I survived …. Homesteading the Sunshine Coast
I’m not sure if you knew but for the last 18 months I have been building a house with my amazing wife Emily. And when I say building I mean holding the hammer the whole way through. Wow! Where to begin …
When Emily and I decided to move to the sunshine coast 3 years ago I had no idea where this adventure would take us. We spent a year there, while I commuted back and forth 5 days per week to my naturopathic practice in North Vancouver. Although the commute that first year was tough I met many other incredible people that sacrificed a lot of time to provide a different quality of life for their families. These include, engineers, artists, construction workers, mechanics, investment bankers and many more.
For those who have never ventured out this way, the Sunshine Coast is a group of small communities accessible only by ferry through West Vancouver. Lush with coastline, arts and nature lovers, it reminds me a lot of my upbringing on Saltspring Island. This was likely the draw for encouraging this trial move, at the time.
After the first year of being on the coast renting a small house right next to the beach, we knew we could not go back to the city. At that same time, while commuting back and forth I realized once again the vast difference between country and city living as the City of North Vancouver or “The Shore” in general outgrew its urban capacity and became a busier and busier place to live.
Once the decision was made to stay on the coast, we decided to sell our small townhouse in Lynn Valley and buy 5 acres of rural (multi-use) south facing property with a small mobile home for use to live in while we attempted to build our house and start on a journey to becoming self sustainable both with renewable energy, but most importantly food production.
The property we purchased is on a small dirt road, only serviced by the 10 or so residents that live here. It is located in Roberts Creek BC. With a bustling population of under 2000 people and a small urban location, boosting a public library, general store, restaurant (The Gumboot), coffee shop (The Little Gumboot), a music shop, wood carving school and several other small boutique style shops, Roberts Creek is one of those places that people visit and wonder … who lives here!? Close to Gibsons BC, the famous setting for the Canadian TV Series “The Beachcombers”, Roberts Creek has an energy like no other, it’s one that can only be described as serene.
So with our 5 acres of densely forested property and with no significant construction experience, let alone logging experience, I set out to clear the land and design our future home. This is all while maintaining my true passion in life, Naturopathic and Functional Medicine. I continued my research, reading and work in the area of gastroenterology and immunity. Also at this time is when I started operating the SIBO Testing and Treatment clinic, which is an offshoot of Westcoast Integrative Health that helps safely and objectively address this frustrating and often significant and overlooked medical condition. More to come on this adventure ….