to help subsidize those who may benefit from your gift. We will maintain a fund to assist in these situations.
Where your offerings go:
The Farm is a registered business providing agricultural products (food and food products) and learning opportunities related to farming and ecology.
Financial proceeds from your stay directly support local food projects on the farm, provide employment opportunities for eager young leaders in the environmental action world, and create innovative hands-on learning opportunities that empower people to change their lives and their worlds.
Your energy gift is a direct contribution of your Spirit and Gift of Self, and is irreplaceable and treasured.
Subsidies will be created for those who would benefit and work-exchanges may also be created on occasion, as need dictates.
Projected opening date is the Spring of 2020.
More to come 🙂