When we first moved to this valley with it’s wide, lush floor lined by rigid mountains, I fell in love a second time. How could a girl not, when she gets to see these peaks every day, from one angle or another? Here’s what it currently looks like. Beautiful, is it not?
This photo was taken from what used to be the flood plains, land that is now prime for farming. Our yearly grain share is grown on these flats.
Wanna know what you can’t see from the above photo? The mound this town is built on keeps going…and going…and going, back to the base of those magnificent mountains!
Here. Here’s a summer photo of what is behind the town.
This valley has many hidden charms to behold. Like this river! Our first time here, a cow moose came swimming down the canyon toward us. In the crystal clear water, we could see her legs working, pulling her downstream. Beautiful!
It’s also wonderful place for trout fishing.
Fall colors are beautiful. Between maple, poplar, birch and tamarack, there is usually a beautiful display!
Amazing as this valley is, its attractions are not all founded on natural beauty. No. People have been the primary draw for us. We were welcomed in with open arms and found not just friends, but a home.
I’ve fallen in love with these people and this community. Let me tell you why!
The people here, they care about naturally raised food. Yes, our valley has orchards, the sprays and large-scale farmers. But we also have another ‘sect’ that is into chemical/pesticide free growing methods.
These people… I love them! They have taught me so much and truly believe that good food begins with good soil. They live like it. I’m so excited to one day have our own place and implement the methods I’ve learned.
But back to food? Folks, we have everything a person needs right here.
Grain? We have 3 grain farmers in this valley, all of whom practice organic methods. One supplier even drives a solar panel tractor!
Fruit? Shucks, we’re in the heart of fruit country! We have an organic orchard 2 minutes down the road but even better are the hundreds of fruit trees tucked away on all the old farms and neighbor’s back yards. We’ve never had a problem meeting our needs from these!
If it’s honey you want, there’s a local business who supplies everyone with raw honey.
And eggs? Good gracious, it seems every other farm in the surrounding countryside sells eggs!
Milk, butter or cheese? We have an organic dairy farm who offers the community and surrounding area all this! Double bonus? They sell their milk in old fashioned glass milk bottles! How cool is that?!
Meats. Want an option for naturally raised beef? Head over to the farmer’s market or better yet, talk to the neighbor who raises ’em and you may be able to work a deal. Small scale farmers sell pork and chicken not infrequently in the fall.
If you are into alcoholic beverages, we’ve got a few wineries and beer brewery too!
And the best part about it? Most of this is within a 15- 20 minute drive of town. No joke! It’s like a little piece of heaven on earth…if you are into nutrition, health and real food!
Food stuff aside, let’s carry on. Shall we?
Lemme explain this one, before you burst a blood vessel!
I don’t think more money=a better life, that a town with more money=better town. Yes, it can relieve pressure in some ways. But it also adds pressure in others. After living in oilfield towns of the north, this place, it’s pace and environment is a welcome change.
It has challenges, to be sure. But it also brings positives. These people rely on one another. There is opportunity to both give and receive help. For vulnerability and integrity to reveal itself. This, I love.
Less money also means that if people are here, its because they want to be here. Not because there are great jobs or because of the pay cheque. Often, they are here because they value the lifestyle this valley affords. Makes a wonderful environment.
BARTER & TRADE
Yes, I love this aspect of our valley! At times it can be annoying (no doubt) and at others, very useful. Due to a lack of cash, these people often offer to pay you in meat, produce, eggs or something they’ve raised on their land. Making deals is part of this culture.
Sometimes, I have to laugh! Not with scorn, but with pleasure. I love it! Where else do you find people offering you home-grown pork in exchange for your labor?! Or offer you a portion of their garden produce in return for help with the harvest?
Not afraid to say when things are tight, these people! Not afraid! Perhaps its due to my “backwoods American upbringing,” but I like this honesty very much!
These people support one another and the older generation in particular look after their own. While this can make it difficult for newcomers, I can’t claim they’ve been unfriendly. Loyal. That’s what they are. Admirably so.
The younger generation very openly welcomed us to their world. Excited! Happy another young couple has moved into the valley! And I’m grateful to say we’ve found real friends among both old and young.
I’m thrilled we’ve decided to stay here, that we now belong to this valley and it’s people. I’m grateful that this is now a place I can call home.
Here, we hope to have our first bit of land. Our first home. Our first small farm. In this place and among it’s people we hope to raise our children. And here, I look forward to growing old beside my husband. In this valley.