Welcome to EcoReality!
- We do our best to be very open and friendly, please make yourself at home and don't be afraid to ask where anything is.
- The farm is owned as a co-op. You can find out more at www.EcoReality.org.
- The address is: 2152/2172 Fulford-Ganges Road, V8K 1Z7, 250.653.2024 (map) (email).
- We are approximately 3km from Fulford Harbour ferry, 10km from Ganges, 18km from Vesuvius ferry, and 16km from Long Harbour ferry.
- Hitchhiking is common on the island and most folks can get where they need to go with their thumb and some patience.
- There is local bus service during business hours, Monday through Saturday, from the ferries and Ganges.
- We have a page with detailed directions on how to get to EcoReality.
- The phone number here is 250-653-2024.
- There are many people using this phone. Please ask before using it and keep phone calls short. If you need to make or take a longer call, please check with others to be sure they aren't expecting a call or need to make a call soon.
- Incoming calls take priority! The phone service has "call waiting." If you hear beeps while on a call, switch to the new call by quickly depressing the hang-up switch, then either take a message, or quickly end your call so the other call can be taken.
- This phone line has no long distance capability. You can borrow our prepaid calling card if needed.
- Some cell phones work well here (Rodgers), others (Telus) just barely or not at all.
- We have an open wireless, over which you can use Skype, iChat, or other voice-over-IP (VOIP) Internet telephone software.
- The items in the yellow house and white house are owned by residents. Please be respectful and careful of the use of items in the houses.
- Please use coasters under liquid drinks.
- We have a lot of cool things here, tools, instruments, vehicles, gardens, more. Feel free to look and explore. Please ask before using something and feel free to offer suggestions and/or advice on anything you see.
- Please ask before playing the instruments you see, they are very fragile and loved items. We love there to be music in the house, but some instruments may have special instructions or require special treatment.
- Do not use any tools -- especially power tools -- without asking permission and getting training on safety and proper use.
- When you use anything -- a tool, book, movie, kitchen stuff, etc. put it back where you found it when you're done, in the condition you found it. Notify the item's steward or any resident if an item requires care or maintenance. If you are not sure where it goes, ask!
- We have an extensive 1,200 volume library, organized by Dewey Decimal System, on diverse topics from Agriculture to Zoology. Feel free to browse, but please put books back where you find them. If it is not clear from the spine label where a book should go, ask someone for help. If you want to use a book for more than a short time, please log the book in the sign-out sheet at the end of the shelving.
- There are two cats, Blossom and Patches. They are indoor-only cats. Although they are unlikely to make a dash for the outside, please keep outside doors closed to avoid temptation.
- There are a few "sleeping rooms" that will change from time to time. All are on a first-come, first-served basis.
- There are foam pads and a couch for overflow sleeping.
- Tenting space is available -- please check with us before setting up. Tenters will want to bring their own sleeping pad. If you cannot supply your own sleeping bag, make sure we know in advance.
- "Quiet hours" are from 10PM to 8AM. Please refrain from loud music, television, or conversation during these hours, unless you have consulted every single person in the house, or they all are awake and being loud as well, such as a party. (And even in those cases, don't get so loud as to disturb the neighbors!) Please do not monopolize shared space outside of quiet hours.
- Please keep your belongings in your sleeping area to avoid clutter in common areas.
- We'd like you to bring your own sleeping bag and pillow, to make it easier for us to deal with sheets and such. If you need bedding, please let Carol know in advance and ask her about the procedure.
- We are a shoes free house (see high horse for further explanation) -- or indoor slippers/sandals -- even if we forget that ourselves sometimes, please help us in keeping the floors clean. We have guest slippers if you didn't bring any.
- There are three washrooms in the yellow house; the one on the main floor, next to the kitchen, is for everyone -- please help keep it clean. The one on the upper floor is primarily for Jan & Carol, who live up there. The one downstairs is mainly for wwoof guests. Please use this one for your main use and keep your toiletries there. (If you're desperate, you can use any of them.)
- There are towels in the closet in the main floor bathroom for guests. If you don't have one, please ask which ones are for guests. If you are going to use it more than once, please hang it on a hook on the back of the bathroom door or on the towel bar. When you are done with it, please drape it over the white basket in the laundry room if it is still wet, otherwise, put it in the same basket.
- In an effort to save water, please don't flush pee. To return borrowed nutrients to the earth, feel free to pee outside.
- Please ask about the laundry, we try to maximize loads.
- We have an open wireless system you can use to access the Internet.
Food and Kitchen
- We are a vegetarian household and do not cook or store meat in the house. If for some special reason, you need to store or prepare meat, please discuss it with us first.
- We don't do well by strict vegans, as we have our own eggs and milk to deal with.
