Backwoods Sustainability

We are currently living within April 2017.

I am labeled “a millennial”, although my soul is quite the opposite.

Our family has been on a journey of sorts throughout the last few years. It’s been good and it’s been really bad. We are still here, we have woken everyday, worked through many challenges and have grown through a multitude of people and situations.

We don’t claim to be experts by any means but have learned lots and believe in sharing knowledge.

I came to a realization the other day, when cooking dinner, that everything I was preparing was homegrown. This is HUGE, because a mere few years ago… this was our goal. To be self sustainable. To grow, raise and eat only things we have raised.

At a mere 22 and 23 years old it was a dream, at 26 and nearly 27 this is our reality.

It’s absolutely unbelievable and something we are so very proud of.

We are still learning new skills everyday and adding more to our agenda but at the end of the day, sitting down to that home cooked meal is 100% worth it.

Today I thought I would share a couple of our sustainability, health & wellness tricks with you!

1. Tower Garden- this year we invested in a tower garden. It’s an aeroponic growing system that self waters, self feeds and has zero soil or weeds. Where we live in northern Alberta we don’t have the luxury of fresh garden produce year round and we all know there is nothing like a fresh garden salad. This has been a saving grace for our family and has saved us multitudes of money and has gifted us the opportunity to have nutrient dense produce throughout our Alberta winter.

2. Homemade Kefir and Kombucha- we are strong believers that a humans health starts in the gut. Kombucha is something I personally have enjoyed for years and without a scoby would purchase in a bottle as needed. We were gifted a new scoby recently as my last one died and have found that the time investment is beneficial to both our health and our pocketbook. Kefir is somewhat new to our family but has been a hit so far and we take pride in knowing our gut is happy and the substance is homegrown. 

3. Dehydrated- We purchase fruit in bulk when it’s on sale at our local grocer to make homemade snacks. We firmly believe in eating whole foods and have seen many benefits to our physical and mental health through this mindset. We were gifted a dehydrator for an anniversary gift last year and often create apple chips, dried herbs, dried spices, etc. It has been a great sustainable resource in the sense of saving produce that’s on the verge of spoiling and  making healthful snacks with minimal ingredients.

 4. Chickens- we raise a multitude of laying hens and take pride in the bounty of eggs we collect each day. We have come to a point where we have more than enough to feed our own family and sell the extras, which in turn pays for their feed.  I personally have a love for birds and make sure that our producers are well cared for, respected and happy.

5. Bees- my beautiful friend has a love and appreciation for pollinators and well… her love for them spilled over onto me. Last year we received two of our own hives and now produce our own honey and polinate our garden with these amazing workers.

 6. Garden- we have had a garden since we moved to backwoods but we are taking it more seriously this year. It’s April and we are still feeding our family with garden potatoes from last year. With the increase of our sustainable practices we hope to not only feed our family with potatoes but many other garden veggies this winter. We have already started seedlings and are giving them our utmost care and attention this 2017 spring season.

7. Meat- we raise our own meat. This may sound like a given for the fact that we are a bison ranch but it’s not always that easy. For the last few years any bison that we have had come up for slaughter have all been spoken for meaning:  we have made the sale and not had the opportunity to keep large portions for ourselves. This past winter we invested in butcher pigs and are currently making meals with home grown pork and loving it!

 8. Baked- I am not a baker. I do not enjoy sweets or pride myself in producing scrumptious treats for my family, but I have been trying my hand at making homemade bread and have been thoroughly impressed with how easy, fresh and cost effective the process can be.

 9. Reusing- in a world where we produce multitudes more waste then we should be, I have taken pride in becoming more conscious in reusing things we already have and minimizing the things we own and generate. I have learned many tips and tricks in being more purposeful in my daily activities and have taken great joy in continuing my essentialism journey.

 10. Make it- making my own cleaning products with the help of essential oils, carrier oils, general kitchen supplies and reused materials has been a crucial part of my recent journey. Not only do these products smell great but they motivate you to get your job done with the acknowledgement that you created the substance and it’s not only good for your nostrils but your environment as well.

I could ramble on about whipping out the sewing machine, cloth diapering, feeding animals kitchen scraps, having a zero waste mentality and creating a healthy home environment with the use of healthful plants, nutrition and more sustainability practicies but I think I will leave it here for now.

If you have any sworn by tips, tricks or helpful hints I would be more than thrilled to learn from you.

I hope you have a healthful Monday and an enjoyable week.

From our ranch to yours,




2 Comments on “Backwoods Sustainability

  1. Hey there – just found your blog and loved reading this post this morning. I daydream all the time about becoming more food secure and independent but so far I have only been really good at killing my plants by accidentally forgetting to water them. When I saw your post at first I though – hmmm, probably gardening and some other cool ideas, but I am SUPER impressed with the kombucha and kefir, and bees!? That’s awesome. I’ve made a goal that this year I’m learning to bake bread (starting small over here) but I truly admire your independence with food.


    • Ahhhh thank you so much! I just saw this! Your kind words are aspiring! I’m still learning as we all are and am so thankful to get taught new skills as well! Thank you for reading our story 🙂


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