Tuesday morning I headed out of town in my car through one of the most isolated major Highways in Canada (Highway 16), 220 km east of Prince George towards the rocky mountains, to a town called McBride. The 220km between Prince George and McBride has absolutely nothing in between it except forest, rivers and mountains, and once driving through I had seen 10 bears in 2 hours. I went to McBride to Wwoof with a German family who lived on a farm outside of town (Wwoofing is where you work and learn about farming in exchange for free lodging and food). McBride is a small small town, surrounded by very tall mountains on all sides of it. I came to this town partly because it's on the way to Calgary to get to the Stampede, and also because I wanted to know what life is like in this area of BC, as it has always been one of my favorite areas due to the natural beauty and outdoor potential, and I want to know how viable it is to be able to run a self sustaining farm this far north.
I got to the farm, and only two of the four residents were there, the daughter Lena who also attends UNBC and her father who had come from Germany in the late 70's and started the farm with his wife. The other two members of the family were on a trip in Germany. On the farm they had two goats, a bunch of chickens and Guineas (sort of like chickens, and native to Africa), two donkeys, a bunch of ducks, and a dog. My favorite animals were the two goats, because they have the goofiest looks, walked around like curious dogs, and loved attention. I would definitely have goats on my farm, as they produce a lot of milk, eat everything, and most importantly make you laugh. The ducks would walk around the farm in a big group, following you from a distance, but then would run away when you try to get near which is hilarious because they all run in unison together. I realize now where the new duck butt high fade hair cut comes from :p The ducks anti social behavior aside, I still love them because duck is my favorite dish to eat, and the Ducks are my favorite hockey team! I stayed for three nights on the farm, helping garden, milk the goats, take down some fencing, transport the donkeys down the road to the neighbors farm and many other things. The most interesting thing I did was make cheese (Lena showed me how) because I never actually knew how it was made. You make it by taking milk from the goat, heating it up, putting some fermenting stuff in it, let it sit for six hours, then drain it in a cheese cloth. Then you compress the cheese into a block, and let it sit in cold storage for a few months. Another thing on the farm I really liked doing was milking the goats, and the best part about it was drinking the warm milk straight from the tit...... just joking, drinking it from the bucket! One thing I realize about farms is that they really bring a family together, and the children that live there often do well academically and are hard workers because it is easier to concentrate on homework in your room when the alternative is pulling weeds in the garden. The reason for families being close on farms I feel is because they must all come together for a common purpose (running the farm) and at the end of the day they can often relate to each other a lot more because they have been doing the same thing all day. Growing up in the city, most parents have two separate jobs, and the children go to school. After school, kids go to after school care, and when everyone gets home, often we go out to hang with friends from school or go to extra curricular activities such as sports. When most families are home together, they are usually on the TV or computer, although there also good social times in the city and every family is different, and I know some very close families from the city as well.
Lena took me on a short trip outside of town to go see rainbow falls, a huge water fall that exists on private property. I couldn't believe how big it was, and there was nobody there! I went under the falls and got soaked, then we climbed to the top of the falls (literally) and you could see the whole city of McBride and all the mountains around it. I was pretty nervous sitting on a ledge at the end of the falls as it was at least a 25 meter drop below, but Lena had no problem! I would recommend visiting McBride, but make sure you stay on a farm, because I am sure if you just went to the town you would die of boredom!
I don't know if I would start a farm in the area though, because it seems like there is a ton of snow and cold in the winter, and it would make it a ton of work to keep up. I want to check out farms farther south and in other countries such as in Africa, Australia, and especially New Zealand.
|Straight from the tit!|
|How a homeless man showers!|