written by Glenora Farm Coworker Hannah Munro and featured in the Valley Voice in 2017
In January of this year, I boarded a plane from Aberdeen, Scotland headed for Vancouver Island. With a two-year open work permit to Canada and next-to-no plan, I was excited, and a little bit daunted. My first (and ultimately last) stop was to be Glenora Farm.
Nestled in the heart of the Cowichan Valley, Glenora Farm is a small yet vibrant community; a residential home for adults with special needs; a biodynamic farm and now, my home. Approximately twenty ‘companions’ and a further 20 co-workers from all around the world call this place home. Living and working together, the community strives to provide a warm and fulfilling environment for everyone. It quickly became evident very soon after arriving, that my time on the farm was not going to be a short one. Instead I have prolonged my stay here a comical amount of times, and I do not have any plans to move on soon!
It is near impossible to describe an average day on the farm – not one day is the same. Seriously, you NEVER know what to expect. My daily tasks can range anywhere from physical care work, to mucking out the barn, harvesting our garden produce then to swimming lessons, taxi rides and finally home to cook dinner. Oh and laundry – lots of laundry! My job role is endless. Some days thisseems like a daunting, near impossible task to complete, but at least you never get bored. I get to explore different areas of work; from artistic workshops including our weavery, hand bell ensemble & drama workshops, to more land based activities, including gardening and farm & estate work.
Arriving on the farm, I could never have dreamed of the impact it would have upon . Having recently graduated from university and having wandered down many potential career paths, I found myself aching something bigger, with more of a social impact. This job has provided me with more fulfilment and sense of purpose than I believed a job could give me. Helping to contribute to such a wonderful community has been amazing but also on an individual level. The four companions I have lived with for the past 10 months, have become more than clients my friends. We spend our weekends together enjoying mutual hobbies (predominately coffee shop hopping). They have taught me more about myself in the last ten
I hope that the impact has been mutual, and that when I leave I will have left some impression on the community. I have formed some life long friends, learned some valuable life lessons and developed some useful skills. When I eventually have to move on, it will be one of the hardest things to do, but the growth and purpose the farm has placed within me is something I will cherish forever.