Why Horsefly? Why an acreage? Why now?
We've asked ourselves these questions, but some of them were already answered before we'd thought to ask.
We've been on a slowly self-revealing mission toward self-sustainability. It may have started with our home-schooling experience (which proved to us that home-based education is not only possible, but in many ways better than institution-based schooling), or it may have been earlier when our trust the food industry was broken. Since our kids cannot eat most of the products offered in the supermarkets (products, not food!) we've had to become super-sensitive (to the kids' needs, their reactions; and, to the ingredients products list) and super-sensible (in the way we approach food, with regards to consumption, preparation, and presentation).
Why an acreage?
Naturally, this led us to the conclusion that we ought to produce as much of our own food as possible. Gardening would be challenging but possible on our current property, but we cannot have livestock. We'd like to have egg-laying hens, milk-bearing goats, wool-bearing sheep, and an angora rabbit maybe.
We've spent over a year looking for land - anywhere between 5 and 100 acres - as close to here as possible. The Okanagan has a great growing season and lots of sunlight, and although this is ideal for homesteading, it's also amazing for vineyards and golf courses. We quickly found we could not afford to buy much land nearby.
We looked further north, and the Cariboo, which had been calling us all along (our Zirnhelt ears are specially attuned to the call of the Cariboo), became our region of choice - many family members are close by, several towns are served by BCWireless.com, a radio-based high-speed internet service producer, and there are several airports within a 4 hour drive to take me away when I need to be taken away, which occurs, on average, only once every two months. (Williams Lake airport is only 1 hour away, but will not always be the perfect choice.)
When this log home on a 10-acre property appeared, we got to know Horselfy. We liked the community's size - big enough for a school if the girls want to do that, a gas station, and a convenience store - and it's make-up - there's a mix of organic farmers, cowboys and artists (this seems to be a trait of the Cariboo as a whole) that blends well with our owns goals and sensitivities.
We aren't being naive - we expect this to be a lot of work ("But I milked Nanny yesterday"), and a lot of learning ("I guess pine's not going to get us through the night." - I learned this at 3am one December morning in this wood-stove heated cabin a few years ago). We have countless projects already lined up (solar panels/backup power, dining room, guest cabin, workshop, natural pool, etc...), we have not clarified our livestock choices yet (though Poultry 2008 seems to be the current frontrunner) and we haven't even yet sold our house.
However, this doesn't feel like a choice to us, but a required change. Add to what we've listed an increased awareness of carbon footprints, food transportation, and petroleum addiction, then factor in the availability of rural high-speed internet and we knew we had to make this change now.
Why not come by?
We'll always have an open door, and find a bed for any who choose to drop by.
A diary of the projects, hurdles, rewards and family life at we recorded at Wise Acres, our former homestead in Horsefly, BC. (Careers and teenagers have forced us back into the city, at least for a little while.)