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These tips will help you grow the "CLEANEST", strongest and most productive vegetable patch ever.


One Week Garden Experiences Available Now!

by | Jan 10, 2019 | Food, GARDENING | 0 comments


Professional Horticulturist Donna Balzer is seeking volunteers (“Woofer”-style) to help with her organic zone 7 edible garden on Vancouver Island. This large plot offers extensive learning opportunities to a Horticulture student or graduate of a Permaculture Program. Work may include: pruning small fruit, propagation from woody cuttings, seeding, transplanting, greenhouse and garden work, weeding, wood mulch spreading and general garden clean-up. Bring ideas and talent, practise what you have learned and come excited to learn more!

What I Offer: A one week mentorship opportunity with bed and board. This is a physically challenging opportunity for one person (max. two people if you are willing to share a bed or if one person wants to stay in a bed & breakfast off-site at their own expense or in our Volkswagon camper van. I expect to spend an educational hour a day with you and in return, get three to four hours of labour daily for five days, rain or shine. 

The bedroom we provide is small but has an ensuite and a view of the ocean. You will be responsible for making  your own breakfast and lunch but dinners will be provided which may include food from our garden (please specify any dietary concerns).

About my garden: I have an organic zone 7 garden with lemons, figs, kiwis, raspberry, persimmon, apple, hazelnuts and grapes as well as two greenhouses with seasonal vegetable plantings. I blend my own organic fertilizers based on soil tests, biochar and home-made compost. I make compost tea, have built a Hugelcultur garden, seed almost year-round, and germination-test my old seeds. Most of the work is outdoors but depending on weather we can also work in the greenhouse, seed micro-greens in the kitchen, clean old pots or sharpen tools. Please expect rain and dress for it.

About our location: My husband and I are on Vancouver Island just north of Nanaimo in the small town of Qualicum Beach. You can arrive by car or plane into Nanaimo, Comox or Vancouver. If you fly into Vancouver there is good bus service to the ferry into Nanaimo (Skytrain and bus to ferry at Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay.) There is a ride service available on the Island to reach our location if you do not have your own car (about $80.00 each way from airport or ferry terminal.) Once here there is no need to drive, as it is a small town and the beach is only a few blocks away. 

How to Apply: Send a one page letter of interest describing your background, goals and reasons why you would like to intern with names and numbers of two references to [email protected] with the heading “Garden Intern 2019 for (choose from dates – either Jan 28-Feb 1, March 4-8 or March 25-29)” in the subject line. Include your email address and phone number and a back-up date if you are not chosen for your first date.

Dates available are: January 28-Feb 1, March 4-8, March 25-29

Note: This is a volunteer, M-F opportunity. Benefits include the loan of my library, wifi, bicycles and kayaks up to and including 4 PM Saturday after your last Friday shift.


Susanna cauliflower was picked in November and was a huge treat for three evening meals.

Straw dropped off yesterday by a neighbor has many uses in my garden. As soil for plants, as a topping for potatoes and as an additive to compost.











PS Do you have questions about Gardening? Join in the conversation on my facebook live event every Monday by clicking right HERE.


 Donna Balzer is the Brand Ambassador for BCGreenhouse Builders and she has two greenhouses in her big backyard.

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