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The Little Farm That Wasn’t

We’ve been gardening for so long I don’t really remember how we got started. We found our property in River John after leaving Alberta and dug a little plot for our first garden. It seemed like the thing to do here. Everyone had a garden. I remember being too late on the tomatoes and mostly growing rescues from the garden centre. It quickly became an obsession.

From there we moved to a larger property and started at the farmers market selling soups and pickles. It was the time of my life. The rush at the end of the week to have everything ready and then lovely Saturday market mornings. Sadly I didn’t get to enjoy much of the experience myself as I was stuck at home with two young kids and pregnant with my third. During my pregnancy I lost my beloved grandmother suddenly and then had my first flare of what would be later diagnosed as an autoimmune disease. Shortly after our son was born, my husband started his job as a causal on call and the market became harder and harder to pull off.

During the next 5 years we tried to get back but between his job, lack of money, another severe flare that put me in the hospital and losing two more farm properties within 2 years, it was impossible. The only thing that kept me going is the hope that someday we would have our dream homestead. We put any extra money we had into our dream and used broken tools and recycled broken pots for years. Anything to keep going. Our proudest moment was building our own greenhouse after losing the one on our previous farm property.

Despite being let down by doctors for years I refused to give up and became inspired to heal myself through diet and herbalism. I spent a year studying herbal medicine and nutrition online while my husband went back to culinary school to become red seal certified. We eventually came to the conclusion that food can be used as medicine and gut health is the most important thing for avoiding disease. As total foodies, we wanted to make it delicious as well.

After losing yet another home, we were blessed with a small property in the suburbs with a gracious landlord who gave us permission to put in some plots, our greenhouse and coop. I decided I was not going to let this stop me and switched my studies to urban farming and small scale homesteading. I was smitten with the world of no dig market gardens and tiny farms. I loved studying permaculture and learning to find my “edges”.

To look at our house you wouldn’t think farm or homestead. Most people have no idea there’s a large greenhouse full of food, beehives and chicken coop in the backyard. I am inspired more than ever to use this opportunity to learn to farm from anywhere and teach others to do the same. We hope to use this blog to collect the knowledge we’ve learned over the years to share with others. We aren’t “professionals” in any one subject but we hope to help anyway we can to spread this lifestyle and feed the community food that will heal.