In wanting to live closer to nature, this woman has been living in a yurt for the last two years, growing her own herbs and food.
The idea of cultivating a more intimate relationship with nature by living closer to the land is an appealing one, often helped along by constructing one's own home using alternative building methods, or perhaps by setting up something a little less permanent and a lot more mobile, such as a yurt.
Nature educator Beige has been living in this off-grid yurt somewhere in Canada for the last two years, taking on a simple lifestyle that encourages a lot of time outdoors foraging, growing food, chopping wood and collecting water. We get a glimpse into Beige's daily life via this video from Exploring Alternatives:
As Beige recounts, she's currently living in a secluded corner of a friend's farm, and in exchange, she helps out on the farm, doing various chores or looking after the place and giving farm tours when they are away. In addition, she works a few days a week as a "nature mentor" to local kids. She also grows some of her own veggies, but also takes the time to maintain the forested areas around her by removing dead branches or planting native herbs.
After initially spending a couple of months in a tent on the land, Beige then decided to invest in a warmer option: a yurt from Groovy Yurts, which has been placed on top of a DIY plywood platform that sits on top of a thick, insulating layer of strawbales.
Beige's interior set-up for her yurt home is pretty simple: a woodstove in the middle, a cooler buried under the floor that acts as an off-grid refrigerator, a big sink that empties into a bucket, clotheslines for drying herbs, and an recycled cable spool that functions as a countertop and storage. There is a simple self-built toilet outside, as well as mini-shelters for storing firewood and tools. For showering, Beige swims almost everyday during late spring, summer and fall, while during colder weather she signs up for yoga studio memberships and will shower after class.
Of course, Beige admits that living off-grid can be a hard lifestyle, which might be made easier within a community of people living in the same fashion. Also, living under the radar in such a way can sometimes draw the ire of disapproving neighbours, which is what unfortunately has happened in Beige's case -- she will now either have to get a permit from the township, or move sometime in the near future. But she's nevertheless undeterred, saying that:
It feels really fulfilling to see how little I can live with. And to be out here is so beautiful -- waking up to the sound of great horned owls or the sound of coyotes at night, and just feeling connected to natural rhythms, it's something that I love.