- Please inform us in advance of any special dietary needs. If you don't, you'll either eat what we fix, or go hungry!
- Please ask before using anything in the kitchen. Some items have specific uses.
- We use the dishwasher as a drying rack unless there is a large load to do. When used for drying, please leave it open so things will dry.
- There are four compost buckets in the kitchen:
- The large white one is for the goats, who appreciate broccoli stems, carrot tops, apple cores, and other vegetable cuttings. If in doubt, you can try hand-feeding the goats, and if they won't eat it, the chickens probably will.
- The small black one with the lid is for the chickens. Please don't put onions, garlic, citrus, or anything with strong odors in this bucket. If you don't clean your plate, please scrap it into the chicken bucket.
- The metal one is for everything else organic, including tea bags. When it is full, please ask Carol which compost pile to empty it into.
- There is one labelled "Coffee Grounds" that is for (you guessed it!) coffee grounds.
- After emptying any compost bucket, please rinse the bucket and pour the water onto the compost, removing as much of the contents as possible. When you return the bucket to the kitchen, please wash it to keep odors down.
- If you harvest any food, from the garden or elsewhere, for any reason, please weigh it and record it. Ask if you don't know where to weigh and record. This is vital for tax purposes, and for making plans in the future.
- Before doing any cooking or cleaning up in the kitchen, please check with Carol first and then refer to the page called in the kitchen, which has some specific information for kitchen use. This is also posted on the pantry in the kitchen.
- We recycle just about everything; please help us to throw out as little garbage as possible. There is a sorting system, please ask where things go. If there is paper that can't be recycled, please put it in the bucket by the wood stove. If you are not sure about where something goes, it is OK to ask!
- It may be many weeks before the waste can under the sink is emptied. Do not put any organic waste in the trash. Wash organic matter off non-recyclable waste so the waste can doesn't stink.
- Please do not take any glassware outside. There are some plastic mugs and glasses for outdoors.
- We normally expect guests to take part in community meals. Please do not plan to bring your own food and/or cook for yourself without asking first.
- We may have various livestock here from time to time. Please keep gates closed, and ask what to do if you discover livestock where they don't seem to belong.
- Please respect all tools and clean garden tools before putting them away after using at the end of the day. Tools left out in the rain rust.
- Please check in with us before walking on any of the neighbours' property.
- Please do not smoke on the property. This does not mean dropping your butts at the end of the driveway! If you are seriously addicted, or have medical or religious need to smoke, please discuss this with residents to come to an appropriate arrangement. Field-strip your butts (that means remove the filter and paper from the tobacco), put the paper in the woodstove or burn pile, and compost the tobacco. Because of the smell of the tobacco, please ask about where to dispose of the filter.
- Please get training from any resident before using a wood stove.
- There is wood in the woodshed between the two houses.
- There is a fire extinguisher between each woodstove and the nearest exit — please make sure you know where it is.
- Please make sure the fire is under control. Please damper the fire down if you are leaving the room for any length of time.
- Do not turn on baseboard heat without asking. We have extra blankets!
- Please be sure outside doors are latched. They have been weather-stripped, and may require a good push to latch.
- If you work at a work party or other organized volunteer activity for six hours per day, you receive a night's lodging and three meals in exchange for your work. (Please see also the volunteer FAQ.)
- If you are not a working guest, we request a voluntary donation to help offset the cost of having you here.
- We suggest a voluntary donation for overnight accommodations of $25/night indoors and $5/night camping.
- We suggest voluntary donations for meals of $7 for breakfast, $9 for lunch, and $9 for dinner.
- If you are coming with a family, talk to us in advance about the suggested donation amounts. In our experience, every family is different and we are open to communicating about your needs and our expenses.
- This is truly a voluntary donation system. We appreciate whatever you can justify, afford, and joyously give, keeping in mind that B&B accommodations on Salt Spring run as much as $150 a night. The suggested amount goes to your house hosts, who bear all the costs of running the household. Anything you contribute over the suggested amount goes to EcoReality co-op, to be used for building the ecovillage.
- Although we have some extras, you are expected to have basic work clothing, including rain wear, footwear that can handle mud, durable clothing, and gloves. If specific tool use requires special safety gear, we will supply it while you use that tool.
- We will do our utmost to provide you the healthiest, safest possible work and play environment, but you acknowledge that you are ultimately responsible for your own health and safety as well as Worker's Compensation Board (WCB) coverage.
- If you are coming from outside British Columbia, you may not be covered by provincial health care, and should provide your own health insurance.
Please sign our guest book and add any comments about your stay before you leave. Doodles, sketches, poetry, etc. are all welcome in the guest book! Thank you, and we hope you enjoy your lovely stay with us!
I have read the EcoReality welcome letter, and agree to abide by it:
____________________________________________________________________ Printed Name
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