“Hold to your own truth at the center of the image you were born with”David Whyte
In April of 2017, we arrived in Cape Breton after traveling across Canada from Vancouver Island in search of an affordable place in which to homestead. It was the start of a new adventure and a closure on our previous lives back on the West Coast. Hard to imagine that we are approaching three years in this journey and we find ourselves, yet again, at another crossroads in 2020. The past three years has been a time of integrating with this new place that we now call home, a time of isolation, reflection, and rewilding. We are now crossing another threshold as we transition from calling this place Rewylding Woods to her new name of Twisted Roots Farm. This change in name represents the new and unique way that we are being called to offer this place to others.
For the past three months, we have been working and planning this transition with the support of the Nova Scotia Self Employment Program, the Department of Agriculture, Occupational Health and Safety Nova Scotia, The Federation of Agriculture Nova Scotia and the Community Business Development Corporation InRich. All of these services have supported us in creating an economic and operational plan for Twisted Roots Farm. We have also had the continued support of family and friends, which has allowed us to take this much needed time to create a valuable and in depth business plan. We are setting up the farm and forest site to create many offerings, from food to local forest products, as well as opening this land to others for learning.
We are deeply indebted for the help that we have received from volunteers over the last two years in continuing to set up the farm, and we are now expanding our volunteer and educational programming to include a three month and six month stay Apprenticeship program expanding the unique learning opportunities here on the farm. We need this help in order for the project to succeed, as it requires many hands for this vision to come to life; creating a farm among the forest, using low impact, regenerative practices. In this realization of requiring a community of support, our long term vision for Twisted Roots Farm is to create a working cooperative, as we know we cannot do this on our own and want to create a system of employment that is worker owned and operated. We also want this place to continue beyond our time and our invitation of learning is about creating a network of people committed to the project, while generating a supportive economic framework that supports all members.
Our experience of this place has been life changing, especially when either one of us comes from a farming background. There have been times that we have been challenged beyond what we thought was even possible, from harvesting animals to braving the elements in the care of those beings. We have both had to find strength within ourselves and together as a couple to forge ahead when all seemed impossible. We have maintained our health and sanity through it all (or maybe not – perhaps we never had our sanity in the first place!) and feel the winds of change on the horizon as we venture into this new and uncharted territory.
Our intention is to share this journey in a deep and intimate way. We have dabbled with blog posts and instagram, but we also recognize the value of this narrative in a fast changing world under environmental pressures. We know some of the threads that have led us to this place, while others continue to be revealed in their own mysterious ways. We have spent hours and hours researching farming, homesteading, forestry, permaculture, and all things related to living off-grid in the forest. Many others have followed a similar path, and from those folks and their generosity of knowledge sharing, we have been able to figure things out (for the most part) and find new ways of farming that we value and hold dear to our hearts.
Our blog represents all of the things that we have succeeded at, all of the things that we are experimenting with, and all of the things that we have failed at (relatively speaking). Holistic learning includes all of this; to call forth from people an intrinsic reverence for life and a passionate love of learning. We do not see ourselves as separate from our surroundings. We are not observers simply looking in. We are a part of everything and one of our greatest gifts is that we are able to bare witness to the incredible unfolding of life.
And so, the journey continues. Thank you to all those who have supported us and thank you to all those who believe in us; it has motivated us and kept us going. Stay tuned for more from Twisted Roots Farm!!