Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Taking root

Homesteading, modern-style, gaining popularity

  • Print
Adrienne with Noah and Hannah in a field of wild flowers behind their farm.

Enlarge Image

Adrienne with Noah and Hannah in a field of wild flowers behind their farm.

FRASERWOOD -- We're on the road back to the homestead era with garden vegetables, home-grown chickens and rabbits ... plus all the comforts of washers, dryers, fridges and stoves.

We visited Nourished Roots, a 320-acre farm about half an hour north of Teulon on Hwy 7, 89 kilometres north of Winnipeg. There was a one-day festival at this site earlier this summer and classes called Traditional Wisdom, Modern Kitchen will run later this fall.

Nourished Roots is also a company founded by two young families that run a business (and website) best described as modern homesteading. Think wholesome food you don't need a label for, home-grown in your backyard or supplied by farmers you know.

A common thread to the many facets of modern homesteading is a focus on skills your grandmother probably knew. This is a growing movement that's environmentally conscious and looking for easy, practical ways to eat well and live well with a philosophy of connecting their kids and themselves back to the land.

Near Fraserwood, a farmhouse with a wrap-around veranda is set off a tidy farm yard. It looks modern, but don't be fooled.

The house is a homestead from the early 20th century that lacked plumping and electricity until just eight years ago. The previous owners updated the house, finishing it with the veranda and giving it a facelift that took a century off its looks.

There's a small red barn, a vegetable garden and the cleanest chicken coop outside a TV commercial. The chickens follow the owners around like puppy dogs.

Foxes aren't picking off the laying hens here. Owls and hawks do.

The property is surrounded by a green lawn and 15-metre high stands of white poplar.

Adrienne and Trevor Percy moved out in September, purchasing the spread after dreaming about one for years.

They brought their son Noah, 9, and Hannah, 6, to a life in the country.

Rex, their mastiff cross, cheerfully hauls animal skulls and bones out of the bush for toys, giving a twist to the old tale about a dog burying his bones. This one probably had to ferret them out of tangles of overgrowth. He tries to keep the owls and hawks away from the chickens, too.

The Percys expect the second half of the Nourished Roots company, Kris Antonius and Mike Berg, to join them, eventually building a second house on the property.

In June, they hosted a homesteading festival, an inaugural event that fast sold out and drew 350 visitors.

"It was our first one," Adrienne Percy said. Raised in Riverton, a community that's the stop-off for the winter ice road across Lake Winnipeg, Percy said she grew up close to the land. But even she was a bit surprised at the popularity of the event.

"In a sense," she said, quick to add, "There's an appetite for that stuff. I was that person and we put together our dream event."

Percy described the food movement that emerged out of environmental convictions, a true lifestyle change.

"People are sensing the direction we're going is not sustainable. I'm talking about the environment, I'm talking about the earth but I'm also talking about our lives, our health, that spark to connect. . . When people feel unhealthy, they start looking for something."

And she said, they're looking back in time for what works.

Then she smiles. "Besides it's deeply satisfying to pull a carrot from the ground or go pick raspberries from the bush. People feel that," she said.

This fall the Nourishing Roots is holding a series of workshops called Traditional Wisdom, Modern Kitchen.

alexandra.paul@freeepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 20, 2013 G11

History

Updated on Saturday, July 20, 2013 at 10:33 AM CDT: Edited headline and story. Fixed errors.

10:37 AM: Edited, fixed errors.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Family of Matias De Antonio speaks outside Law Courts

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • JJOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-Postcard  Day-Horror frost and fog created a most beautiful setting at Assiniboine Park Thursday morning in WInnipeg- Enviroent Canada says the fog will lifet this morning and will see a high of -7C-  JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- Feb 18, 2010

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Now that the snow is mostly gone, what are your plans?

View Results

Ads by Google