The Rural Homesteading Development Project was born out of a love for all things organic, natural, clean, green and a bit tiny.
I grew up in a household where my father was a naturalist by heart with a deep spiritual connection to the Lord through is his gardening and horticulture.
Early summer morning were spent weeding, hoeing and worshiping, and as a child there was no greater joy that to spend time with Dad when he went to the garden.
During the day, my Father worked as what would now be known as a “green” building contractor. His life’s work within the building community gave rise to the R2000 movement in the 70’s and the beginning of alternative heating, solarenergy and more. I grew to love the research, the planning and the implementation of alternative housing, energy as well as the gardening and the quaint homesteading practices of my father.
Living in a rural community after I was married led to 10 years of wonder at all the farming and homesteading practices of rural New Brunswick. Naturally green in every sense of the word chemicals were just not something we used within our community.
Living within our means and being frugal was a way of life.
Always being prepared was also just an everyday reality, we were always prepared for anything nature could throw at us and were never reliant upon “the grid”. One good tail end of a hurricane could do a lot of damage in February, so we were always prepared!!
Seeing the Need
When our immediate family moved to the Prairies in the mid 90’s, I was shocked to discover not all Canada lived the way we did. Farming was vastly different region to region almost another career totally. The enormous size of the farms here on the prairies with such poor yields and the reliance on gluttony of chemicals produced devastating effects to the land and lead to incredible cancer rates among my new neighbours.
Lack of Affordability
Other issues were quick to identify as well, the prairie farms had gone “mega”. The cost of owning a workable farm was so far out of reach of the average family that unless someone inherited a farm the chances of obtaining one were very slim. Clearly a new vision was needed.
Sick Building Syndrome
The housing industry in the west was also a real source of contention with me. Cookie-cutter housing was erected quickly here on the prairies and although the housing, for the most part, met the old standards of R2000 it was clear many homeowners didn’t understand the concept of a sealed house. So even on the dry prairies, mold, mildew and rot are becoming rampant among the housing industry, leading to the sickness and the poor health of many.
When all these things began to weigh heavily on young and old alike, many turned to urban farming or victory gardens and small allotments of chickens, homesteads and the like if they could obtain land. The problem was that many of the skills needed to live the homesteading lifestyle safely were lost, two generations had come and gone and most of the skills normally passed down from father to son or mother to daughter were not there. Basic things like making sure manure was well rotted, not running barefoot through the chicken coop and much more. YouTube is literally full of new urban-homesteaders without a clue as to safe farming practices.
All these issues and more led to a vision…
The Rural Homesteading Development Project is definitely my personal knee jerk reaction to the situation I’ve seen here in the west and my hope to bring back the land, while training and teaching people true organic and natural ways to live, build, and feed their families – affordably and safely.
Please feel free to surf and look at all the great vlogs, and blogs and don’t forget to check out the Rural Homesteading Development Project itself.
The project is currently in need of funding now to proceed to the next level. Please see our funding choices here.