Hello, and welcome!
I am the Re-Farmer.
I grew up on a farm, left at age 18, and have been living in the city for pretty much all of the last 30 years. I’ve married, had kids, home schooled them, and moved more than a dozen times, following my husband’s work. The girls are all grown up now, but I managed to convince them that they didn’t have to move out, just because they turned 18. Thank God we did. Over the past few years, a back injury has left my husband disabled, now reliant on a walker and in constant pain. They have been incredible about helping us out.
Meanwhile, things have changed on the family farm that has left the house empty. After much debate, we accepted my mother’s request to move back to the house I grew up in.
There are going to be some pretty massive lifestyle changes involved in going from downtown city living, to rather isolated country life.
This will be our story.
We are now all moved in, and discovering the quirks of our new old home. For the first year, our focus will be on finishing packing up my parents’ things to put in storage, finding and prioritizing what needs to be done around the house as we clean it up – or when things start to leak, break or fall apart – and going through the main yard to see what is already there, what needs to be fixed, pruned, or gotten rid of, and plan on what we want to add ourselves. Do we want to garden? Have chickens or goats? Do we want to build an outdoor cooker? What do we do with all the downed trees? Is that log shed with the caved in roof worth salvaging?
Join us in our journey of discovery.
Update: one year gone by
Well, our first year has certainly been an adventure.
The house and property turned out to be in worse shape than expected. There isn’t much we can to about the state of the house, due to limited finances, but the past summer was focused on clearing out garbage from the various groves of trees around the yard, as well as cleaning and pruning. There were few working tools and equipment left by the time we got here, so we are making do, even as we slowly replace things that were taken. Sadly, at the same time, we are dealing with a situation involving someone who has been vandalizing things. Just before Christmas, there was another incident that we finally have proof for, so the police are now involved.
A lot was accomplished the past year, and there is still much more to do. Ultimately, even with the difficulties and challenges, this move has been a good thing, overall. The relative peace and quiet of country living has been better for my husband’s health, we are loving having deer regularly coming into our yard, feeding them and the birds where we can see them out our living room window, and taking care of what is now 13 outside cats. Oh, and the skunk has been showing up to eat the cat food, too. 😀
In the spring, we plan to continue cleaning and clearing the inner yard and groves – maybe even get a garden in, even if it’s just the small one by the house – get started on the outer yard as well. Little by little, it will get done!
The adventure continues, and I hope you will continue to visit and share our journey!
Update: Jan. 2022
I hadn’t realized how long it has been since this page was updated. The last update was in 2019!
Things in 2020 and 2021 have been… interesting. What with the whole world basically turning upside down over a pandemic in a way it never has before.
For the most part, not much changed in our little corner of the world, and we were incredibly thankful to be living here, and not still in a city! Though we were not really ready for it, we had our first garden in 2020. Thankfully, we had ordered our seeds well before so many others suddenly started gardening, too. We ordered many more seeds and expanded our garden even more for 2021, only to get hit with a severe drought and many heat waves. In 2022, we are expanding the garden again, and will be finally planting trees instead of cutting them down, starting with a “living fence” of nitrogen fixing berry bushes, some Korean Pine, and a couple of Highbush Cranberry. A lot of the plans we had have been shifted and changed, as we focus more on our self sufficiency goals while pushing back our continued clean up plans.
Since we are already pretty isolated, we mostly just did our thing while the world swirled into chaos around it. Living on my husband’s disability income, as much as it limits us, meant we didn’t have the financial hit that others had, other than by the increasing prices. Unfortunately, the government restrictions resulted in my husband getting virtually no health care for the past two years. His pain levels have not improved, and if there has been any change in his heart condition, we don’t know about it. The heart clinic wouldn’t accommodate his disability, so he’s refusing to make the drive to the city anymore. Phone appointments only. Between his pain levels and the government restrictions, he hasn’t even been able to get blood tests done, locally.
We’ve still had to deal with our vandal; after catching him trying to break our gate again, I finally followed the advice the RCMP had been giving me from the beginning and filed for a restraining order. Then the restrictions got even crazier, court dates were repeatedly delayed, and it took a year and going into Case Management – the alternative was waiting another year for a trial date. We worked out an agreement through his lawyer, and we now have a “peace bond”, which our vandal will hopefully follow. However, he retaliated by filing a civil suit against me, and that’s still dragging on, repeatedly delayed. He has no case, but won’t drop it. That’s a layer of stress we don’t need!
The clean up around the property continues, if more slowly. Temporary garden plots have become part of our long term plans to prepare severely depleted soil to eventually plant food trees in. At the same time, we’re harvesting dead spruces that were originally intended for building projects, but are now going to be used to build permanent high raised garden beds. The focus for these are to accommodate mobility and accessibility needs. Hopefully, we will soon be able to incorporate chickens into our self-sufficiency plans, too, but we won’t get those until we have the appropriate shelters they will need, first. Since so many tools and supplies disappeared from the property while it was empty, we are going to have to buy a lot of the building materials, and lumber prices have been well beyond our budget these past two years.
Much has changed in our short term plans, but the long term plans remain the same. We’re just having to be flexible about how we get there!
I hope you enjoy following along with us on our journey.