Hello, and welcome to our farm! We’re Steve and Beth, a couple of adventurous souls making a go of it in the wilds of Ontario, Canada. We like to build things, grow things, break and then fix things, and learn as much as we can along the way. That approach has led us to living off grid in a converted sugar shack on 200 acres of land that we’re busy turning into our dream future. Our friends and family often look at us like we’re crazy, and they might be right!
This all started with a desire to get back to the country. We were living in the city, working on computers, and dreaming of the time when we were kids, growing up under the trees. On weekends we would be out in the woods camping, foraging or tending to trees we were growing on Steve’s parents’ property.
In 2016 we gave up on city life by snapping up an overgrown, neglected parcel of land in Ontario’s snow belt. It came with a broken down dump truck, a burnt out Cadillac, and a sugar shack (emphasis on the shack) full of dried out maple sap tubing and mouse poop. It was perfect! With a little ingenuity and elbow grease, this would become home base for the start of our new life.
We knew the transition from city to country wouldn’t be as easy as flipping a switch. Like Pinky and the Brain, we devised a multi-year plan that included starting an online business so we’d have a source of income, cleaning out and fixing up the sugar shack for human habitation, and planting 75 acres of Pine Nut trees as a longer term investment (and a fun experiment).
After a few years of driving up from the city to spend weekends mucking around with the trees and cobbling together a livable space (do I recommend dragging an IKEA kitchen 1.5 km on a sled in a snowstorm? No, I do not), we decided to make the move for real.
Now that we were in the country full time we had to get a dog! Enter Gus, a lovable scruffball. He’s in charge of team morale and vole harassment.
Over the past couple of years we’ve turned our primary focus from the pine nut trees to growing cold hardy nut and fruit trees. We’ve worked our way up to 15 nut tree varieties and over 100 different fruit-bearing trees and shrubs. Technically, we’re in zone 5a, but have plants that are hardy to zone 2.
As with everything, it’s a process of experimentation through trial and error. With our goals firmly in place, now it’s time for the fun part: figuring out how the heck to reach them!
Whether you’re looking for a little inspiration, a new idea, or just a laugh, we hope you enjoy this snapshot of our life and projects!