Saturday, 17 December 2011

28 Months (Part One)

While I dream of producing EVERYTHING we consume here on our land, at this time, it isn't yet feasible.  Baby steps.

During the last 28 months, we have drastically changed how we live and eat.  We are not purists and we have not "arrived".  We are simply doing the best we can each day, while challenging ourselves to do more and learn more each year.  There are still old habits to break and a great many sustainable solutions to find.

This land of ours was barren when we arrived in September of 2009.  Literally bare, save a few potentilla shrubs and a perimeter tree line.  The ground was hard, dry and covered with drought stricken, chemically treated grass.

It has been a HUGE undertaking to establish a large (fenced) garden, a small orchard, soft fruit canes/plants and suitable, rotational hen accommodation all the while raising 5 kids and renovating our home ourselves.  Wow.  That's a lot of work in 28 months.

While we do have a long way to go, in 28 months, we have done all of the above and this means that NOW instead of shopping weekly at the store for ALL the food to feed 7 people, we:

* grow and store approximately 90% of our vegetables, buying only occasional items.  Our "cellar" stores should last us until April, I figure.

* grow a respectable portion of our fruit (our fruit trees and soft fruit canes/plants are still young, but we hope that the yield will increase over the next few years).  What we can't/don't yet grow, we source through local means (freecycle, u-pick).  We also support a certified organic farm in the Okanagan to buy stone fruit.  A friend goes every year to holiday and bring a truckload of organic goodness back from that family farm.

* source ALL of our pastured meat through local producers (friends with a small hobby farm, Serben Free RangeIrvings Farm Fresh)

* source our organic heritage wheat in bulk through Gold Forest Grains.  I can't get much more local than this - he's a stone's throw away...

* produce all of our own eggs

* make our own cultured dairy products (we are hoping, wishing and waiting for raw milk to one day be legalized in Canada as it would be our preference)

I look to many people for information and guidance in this endeavour, largely Kevin Kossowan and Throwback At Trapper Creek.  To both of you, I send my thanks and humble gratitude.  I am a student with much to learn.

Part 2 to follow...


  1. You are hard-working and smart! I appreciate learning from your blog. love,andrea

  2. You are doing a lot better than I am and I have been at it for years.

  3. Good result Sherri in just Part 1. I think assessing what we have achieved already is both wise and encouraging.

  4. Yes, Rose, you are so right. I have been feeling down lately about things I wanted to do this year but didn't have time to. Silly, really. I am too hard on myself. When Kelly had to leave for out of town work, the tables really turned and it's been hard to do anything extra. I needed to ground myself and really think about what we HAVE accomplished.

  5. Your accomplishments thus far are nothing short of amazing! Truly, I know the extent of the work Involved in the things on your list, and i admire your commitment to the values which these stem from. You have much to be proud of!!

  6. Wow-I think what you have accomplished is very impressive. I know, too,how much work it is to raise a family, work on a house that needs renovation, and produce as much of your own food as possible~it makes me tired just thinking of it! Ha~ Give yourself a pat on the back for all you do and have done.

    I would love to hear how you made the decision to leave the city and what motivated you to make such a big change- if you care to share that sometime. I think it would make a great post. Thanks for your blog- it is very interesting and informative!


  7. Sherrie, I always love reading your posts....I especially love your passion and your energy.
    Girlfriend; if I had half the energy you have, I'd be a happy gal. Your workload amazes me as everything I do is just to compliment what I buy, and not the other way around. I'm sure your family are very proud of you too. I can't wait to read part 2. You are a true inspiration with all that you have accomplished in such a short time.

  8. You are living the dream! Your hard work and efforts are both admirable and encouraging. I would love to pursue this as well when the time is right for us. You are doing such a wonderful job :) Keep up the good work, your hard work and dedication is such a wonderful example to your children..and the rest of us!

  9. you are living my dream!!!!
    great post.
    i wish you and your family a wonderful christmas and a happy new year!!
    love and hugs,

  10. This is so good! Thankyou for a wonderful post, and have great family Christmas!