I recently moved from suburban rural life (about 10,000 people) out on to a country acreage about 10 minutes from my closest small town (think less than 1,000 people). Things have changed! Here’s what I’m loving the most though, and why you should make the switch too:
Grow Your Own Food
Although I did do this on my rural lot and in the community greenhouse, I was limited on what I could plant based on how much space I had. I did make sure I maximized every square inch, but I never had the garden that I dreamed about. You know what? Now I do, and I can pretty much grow enough vegetables and fruits for my family to sustain themselves on for the year with a little smart planning, canning and freezing. Reducing my grocery budget? I’m all for that.
The Sweet Smell of Country Air
I laughed a little as I wrote this down – as my neighbours have been spreading cow manure on theirs fields at this time of year! Country air is fresher, cleaner and yes – sometimes laced with manure. There is less pollution and more natural smells. Who knew?
So much work on the farm today. We fixed a lot of things. An ancient, rototiller, took down trees, pulled out weeds. I trimmed this tree and fixed this laundry line. Hanging out our freshly washed laundry in the warm summer breeze gave me a lot of peace… Ahhh…. #farmlife #buildingahomestead #wildandfreefarm #farmfamily
Drying Your Clothes on a Clothesline
Seriously this has to be my favourite thing about living in the country. You can hang up your laundry to dry, and the fresh air makes laundry smell SO good! In our last town, with the amount of dust that would be kicked up by giant logging trucks, hanging your laundry out really sucked. It ended up dusty and grimy. Being able to do this makes my heart full.
Without all the light pollution, you can see every star there is. At night, it’s DARK. When I say dark I mean REALLY DARK, like you can’t see your hand in front of your face. The stars are amazing and gorgeous. I’m so glad to be able to see them clearly.
Neighbours who are genuinely helping
The biggest shock to us was our neighbours are actually neighbourly! On the first day that we were on the farm, our nearest neighbour came over to introduce himself. He was been a constant source of knowledge, and even gave us a greenhouse he wasn’t using. We try to return the favour wherever we can and help others too in turn. What a change from neighbours you only talk to a few times a year.
Kids who climbs trees and commune with nature everyday
Seriously my kids are active in ways you haven’t even considered. They have a giant backyard to play in that can’t be understated. Almost every day I come home they rush up to the car and tell me the tales of what they have been up to – climbing trees, digging in the garden dirt, helping DH mend fence, and exploring the landscape. Who wants to play king of the bale? They do.
We are learning new skills every day. It’s easier to fix things then replace them at times, and you have to also take into consideration the scope of what you are working with. I am imrpoving the soil in my garden currently and in the city, I would just go to Home Depot to get bags of dirt, manure or peat. Now it’s a matter of looking in the back field to see what we can use that we already have. A shift in perspective!
Rethinking your consumer lifestyle
After living in a trailer for several months, and then moving into a house that is only 830 square feet, the word “essential” takes on new meaning. What do you truly need to survive and live? We’ve got what we truly need culled down to the bare minimums, and I like the least amount of clutter that it provides. Less to clean, less to maintain helps this busy working mom!
Isolation and Where Everyone Knows Where You Live
In a lot of ways moving to the middle of the country provided us with a little isolation that we needed to help grow our own dreams and family. In other ways, as soon as we explained where we moved to – everyone knew where our house was from the previous owners. Small towns and communities know where you live, and know things about your property that you may not. It’s always good to listen to what they can teach you.
Peace and Quiet
Before a recent trip, I got up at 4:30am to make it to the airport at some ungodly hour. Walking outside in the night had me hearing coyotes howling, owls hooting, and other nightime creatures joining in in their nightly chorus. I had gotten so used to that, when I was sleeping at my friends place in Vancouver, the traffic and city noises kept me awake.
What’s your favourite part of living in the city or country? Tell us more in the comments below!
For more farm life and our journey, you can follow along our story in pictures on Instagram.