Considerations When Selecting Your Homestead Site

| 4/30/2019 11:53:00 AM

Our Ocean View 

Years before our move from the bush, we contemplated exactly where we would make our last stand as homesteaders. We pondered the location for our 3rd and final homestead and we wanted to make it count. We knew we wanted to be close to or on the ocean but the question was where. We considered British Columbia but property values are well above what we could afford. We looked in New Brunswick, Labrador and Newfoundland but ultimately settled on Nova Scotia.

Labrador and Newfoundland were awesome but the climate was cooler than what we sought. We had done the hard, remote access homesteading and gained valuable experience growing a garden in a sub-arctic location; but we’re not getting any younger so it was time to head to a more favorable climate. Here in Nova Scotia we still go down to zero or a tad below in the winters, but that sure beats -40°F to -50°F every winter.

You may have an interest to live off-grid or a desire to become more self-reliant. How does one begin the process? I know when I started so long ago, it was a completely foreign lifestyle than what I was accustomed to and I remember being overwhelmed but at the same time, I felt like an explorer seeing a new world for the first time. So exciting! We’ve gone through the same process for each of our three homesteads and it does get easier knowing the exact traits we seek in a property. One of the first questions to address is where do you want to live to pursue a more self-sufficient life?

Although some of the following had no bearing on our recent Nova Scotia decision, they were certainly relevant shopping points for the previous two homesteads.

Access to employment, proximity to family and reliable transportation such as bus or air travel are factors to consider. How about local pests and wild animals? Would a cloud of mosquitoes or black flies be unbearable? And don’t forget about Lyme disease and Zika associated with bugs and wildlife. One should at least be aware of the potential before settling on a homestead site. We knew in a northern climate we would have the mosquitoes and black flies to contend with and although miserable, there are far more benefits to our chosen location than there are negatives. You may need to alter your mindset if you are coming from a city environment in regards to wildlife such as bear, cougar, poisonous snakes and spiders. Not that they should deter you from a location you really like. It’s just dangers such as these should always be in the back of your mind so that there’s no surprises.

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