Single Mom Begins Off-Grid Cabin Living with Hard Work and Joy


Blond Boy With Old Shed

The author’s son, Jordan, with their multi-purposed garden shed. Photo by Jo deVries

Listen to this post! Audio is available from the Jo of the Woods Podcast.

I can hardly believe that it’s been 25 years since I purchased 6 ½ acres of bush land with the idea of turning it into a home for myself and my three-year old son.

I was raised in a quiet part of the city of Ottawa, with a corn field at the end of our road. Development happened quickly; the corn field became a nursing home. I had friends that lived in the country and I knew that was the environment where I belonged. It took me a while to get there.

Adjusting to a New Reality in an Old Home

Pregnant and single at the age of 29, I decided that my first priority was to give my child a great quality of life. I wanted to help him discover the road less traveled; the road to personal sustainability and independence. But first, I had to know what that meant myself.

6/3/2020 8:33:46 AM

I really enjoyed your article. I remember when I was little we didn't have electricity. My parents had kerosene lanterns that we used. Mom cooked on a wood stove (she was know for her fresh bakery which was baked in the wood stove oven). She always had a large garden and canned just about everything. My husband (79) and I (78) were both raised on small farms. Although we have lived in a small city for the past 20 years, we still miss the farm. We do have a small garden which helps with the fresh vegetables and fruits. Went a little overboard this year planting 12 Roma tomato plants. I want to make my own tomato paste. We havie been purchasing 4 or 5 cans a month, so that really adds up. I also planted some Big Tom tomatoes for fresh eating and also to can. I still miss the old farm house where I was raised and also raised our three children..

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