Starting out

To have something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done. -Thomas Jefferson

That was our mantra, or at least my mantra since we decided to change things in our lives.

Rob and I met in 2015 and immediately realized we had the same ambitions of becoming self-sufficient. How that was going to be possible, him being a single-parent in Germany with two daughters 4 and 6 and me living in Switzerland and going through a divorce, we had no idea. We dreamed about things for a year, while I continued my passion for mountain biking and he continued his for soccer, but trying to research this new passion we shared.

We explored the possibilities of moving to Austria or Sweden to buy land but I worried that the growing season was too short in Sweden and we lacked the permits to live in Austria. Plus, when I tried to quit, my boss convinced me it was a bad idea and that I should try hobby farming while keeping a full-time job. Rob wanted to try something new so he quit his job, his girls went to live with their mother for a year, and I took 2 months off so we could travel around BC: WWOOFing, exploring, hitchhiking and sleeping in my friend’s borrowed car (thank you Courtney and Devon!). Then Rob and I moved to a farm in Switzerland with another family to test out this life.

We had wanted a farm life but ended up in a cramped apartment for 3 years, with a baby, Rob’s two girls, Rob consulting and travelling non-stop, some chickens and neighbours/landlords who seemed to want nothing to do with farming. We were making money but not happy in the slightest. We needed a change and a plan.

So that was it. We decided things needed to change. Rob did 6 months of apprenticeship at a herb farm in Switzerland to learn as much as possible; I finally quit my job and left Switzerland after 11 years; the girls moved back to their mother after having learned French and having lived two years in Switzerland; we took our daughter and my pregnant self and bought 8 acres of land and house in Canada.

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