Ron Melchiore, Ultra-Remote Off-Grid Homesteader in Saskatchewan
Name: Ron Melchiore
Occupation: Outdoorsman/Pioneer, Homesteader, Electronics Technician, Tree Farmer, Remote Exploration Camp Manager, and Author
Place of Residence: Remote wilderness lake in northern Saskatchewan
Background and Personal History: Born in the city, Ron could never have imagined the series of life-changing events which took him from an urban setting to one of complete isolation in the Canadian wilderness. Leaving the familiar life behind in Pennsylvania to homestead in Maine, Ron, in his early twenties, embraced a more simple, self-reliant lifestyle.
He was a starry-eyed youth full of vim and vigor, but reality set in when he realized homesteading takes a lot of work and requires an array of skills. He spent 20 years in Maine mastering the many facets of homesteading: gardening, food preservation, animal husbandry, and construction, to name a few. The need for money became obvious in those early years, so as a small-business endeavor, he added logging, tree farming and milling lumber to his repertoire, which ultimately earned him and his wife awards as Outstanding Tree Farmers.
Because Ron possesses an adventurous spirit, he decided to pursue a long-time dream of his, to thru hike all 2,100+ miles of the Appalachian Trail — so, he spent 5 1/2 months walking. A cross-country bicycle trip years later satisfied his need for mobile adventure. Camping, canoeing and fishing round out his outdoor activities, and it was during a camping trip to a remote Maine park that the idea of a homestead in the Canadian bush first germinated. The new homestead would be far from civilization, in virgin wilderness, requiring a chartered float plane to reach it.
After finding a suitable lake in northern Saskatchewan, Ron and his wife adopted a pioneering spirit and cleared the land, flew in all their possessions and materials to build an entire house via bush plane, and starting from scratch, built their home and a new life in the bush. But this new and exciting environment is extreme. Temperatures may reach -50 degrees Fahrenheit or colder, forest fires have the couple running for their lives, and bears and wolves make interesting neighbors.
They have learned to adapt to this colder climate, are 100 air miles from medical help or supplies, and continue to live the homesteading dream to be as self-sufficient and self-reliant as possible. They get resupplied twice a year, and it is only during those times that they receive mail, take care of appointments, do their shopping and interact with other humans. The rest of the year, they are alone and isolated.
Ron and his wife have been published in BackHome Magazine, Small Farmer’s Journal, and Countryside and Small Stock Journal, and appear in Life Off Grid, a documentary film and book about people living off-grid throughout Canada. Life Off Grid aired on British Columbia’s Knowledge Network and is produced by Phillip Vannini and Jonathan Taggart.
Other Fun Facts: Ron successfully completed a winter thru hike of the Appalachian Trail, bicycled across the United States, survived forest fires and bear encounters, and has twice been named County Outstanding Tree Farmer.
More Places to Find Ron on the Web: