you can certainly garden in those areas, especially if you take some special care with your arrangements and a greenhouse
is very useful. However; living in the north is something that a lot of people cannot manage for very long. Even if there is a city
nearby (unlikely if you are getting really cheap land) the isolation is something that turns out to have a much greater effect than people have expected.
There used to be a large community northwest of Fort St John; all people originally from the States, an intentional community
, and a lot of different families. They tended to be well educated, and they worked really hard in a bunch of different areas (building log houses and lodges in places such as the Queen Charlotte Islands, running a bakery and then later an oil patch catering outfit as well as running the cattle
ranch). they did it all well. They built houses and had an onsite school for the kids. They mostly all had a bunch of kids. One of the reasons they were there was because they didn't want their kids to be raised in a culture they didn't have much say in the influences their kids would be subject to.
They were operating for quite a number of years, then the founder of the thing died and within a year or two, everyone scattered to the wind..the kids had all headed south as soon as they could anyway and the parents followed. I think one stayed on at the ranch.
I guess the moral of the story is that there is virtually no wilderness left, what with seismic and logging and mining and oil roads running everywhere; and I would really wish that people who want to move to the north and have never lived there, would get someplace already existing rather than diminish what little truly wild land there is left. I believe we need to share with the wild things and some of them need a large chunk of uninhabited land. There is a lot of very cheap land in Saskatchewan if you look around, and I can't imagine that doesn't also apply to BC around places like Burn's Lake. I would hate to see all the wilderness dotted with cabins, half of which WILL be abandoned over time. Seems to me looking at wilderness land as something that has no value until humans put it to use is just a sort of extension of the "well, the oil is there, let's use it til it's gone" point of view.
There are lots of places throughout Saskatchewan alone being sold for taxes, often because someone has died and the heirs don't want it and don't care about it. In some provinces the government now charges "market value" for these but so far not here. I bought a house (albeit a good deal rattier than I had been prepared for but that's another story) for $3500 and it's only 30 miles from a town of 18 000 and half a mile of the main highway. It was supposed to be a short term thing until I got my land up and going but the other thing I wasn't prepared for was the absolute absence of people to hire to help do things. So, I'm still here. Unexpected things happen.
In the same village where I live, a house went for auction a year ago for a little less than $20,000 100x100 foot lot, nice garden area new double garage etc. house was older and small but in good condition. There are presently something like 40 properties behind in their taxes. I'm quite sure that this isn't anything exceptional except in the major towns. The prices are going up because people are buying properties to speculate..some places even sell lots for $1 but they have conditions..you have to build withing a certain period of time and sometimes they demand that the house you build meets certain criteria. So probably a cob
house wouldn't do it.
Outside of the villages you have to look a little harder but the land is there, there is no need to wander off and cut down more trees and take down more wilderness. That is for most people a romantic fantasy which is much more appealing as a fantasy than as a reality. How do you market stuff to pay the taxes and buy shoes and toothbrushes when you are 500 miles from anywhere with more than 1000 people? What happens when the tree falls the wrong way and takes out your satellite connection so you have no contact with the outside world, or kicks back and hurts you and you're 100 or more miles from a hospital? Or your kid gets sick and there are 5 foot drifts of snow across the road for 100 miles? How long will it be an adventure to struggle out to the outhouse or to look after the chickens
in a snowstorm at -40? Or melt snow for water because the pump
froze or broke? Have you ever spent even 2 months without going to the store? How do you pay for things like gas (VERY expensive in these areas) to go to the post office to pick up those seeds or the plastic for that greenhouse
? Where is the money coming from?
This is not to say it can't be done as it clearly can; just not by most people who will try it. I worked for years in the patch and lots of people couldn't even stand THAT much isolation, with 30+ people around, lots to do, all the conveniences of modern living and only for two or three weeks. They all came out assuming that they'd be fine..only for two weeks after all.. and they couldn't hack it. So I have seen this a lot. PLEASE try to find somewhere that someone already started that needs love and care before moving into the "wilderness".