Come and play with the plants at Aurora gardens in Nelson, Canada

summer job, seasonal work, voluntouring, picking, harvesting, fruits, opportunities, jobs, strawberries

Volunteer at Aurora Gardens near Harrop on the Northshore

Aurora Gardens volunteer hospitality project – Updated April 2023 – We are asking for 2 hours a day of help in our small organic market garden, in exchange for accommodation and utilities … Helper`s have a private clean room in our home or in one of three of our caravans, camper. Share fully furnished kitchen and living area and laundry, Hi-speed wireless Internet provided. Sorry, we can’t provide meals (except for some garden produce that you can arrange to trade extra hours of help for). We allow Helpers to help for 2 hrs per day or two 7-hour days if they like (or we can arrange for a personal schedule) and have 5 free days for exploring the Kootenays. We have lived here for 38 years and know a lot of people in the area… it seems that lots of locals are looking for some temporary help on & off during the season & will pay for help with various tasks (lawn mowing weeding general gardening & housekeeping.

Volunteers requisites

Apprentices/Helpers should have a serious and genuine interest in learning organic market gardening skills. You must be:

  • teachable,
  • able to follow directions,
  • ask questions as needed,
  • able to work cooperatively with others as well as individually.

You should be reliable, honest, responsible, physically fit, enjoy outdoor work and be able to work in all weather conditions.

Adult oriented (sorry no kids or pets) No smoking in the house. – Please bring appropriate clothing and footwear.

Learning opportunities at Aurora Gardens

You will have an opportunity to learn about organic gardening, permaculture, a large variety of different food plants, drying and processing, as well as local food networks, and what it takes to run a successful small business. As an apprentice/Helper, you will be working with owners & other helpers in the vegetable and berry gardens, planting, weeding, harvesting, mulching, pruning, learning how to make compost, and many more tasks that are all part of growing a successful garden.

The volunteer exchange

Understanding the need for a balance between work and recreation, the work arrangement is different from traditional Helper/Apprentices. You will work for only 14 hours per week in exchange for accommodation and utilities only leaving lots of time for exploring the Kootenays, or for working a paid summer job “off-farm.” It would be up to you to find “off-farm work .”

There are quite a few paid summer jobs in the area.


Helpers have a private space in one of two of our caravans. Share a fully furnished kitchen, living area, and laundry with wireless Internet provided. Sorry, meals are not provided (except for some garden produce that you can arrange to trade extra hours of help for). You will need to have enough monetary funds to supply your own food & personal needs.
Aurora Gardens is an easy 20-minute car ride from the cafes, pubs and stores of Nelson, and 10 minutes from Balfour. There is a very dependable bus service available just a minute from the garden to get you to Nelson and other destinations.

Things to do in your free time

There is a forest to explore above the property with many hiking and biking trails. Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park is a 10min bicycle ride. A semi-private beach is just 5 minutes down the road for swimming, fishing, canoeing and kayaking. There are bikes for you to use, a badminton court, and two hammocks under the walnut tree as well as a fire pit to cosy up to & enjoy with friends on those starry nights.

About Aurora Gardens

Certified with Kootney Mountain Grown, we have been running the market garden for 15 years. Sustainability is the cornerstone of this operation: from companion and small plot planting to soil replenishment, with an emphasis on mulching and composting. Having volunteers to help & learn beside us on the land allows us to be more self-sufficient, less dependent on the fossil fuel culture and to work in harmony with nature. Our food source is one of the most important issues of our time. We encourage everyone to grow their own garden food or to be involved in some way with local food systems.

There is a wonderful difference between food grown by hand, with care and integrity at home, and mechanized industrial farming which has put much of our land base in jeopardy. We grow many different edibles, trying new ones and techniques each year.

Day help option for local volunteers

We are also looking for day help in the gardens. Will trade garden produce for help ($15.00 per hour credit).



Aurora Gardens FB page:

Aurora Gardens Facebook Page

More information:

This announcement was posted by Brenda on our FB volunteer group

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Author: Voluntouring staff

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