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Off-the-grid Island Homesteading


"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." Henry David Thoreau

In 1997, we left our academic careers in the city to homestead off-the-grid on Denman Island, a rural island in the Strait of Georgia. We just wanted out of the city, at any cost. There was no other thinking than wanting peace, tranquility, garden, and quiet. Guided by Thoreau's Walden and the Nearings' back-to-the-land books, we fumbled our way through newfound experiences, learning as we went the ins and outs of organic gardening and off-the-grid living. It took all of our wits and mental reserves and more to set it all up in the first few years -- all done by hand, no power tools and no running hot water except what was boiling on the wood stove!

Many years have gone by, and we are more deeply in love with rural homesteading than ever before. We grow our own organic foods year-round in the Pacific Northwest rainforest climate. We tend to our pet chickens, ducks, geese, cats, and dogs. And on top of it all, we have a blast running Rawganique, which has allowed us to feel connected with the larger world. We have made so many friends over the years with folks living as far away as Australia, Sweden, Japan, and more.

Even after many years of hard work, every aspect of our life -- from living on a rural island to coming up with new ideas to use ancient hemp, linen, and cotton fibres -- still energizes us. We love relaxing in our wood-fired Japanese ofuro wooden hot tub at the end of the day. We love strolling on the beach when we get a chance, taking in the sun, sea, and air. We love eating the fruits of our labor: fresh veggies and fruits that are tasty and in season every day of the year.

And we love encountering wildlife that is abundant everywhere we look, from the blue heron that fishes on the beach near us to the bald-eyed eagle that swoops down for a meal of baby sharks, to otters andsea lions sunbathing on fishermen's rafts. And we love our customers who send us so much encouragement and love daily. We are so blessed. We are inspired to keep working hard to bring purity to those who want and need it (sadly, more and more people are severely affected by multiple chemical sensitivities -- one of the reasons we left the city was to deal with our disabling allergies to chemicals found in clothing and city living).

Read all about our adventures at our Homesteading Off-The-Grid On An Island.

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