It’s been almost one year since Keith Prosser stepped foot onto Woodwynn Farms in Central Saanich. Since then, the experience has changed his life, aiding in his sobriety and bringing back his spirit.
“It means a lot to me to be here,” he told the PNR inside one of the many farm facilities.
Born in Victoria, Prosser said he spent a lot of time in Prince George with his partner of 19 years. They later split up due to his toxic relationship with alcohol, something he’s battled for most of his life.
After his break up, he counted that as an excuse to party and drink.
That same pattern continued after he sold all his things and quit his job as a custom woodworker.
He later moved to Victoria, as he has family here, but he said he just couldn’t stay sober.
“I was just lonely and sad and angry and so I just kept going.”
While in Victoria, he hung out with the wrong crowd and his relationship with his family suffered as a result, due to his constant drinking.
From visiting various treatment centres across B.C., to his continuous battle with alcohol, it was his sister that came up with Woodwynn Farms as a place for Prosser to get the help he so desperately needed.
“My sister actually knew about this place … because of my mom and my grandma. This place has been visited by my family for a long time, for years and years,” said Prosser.
He decided that was the right choice and in March of 2016 came to Woodwynn, a place that, he said, has changed his life for the better.
“I got my spirit back. When I came here my spirit was gone, I had no spirit left.
“That’s why I was going to give up.”
It hasn’t been an easy road, being isolated, giving up drinking and going from couch to couch, hoping for something more.
He said being at Woodwynn forces one to process certain things and through it all, Prosser said he’s maintained his sobriety.
“It’s been very therapeutic and I’ve gotten a lot stronger, and a lot clearer head. This is the clearest my head has ever been.”
He’s now been sober for 10 months straight.
“I just have to remember where I came from and what it did to me and what it did to my family,” said Prosser, adding that his alcoholic ways had him unable to see his two kids.
When it comes to support, Prosser is now able to talk to his children again and is visted often by his brother and sister.
“They’re really happy for me because I’m happy and I’m doing well and I’m strong again,” he said.
Being at Woodwynn has also allowed Prosser to get back to his passion and trade of custom woodworking. He’s gotten to complete lots of projects since last March, making doors for farm structures, a bridge, bird feeders, crates for the farm’s active market and more.
He’s currently making planters for the spring. He added the farm is trying to get a contract from Home Depot for those planters. Prototype work is under way — original designs that are part of his plan to get the Woodwynn wood shop going and running well.
Currently, Prosser is a participant in Woodwynn’s Homefulness Program, a program, he said, where participants share and listen to each others stories and go through their processes together.
“The best thing about this is the time. And the time away from stuff…” said Prosser, adding that his experience with treatment centres was that it didn’t work for him for the long term.
Prosser’s plan after his one year anniversary at Woodwynn is to stick around and help others.
“I would like to be part of seeing this place grow and seeing it able to help more people because it has the potential to help save lots of lives.”
After his interview with the PNR, Prosser walked down the dirt road on the property to the workshop, where he continues to finish up a wooden chest he’s making for his son.
For more information on Woodwynn’s Homefulness program or general information on the markets, visit woodwynnfarms.org.