For those of you that don’t know, last October I moved out of Kimberley to live life on a farm in the Fort Steele area.
I’ll start off by saying that I have absolutely zero experience with farming. I grew up in suburban Ontario before spending six years living in downtown Vancouver. My father, who owned a landscaping business, taught me a lot about gardening but that is the only thing I have even a speck of knowledge about when it comes to living on a farm. Let’s just say I’ve learned a lot in the past 11 months.
Let me tell you a little bit about this fantastic place that I now call home.
My hubby and I live in what was once the Fort Steele Jubillee Hospital, which is one of many buildings on the property.
Dating back to 1897, it was the first hospital in the area, serving up to six patients at a time. In some old documents we received from the previous owners, a nurse’s journal revealed that if a patient couldn’t pay for their hospital fees, they were thrown in jail. Harsh!
The building was converted into a ‘cottage’ many years ago and we uncovered some of that original charm with the renovations we did. We completed most of the renos in just one month, back before the snow arrived. There is still some work to be done, mostly in the finishing department, but we are really happy with how things turned out.
We took a place that felt cold, dirty and dated and turned it into a warm and cozy home. It’s such an incredible feeling to put in that hard work and be rewarded each day, to have a place to truly come home to.
Moving to the farm has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. My brother and sister in-law own the 44-acre property, and when they asked us if we wanted to be a part of their adventure we had zero hesitation. They are raising laying hens, pigs (and piglets – *swoon*), ducks, turkeys, sheep and cattle. Oh, and we’re boarding a few of our friend’s horses as well.
We’ve also been working hard in our massive garden that is, so far, yielding a hefty bounty. It’s a lifestyle choice, not just a place to rest our heads. As I like to say, we’re lifestyle engineering.
There will be a lot more about the history of the farm and our constant adventures in the weeks to come, but for now I’ll leave you with a charming fact: one of our lambs, which was bottle fed, has figured out how to open the front door of the main house. “There’s a lamb in the house,” is a frequent quote out of visitors’ mouths.
I have many stories about the farm critters that I look forward to sharing with all of you over time. It reminds me of ‘Charlotte’s Web’, or ‘Babe’. I feel like they all talk to each other when the humans aren’t around and they have their own stories to tell.
Well, hopefully I’ve painted a bit of a picture as to what life entails for me on the farm. I feel so lucky to be able to live there and still work in this fantastic community. As much as I miss living in Kimberley, every day when I drive home from work and I come down the Fort Steele hill, the mountains greet me in all their glory. All of my troubles melt away. Any stress or concerns dissipate. The mountains put everything into perspective for me. I’m home.