This past weekend the family had an opportunity to stay overnight at Northern Sun Farm, an off-grid ecovillage here in Manitoba. It was a perfect get away and offered some much needed downtime after several very intense weeks.
We met our host close to 8 pm, which was a little later than we wanted. We had stopped for dinner at Deacon’s Corner, and it was a gong show. It took over an hour in A&W to get food, sit down and eat. And seeing the family in front of us spending $75 on one meal just further affirms the desire to change our relationship to food sourcing.
Our host was all smiles. We had been meaning to get together since the May event at Sam’s Place, and it was great to see the host. There were hugs all around.
Camping in the community we found quite enjoyable. Instead of disconnected people in a campground, it was easy to stop and have conversations with people we crossed paths with. There weren’t drunk or loud people. There were no sirens. There was no mean vibes.
This was community. In nature. And it felt wonderful.
The overnight was a little challenging for Arthur. He hadn’t slept in a tent in a very long time. He also wasn’t used to seeing the toilets they use at the farm.
But still, the stars overhead were brilliant. And the deep silence of the woods was beautiful. It’s one of those things that is so easily forgotten; the quiet beauty of the still forest at night. Both Julia and I grew up in rural settings, and this quietude is something we both miss and feel important for Arthur.
The following day we had breakfast with our host. We went swimming in the late morning in their swimming hole which was also a special time. I have never been given a minnow treatment like that, and it was quite fascinating.
Julia and I needed to ensure Arthur got his afternoon nap. So we strapped him into the car and Julia took him for a ride. He fell asleep after only a few minutes.
Cell phone connectivity was spotty. I had to turn my phone off to conserve battery. And then, I was truly off-grid. I enjoyed focusing on nothing but my breath for several hours in a hammock in the shade. It was glorious.
Arthur got a great nap, and was quite fun through the rest of the visit. Julia had great conversation with our host, and we enjoyed meeting new people and making new friends.
Northern Sun Farm is a wonderful view into community life. They are well established and with an off-grid infrastructure. The outhouses are a reminder of an older way of doing things. They build their own homes with their own resources, and keep themselves warm with wood burning stoves. Cords of wood border every house. Every house also has gardens which are lush and full this time of year.
The community is receptive to visitors, and host tours every once in a while. You can connect with Northern Sun through their website.