Hi Everyone! I have been a long time lurker on this forum and it feels very awkward to just start posting now after all these years of sneaking away information from this forum quietly. However, the project I am involved in with now is just too good to not to talk about so I thought it is time to share.
My wife and I operated a small regenerative farm for about 6 years. About two years ago we realized that taking care of land is a community venture and not something that is meant to be done by just one family. So we started on a search to find the others and either join or start a community farm. After about a year of searching and many many meetings and site visits we ended up connecting to the Doukhobor community in Kootenays through my wife's family. We lease about 47 acres from them and intend on building a community orchard with the help of the community here. What is very cool is that over 100 years ago Doukhobors had thriving villages and orchards on this site and there are still many fruittrees around here some of which are over a 100 years old! There is very good water on site and the soil is sandy. Soil tests came back encouraging, although after many decades of neglect there is very little organic matter left, so there is a lot of work to do to build up soil nutrient and ecosystems.
We sold our land and most of our possessions, quit our city jobs and moved to the project site about a year ago and are living off-grid in a travel trailer. We plan to use all of our savings to fund this project and support our basic needs for the first 5 years while we build a diversified orchard / food forest for our community. We are working on the business plan and have been taking courses to help us come up with a feasible plan to support ourself after the initial growing phase. We plan to grow and maintain this orchard without use of any pesticides/herbicides/fungicides. Instead we are learning how to create an abundant and healthy ecosystem. We started our journey by moving here and learning by observing the natural environment before we make any permanent decisions about the orchard. We take daily walks in the nearby forest, bathe in the creek and write down notes daily. We do our best to obtain most of our food and medicine from the land. Living here and observing nature has been a transformative and healing experience for both of us. Even though we are just at the beginning of our journey and there are so many challenges and unknown surprises waiting for us. we feel that we have arrived and can finally breathe.
Do you think this forum is a good place to post updates about our project? What kind of things would you like to hear about? If you have any ideas for collaboration please feel free to reach out to me (email@example.com). We are documenting our journey by putting out weekly videos on YouTube whenever possible. I'll put our latest video here. You can also find us on IG and FB by searching for Caspian Acres