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I am finding it hard to find time to post much, but things are really well, beautiful and exciting! Our PDC class is all consuming of time and brain power, everyday Julie and I drive from Winlaw into Nelson and then up a crazy mountain road to a stunning retreat over top of the lake. We have been absorbing ideas, techniques, theory and digesting volumes of exciting information. The class takes place on a swath of land not un-similar to our own, with great slopes, and flowing water, diverse forest and open sunny micro prairies. I am looking at all things with new eyes, especially the marginal attributes of our land! I am newly re inspired to turn problems into solutions!

Dylan is keeping busy during the day getting his little temporary shop set up and functional, and he has moved onto creating flooring panels for the trailer which is really exciting! Dylan also finished the beautiful gates for the garden and built a cute tipi for the tribe of kids staying with us. We found an amazing vintage electric / wood burning stove we will be picking up tomorrow and hopefully we will also get our canoe into the river this weekend! We are also talking about building a sweat too.


So half way into our first week in Winlaw, and we have already had a many adventures and challenges!

We arrived to find our yard was exploding with meter high koch grass and weeds, and among the grass we found a few packed out areas of bedding big enough for a young bear, followed shortly by many piles of bear droppings. We were of course prepared to run into many bears living on the side of a mountain in a bear corridor, but day two found us face to face with a curious brown bear who was enjoying an old compost pile and some beer cans. He was determined to stay and settle into our front yard, and it took many hours our banging and sling shooting, yelling and barking to drive him away for a few hours, before he returned again, and again, and again.We were concerned that our little city dog wasn’t up for a bear chase but she impressed us all and his been leading the pack in shooing the bear! Mia even caught the bear spying on her through the front window yesterday morning as she was having some cereal in the living room, he was nosing the glass and gave her quite a shock!

The bear breached our deer fencing with ease, so we took it down and put our first visitor to work putting up a heavy gauge wire fence. Ben finished off the garden area, and we will re attached the fabric deer fencing over the 4 foot wire section. We need to build gates now.

Other than that excitement, the fruit trees and vines ae in full bloom, we have found many morel mushrooms in the front yard, dug out lots of the bin (not the motorbikes yet!). Dylan started setting up his temporary workshop, I painted the living room and all remanding traces of gross green paint, making the trailer just a little more liveable. Dave & Colin arrived last night, and we got our new washer installed, and the boys are gearing up for a dump run or 10 today while Mia and I will be in the garden bear watching for most of the stunning sunny Saturday! We are living in paradise, in a rusty tin can, but in paradise all the same!

We still have no internet, and have given up on the idea of dial up, now we are waiting on a satellite wireless service to be installed, at a whopping $500 set up fee. My PDC starts tomorrow, and the seedlings are going in the ground today! We have more sheet mulching to do, if we want to grow all the flowers Mia wants, as the koch grass is more lush than a Palm springs golf course, and it makes up the contents of my entire garden, except my single tier of sheet mulching, holding weeds at bay! more to come as soon as we are connected!

2 loose ends to go….

Hello Folks,

We have two loose ends to tie yet before leaving the BIG city, and I was hoping you all might help spread the word for us!

We are looking for someone to Assume the Lease on our ’08 TOYOTA Yaris ASAP and We are going to sell our AMAZING ECO Oakridge Town House this summer!


We will be listing our modern townhouse in Oakridge (SW Calgary) on the market next month. It’s an eco renovated gem! Total top to bottom no VOC, non toxic, all recycled, sustainable, low flow, high efficiency, super modern upgrades. 3 bedroom condo with a bright sunny backyard perfect for a veggie garden blocks from the reservoir. Tons of other features, but truly a sustainable master piece!  So spread the word if you would! We’d love to sell this as a private sale, and if will can do it without any agents we will pay a finders fee of $2000 if you know someone interested, pass them on to us! We are asking $348 for the townhouse. Detailed above.


5 door silver Yaris hatchback. Excellent condition!

Wonderfully fuel efficient!  Lease details: $312 / month, 25 x months left on lease

end of lease buy out $6560 (if you want to buy it) 38000Km currently, (96000Km allowance on lease)

extended 5 year bumper to bumper warranty purchased

Roof rack with bike mount. * Picture above: canoe not included, but shows how able this little car is!

Shauna & Dylan

call or email shauna (at) rbrand (.) ca




An experiment in sheet mulching, battling koochgrass, and our first Winlaw garden.

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On our last trip out I got cracking on the gardens, I have essentially 7 tiers (newly fenced off) of garden beds, each between 2-3 meters wide and just under 80 feet long. For the last decade+ they have grown food organically and I have old records of crop rotation from the previous owner which will be really nice should we decide to get certified as organic growers in the future. But the garden has been left unplanted for a couple years and the kooch grass has really taken hold, the soil is VERY acidic, and although pretty nice and rich smelling, it is awfully sandy. When planting 2 rows of potatoes I noticed there was virtually no creepy crawlers in the dirt, which caused me some concern.

Ideally over the next few season I will get most of the 7 beds sheet mulched, and grow nearly everything in them, but one step (and lesson) at a time. I have one full tier now ready for seeds, the process was a little challenging considering the trouble I had in the valley sourcing dirt / compost or top soil… the next few tiers should be a little easier, as I have already found some new sources. Continue reading