Our Story

William, Terry and Howard

If you put on shoes that are too tight and walk out across an empty plain, you will not feel the freedom of the place unless you take off your shoes. Your shoe-constriction has you confined. At night before sleeping you take off the tight shoes, and your soul releases into a place it knows. Dreams glide deeper.

Rumi

In 2016, we sold our home in Cumberland, B.C. and said goodbye to family and friends. We had both been dreaming about living in a wild space, one with more separation from the cultural pressure we were feeling from the economic growth our community was experiencing. We had just established a small urban farm on 1/2 an acre in a growing vibrant village and had been founding members of a society dedicated to wilderness education and awareness. We were, by all cultural standards and norms, on the verge of success. However, being immersed directly in an urban environment was wreaking havoc on both of us through the witnessing of over-development and the lack of relationship with the land.

After selling our home and the majority of our possessions, we hit the road with a 25 foot travel trailer and started following the threads of the dream. Four months later we found ourselves on the other side of the country. From the small village of Cumberland along the Pacific Ocean to the shores of the Atlantic in Judique, Nova Scotia on Cape Breton Island, we found ourselves becoming the stewards of 74 acres of raw land. A long, long way from home, family, and friends.

Our vision, as we’ve witnessed its unfolding, is about allowing the land to rewild and in that journey, rewilding ourselves. In this process, we have discovered a relationship with this wild place as we understand how to live sustainably while allowing the natural landbase to mature to an ancient old growth balance. Our story is about sharing this experience and the process that we are going through in the hopes that this may serve others. Our approach to rewilding includes many elements and aspects of off-grid living and homesteading, such as natural design, permaculture, food growing, natural building, off-grid energy systems, and all of the how to’s and mistakes that come with this uncharted territory.

There is also the Nature-Human-Soul connection. As we mature with this place, we deepen our relationship with the natural community. If we are to be in a mutually supportive relationship with this land, we must also give attention to the fine balance of give and take. Giving back for us includes ceremony; a way of communicating with place, a means of asking permission. We have to dream with the land and in turn she dreams us. From these interactions emerges an artistic expression that we in turn want to share with a larger community. It is our greatest longing that we may support the dream of this place, Twisted Roots Farm (formerly known to be Rewylding Woods), through a variety of creative offerings that will be born from this land, emerging through us as gifts to the world.

We have spent the past three years simply establishing ourselves on this land and adapting to the varying environmental conditions, from humidity to hoards of bugs to torrential rains to snow. The hope is to begin building community here at Twisted Roots Farm, a community of people inspired to learn, who are called to help support this lifelong project that we have risked everything for by saying yes to, and what many in this culture view as an impossible dream.

If we will have the wisdom to survive,

to stand like slow-growing trees

on a ruined place, renewing, enriching it…

then a long time after we are dead

the lives our lives prepare will live

there, their houses strongly placed

upon the valley sides, fields and gardens

rich in the windows. The river will run

clear, as we will never know it,

and over it, birdsong like a canopy ….

On the steeps where greed and ignorance cut down

the old forest, an old forest will stand,

its rich leaf-fall drifting on its roots

The veins of forgotten springs will have opened

Families will be singing in the fields

In their voices they will hear a music

risen out of the ground …..

Memory,

native to this valley, will spread over it

like a grove, and memory will grow

into legend, legend into song, song

into sacrament. The abundance of this place,

the songs of its people and its birds,

will be health and wisdom and indwelling

light. This is no paradisal dream.

Its hardship is its possibility

Wendell Berry “A Vision”

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