We did it: Moving from the city to the homestead

It's late, almost my bedtime late; the house is dark, the dogs are asleep, and I can hear sawing downstairs. Yes, Cameron is in the basement sawing some handcut boards (made from trees on the property) to make a bench/shoe rack since the boots seems to be falling all over each other and driving him bonkers. Evenings now are so different from a year ago, when Cam would be coming home from a long day of work and we would have a few moments to chat before going to bed exhausted from the work days we had just had, now we have made it down to the property, we had so long dreamed about living on full time, and our evenings are relaxing and quiet, with the exception of the sound of a saw or a baby crying... right, yep, I said a baby...

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The 'why' in the plan

Why? Why do I want to live off the grid, in the back country, growing my own food, and working outside all day? Why, oh, why? Yeah, you probably already know the answer to this because you have that same feeling in the pit of your stomach, the same feeling that I will describe for you in five bulletin points. You got it, The Five Reasons I Want to Live In the Country, and no, having a horse or being a horse 'person' is not on that list. Sorry horse people.

1. Hearing the song Mushaboom*

Years ago, in high-school, I had a friend who lived in the country, an hour outside of Ottawa, where I grew up. Her parents had the cutest place on a small lake with a big garden, and we would go there and party mostly, but we would also drink tea and look out the big windows and listen to old records, and it was great. And before that, in primary school, my best friend and I would watch Martha Stewart marathons and we both wanted to be her so badly. Well, her, but cooler. Wanting to be Martha and live how my friend did in the country did not formalize into a homesteading dream until I heard Mushaboom. I'm pretty sure I was living in Northern BC at the time, and that song spoke to me, I thought Leslie Feist wrote it for me. Like she stepped into my mind and pulled out all of my dreams I hadn't dreamt yet and wrote a song about it. The dirt rodeknee deep snowwatching the fire as we grow? That was it, I was sold. And then the staff at the pub where I worked, put the song on the evening playlist and I listened to it on repeat for five years, forever cementing that dream in my mind. And it wasn't until years later, when I met my partner, that I realized that dream was possible.

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My future friend I haven't met

My partner was concerned that I wouldn’t really like the community where we purchased our homestead. He mentioned the town was a blue-collar town that was in a recession since the mill closed. But we toured the community a bit before buying and I saw they had a yoga studio and coffee shop and I knew it would be great. JKJK, well not really, but sort of. I did a bit more research than that, but it was the yoga studio that sold me. Of course I still had some doubts in the back of my mind that maybe my partner is right and it would only be after we lived down there full time that I would discover that the community is filled with some grumpy rednecks and that the yoga studio only offers yin yoga and I would feel like the only left-wing homesteader in the area. Luckily, I am now quite confident that the community is perfect, and there are some like-minded people there already.  I figured this out after spending our first night there…

Last summer we booked two weeks off work and went down to the property for a nice holiday/mini reno, but that is another story (the story of the mold room…) So after arriving late on Friday night, we awoke hungry and decided to nip in to town for a nice breakfast. On our way in we saw a sign that said the farmers market was on that day. Those that know me, know that I love farmer’s markets. It is this fantastic place where like-minded people get together to sell local food and talk about ethical farming practices. Aka. Heaven. So we get to the market, and I am already on cloud nine. They have all different types of booths: baked bread, dried garlic, veggies, samosas, fishing lures, essential oils, and really I could go on and on. And what do I see, a lady with cords on and I knew I was right at home and we had probably picked THE best community to live in (near actually, about twenty minutes). You see, she wasn’t any lady with cords on, she also had on an old t-shirt, she was carrying a basket for her farmer’s market pics, she didn’t dye her hair, and she had a couple of kids in tow. This is like the trifecta of the person I would want to be friends with; I too don’t die my hair, I also have a basket for my farmer’s market goodies, I like old t-shirts, I don’t have cords, but hers were cool, and I don’t have kids, but I hope too when I live there. So yeah, a ten on the potential friend scale. And no, I did not creep out and try to befriend her, but someday I am sure we will be besties and we can laugh about that fateful day.

So my friends, you can see how the lady with the cords, combined with the farmer’s market, really solidified my contentment of our location selection. Prior to this, we had also met our super awesome neighbours, which was actually enough for me to know it was home, but the cord lady really locked it in. And another time, I will tell you about our awesome borscht making, bean growing, log home building, home brewing neighbours.

Later on, at the cute café, I overhead some young families (mid-twenties) talking about their backyard chickens, cool right?