A while back, quite a while back I am ashamed to say, I posted about what it means to be a homesteader and whether or not you are one and don’t even know it…. you can read about it here.
What I’d really, really like to see is a follow-up post in your own context – which one of the points you can check off your list, your daily or seasonal life and more photos of what looks like a great garden!
I am going to try to answer that question over a few posts, in no particular order of the first post, but as I am able based on the seasons and when I can photograph what I need to for examples.
But firstly, I believe I also promised to introduce myself in this post.
Who is Thistle-Rock?
My real name is Heather. Hello there!
I chose to call myself @thistle-rock here on the Steem platforms as it incorporates two things I do. “Thistle” because of Thistleworks Designs, the name of my shop at Homesteaders Coop and under which I have always marketed much of my work, and “Rock” for some of the art I create under rockAdoodle Art.
My husband and I live in north central Canada on the border of the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
A little confusing to some, while we live in Saskatchewan, a province that does not follow Daylight Savings Time, but we and the two nearby communities actually follow Manitoba time because most of the population around these parts works in the Province of Manitoba, who does follow Daylight Savings Time. This makes for interesting travel scheduling and conversations with people in other provinces or around the world.
photo © Heather JohnsgaardWe live on the Precambrian Shield, a place where it is not uncommon to find vegetation growing out of the nooks and crannies of the rocky earth, and which I wrote about here.
Our home is on the outskirts of a fairly remote community which is based around a mine, the product being zinc and copper plus a little bit of gold.
On the Saskatchewan side, the nearest major community from us is about a four hour drive each way.
Neither Calendar nor Dates Make the Seasons it Seems
photo © Heather Johnsgaard
Winters here appear long, usually very cold with lots of snow, and summers short. I cannot say we have very noticeable Spring and Fall seasons because by the time the snow melts, summer heat is upon us, and the snow usually hits us again by October before all the leaves have fallen from the trees. All this makes for a very short growing season outside of a heated greenhouse if you are lucky enough to have one.
Our small acreage is mostly covered with pine, spruce, poplar, birch and willow trees. Our soil is mostly clay. We need to do a lot of soil amending if we want a decent garden, or build raised beds.
Sometimes raised beds seems easier because even though we have cleared land for gardening, the roots of the poplar trees spread far and long and make hard work for tilling.
As our home is situated on the lake shore of a small lake, we draw our own source of water with a pump system (I will show that in another post in the future). We have beautiful clear water. A filter system within the house allows us to utilize the water for drinking and cooking with no chemicals required.
We do not live off-grid, and are fortunate to have power right to our house, we are not without basic necessities unless the power goes out. If the power should go out, this of course affects our ability to get our water which requires our electric pump, and also means we cannot flush toilets or run water during that time. Our heat is forced air, with a wood stove for backup or secondary heat source.
photo © Heather Johnsgaard
We try to follow a lifestyle which includes, as much as possible, zero waste, recycle, reuse, refurbish, and repurpose. I am saddened with how much waste the human race produces. The only thing I can do about it is to live a lifestyle of which I feel I am doing as little harm as I can upon the land we have been granted use of for the time we are here, and to share what I learn with others.
We try to grow our own produce, canning, preserving and freezing for future use. We make things we need when we are able, which may include tools, clothing, food, home decor and craft supplies.
Self-sufficiency with as little reliability on others as possible is a motto of our life. Sharing when we can our abundance of food or our talents and skills, and helping out our neighbours when needed.
I love the life we live, it suits my personality… I can’t imagine life any other way.
I’d love for you to follow along as I attempt to show you a few things we have done which allows us to live the life of a homesteader. Perhaps you will find some things of interest that will change the way you live too, perhaps you are a homesteader yourself and didn’t even know it!