The health and well being of all our friends, learners, volunteers and guests at the Doighouse Learning Centre is always our top priority. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic front and centre on all our minds we will not be accepting volunteers at this time.  

Please feel free to contact us at theDoighouse@gmail.com

2021 Opportunities

We are welcoming volunteers to learn and help us build a 2 bedroom ‘Earthship inspired’ home on Vancouver island and to help develop our community gardens and learning centre.

No experience is necessary; however natural building, construction skills are preferred.  A passion for natural building and/or growing is desirable. Our Earthship build season is May to October. 

We are looking for builders and/or garden helpers willing to commit to three weeks or longer . Can’t stay that long… join us for a short stay or working bee.


1171 tires have been placed, filled, pounded and leveled and are now waiting for the installation of the bond beam.  Water cisterns are installed – pack out has begun.  Before July we will focus on finishing pack out, building the grey water greenhouse planters.

We’ll also be hosting a two week workshop on roof and greenhouse construction, interior walls and pack out.  The hard physical work of tire pounding is basically complete! In this workshop you will be learning how to build the 2 font faces of the based on Earthship constructions methodologies, with modifications for a rainforest climate.  As important as getting the tires in place was, it’s all about  learning how and having fun.  Bring your sense of humour, your muscles and your brain!

Community Gardens

Our food forest was planted 2 summers ago; our young fruit & nut trees and berry bushes all need tender loving care to help them along.  We have plans for 12 community garden boxes build from waste wood salvaged from our sawmill, and are building a giant sunflower shaped garden.  There is lots of building, planting, tending and harvesting to be done.  We use mostly hand-tools, although there is a small tractor if needed.  Bring your creativity, plant knowledge (or willingness to learn) and your patience.  We are all learning!


We are off grid and very rustic.  If you love the outdoors, you will love this. You will have a place to pitch your tent, or park your RV (no hookups) on the edge of the forest.  We have an outdoor solar shower – very cute – but if you want real running hot water, a quick bike ride to the local campground and for a buck or two you can have a hot shower! Our outhouse is not smelly and we use real toilet paper – not old magazines and phone books.

Meals are prepared and served in The Bear Paw Cafe – named for last summer’s early morning guests (2 black bears) our compact outdoor kitchen includes a stove, fridge, cook top, double sinks, cutlery, dishes, pots n pans and all the basics to cook a meal. 

We prepare a full lunch and assist in the prep for dinner.  Dishes and kitchen clean up is the responsibility of all.

The kitchen is stocked with all the basics for breakfast – guests get themselves up and organized for the day’s start. There is a chalk board for you to add to the grocery list. We prepare a healthy and nutritious lunch and assist in the prep for dinner. Lunch is typically a soup, sandwich, salad, dessert, and coffee, tea.  The menu rotates often… we prefer vegetarian, but can complement with seafood, meat and dairy depending on the guests needs, desires and food sensitivities.

Fresh drinking water is available at no charge to fill your own reusable container.

Dinner is a shared event, guests and visitors help  in the preparation. The kitchen is kept clean and tidy.  Dishes and kitchen clean up is the responsibility of all.

Saturday and Sunday you are on your own, help yourself to leftovers in the fridge, pack a lunch, take a buddy or two (or more) and find something to do. There are occasionally special Sunday dinners… we’ll make sure you know in advance!

Email susanmdoig@gmail.com for an application and information package.

you bring

  • positive attitude
  • sense of humour
  • willingness to work hard and enjoy the process
  • desire to build community and contribute to a positive experience
  • ability to commit to working for a period time
  • interest and/or knowledge in permaculture, natural building, including earthship construction
  • work boots, gloves

we provide

  • tent space, RV parking (no services).
  • the  basic breakfast ingredients in a communal kitchen
  • a full, nutritious lunch and snacks Monday to Friday
  • Dinner is potluck or your own arrangements. Kitchen is available for you to use.
  • equipment, tools

summer 2020 work plan

Our focus for summer 2019 was finishing the tire pounding of the rear and wing walls and the tire foundation in the green house.

With 1171 tires completed we are ready for Summer 2020!  We will be preparation for and installation of the roof, 2 front faces, some bottle work, packout and cobbing.

The gardens and food forest development, care and harvesting is another opportunity to share you skills, or desire to learn.

volunteer stays

We welcome you to come, stay and pitch in for a minimum of three weeks. It is a wonderful way to meet others interested in natural building, especially Earthship construction. Your stay includes kitchen access for breakfast and dinner, a full lunch, and a space to tent. We have an outdoor shower you are welcome to use.

working bees

We host 3 weekend working bees one each in June, July and August. Your stay includes kitchen access for breakfast, a full lunch, a potluck dinner and a space to tent. We have an outdoor shower you are welcome to use.

Things to do (besides work)

All work and no play is no way to spend your life. There are so many things to do on Vancouver island, the local islands and in our area. Except for our 3 working bees, we take Saturday and Sunday off, so do our volunteers, so that we can rest, recharge and have time to play.

theDoighouse radically sustainable, 'Earthship' inspired, off grid home, food forest and Learning Centre on Vancouver Island, BC