About Me

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came time to die, discover that I had not lived.” Henry David Thoreau

Disclaimer: I do things in the way I believe works best, costs the least and harms the planet as little as possible. Feel free to try anything you read here (preferably in an open field with a fire extinguisher handy) but don’t get your hopes up that it might be worth suing me.

I have come to homesteading at that perfect age (my mid fifties) and I say that to prove the point that it is possible to put a positive spin on anything. In physical terms, it would have been better to start on this in my twenties. Financially, it might have been nice to wait until I was about 200 years old.

This was not a choice we arrived at overnight. My partner Elaine was widowed twice before we got together in 2010. By that time, she had a pretty clear idea about the life she wanted. If I look back on my own life, I can make out a fairly clear trail that brought me to this place. After much careful discussion and negotiation, we set our sights on a life that was comfortable and secure. Self sufficiency was the key to making it happen within our modest resources. Since we were both inclined that way, it was an easy choice to make. Our decision to become homesteaders was at its core an economic one, with a cluster of political, social and quality of life issues thrown in.

I doubt if we fit into any of the classic stereotypes, such as Wide eyed but soon to be disabused urban back to the lander, or Tin foil hat wearin, gun totin, doomsday fearin, bunker monkey…. We are seeking security, dignity and peace of mind. Self sufficiency is the means to achieving those goals. Making a lot of money to be able to pay other people to do everything for us, might deliver a form of security, but living simply close to the land seems like the best way to find contentment.

11 Responses to About Me

  1. jj says:

    My kind of homesteader, and in my province, no less! I would love to get an email subscription to your blog, but I can’t find an option for that…please let me know if/when you enable that feature 🙂

    • Hi JJ,
      Thanks for visiting my blog. I had looked at yours before, but didn’t clue in at first that you were in Saskatchewan. It looks like you found the follow button, so I will do my best to give you a good laugh as we try to muddle through life up here in the bush.
      Cheers! Mark.

  2. jj says:

    ‘up here in the bush’…you may not even be far from me! We’re around PA – where are you at?

  3. PA! That’s too cool! Our place is about 15km east of Hudson Bay. Now is the place near PA the farm or the acreage?

  4. jj says:

    the PA place is the acreage, where we are actually living right now. The farm is south of Saskatoon 🙂

  5. Love what you are doing! Keep it up. The more of us that there are, the less crazy we seem to others:)

    • Hi Donna,
      Thanks for the encouragement, it means a lot right now. In ten days we take up permanent residence on the land. There is a lot to do and the conditions are making the job a challenging one. Getting others to understand what we do and why, will always be an uphill struggle. The marketing culture has a way of swamping common sense. No matter, everyone will need to work it out for themselves.

  6. Keith says:

    Hi Mark,

    You know what a firewood fanatic I am. I keep wondering how that supply of firewood is coming as old man winter hides just around the corner in northern Sask. Actually growing up as a kid in the Birch River area it seems to me we didn’t get snow until November as I can remember Halloween nites without snow. I hope there is enough deadwood standing to give a good mix with the wetter stuff. Wish I were there to help you with it.

    Today we got our first rain of the summer – it’s been hot. It is almost enough to make one believe in the myth of global warming. I joke of course. El Nino is promised for this winter which should put a stop to the eternal drought the California fanatics are touting. What a drag those people are.

    Just thought I would cheer you up with the thought of an early winter.


  7. Hi Keith,
    There is bad news and good news on our progress toward this winters firewood supply. The bad news is that a good part of the wood we will need is still out there in the bush. The heat, bugs and other project time demands have prevented us from getting as far as we would have liked by this part of the season. The good news is that with the new driveway and trails that we have opened up, access is much improved. The clearing we did this year, means that we have a decent supply of green wood mostly stacked in four foot lengths. There is a very ample supply of small dead standing that can be harvested fairly quickly.
    Good to hear that you got some rain, the stuff I have been reading makes out that this has been a very bad drought. I know what you mean about the “fanatics” its always this “stop destroying the environment or you will all die” What a buzzkill.
    It would have been good to have you (and your tractor and chainsaw) here this fall, I would estimate that to heat the tiny house and the workshop this winter we will need the best part of 15 cords. We can’t skimp on the workshop cause that is where the main water supply will be stored. I will be posting some pictures soon, when I get them together and get to town to do the posting. I can post text from the homestead, but photos require a better internet connection than I can manage from here at least for now.
    All the best,

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