Wildhaven Hills

We've been working on something exciting... an evolution of ideas and passions into one cohesive focal point.

In 2015, we named our home Wildhaven Hills, after more than a decade of simply calling it 'home'. It wasn't a large farm, but the 30-acre homestead was our haven of wild space, nestled into rolling hills, allowed to grow into itself from the moment we moved in, January 2004. 

In January 2016, we hosted a young midwestern American friend for that glorious quiet time
between Christmas and back-to-work. As is our habit, we made some fun and fancy food, spent time outside in the novel winter, and integrated her into our greater family. One afternoon, my cousin (18 years my junior) came for tea to visit this mutual friend, taking advantage of the rare opportunity while they were in the same country. 

While they had tea, I was straining and pressure-canning bone broth, making bread and prepping some of the supper elements. They kindly had tea at the kitchen counter so I could be part of the visit. Sometimes they asked what I was doing now, or for detail around what needed pressure-canning and what could be water-bathed, or how my bread was different from others, and I happily talked them through things as I worked.  

The conversation turned to the subject of learning from the generations before us, and how the arts that came naturally to me (and had been trained in me by my mother and grandmother) were so uncommon among their peers. "You should have a cooking show," chirped my cousin, enthusiastically. "You could just work in your kitchen while a camera was on, and talk about what you're doing. I'd so watch that."

I stashed this sweet idea away. Wouldn't that be fun? Most of the shows Jim and I watched at the time were centred around the food experience (cooking shows, travel/cooking shows, wild food, farm-to-table), so it would certainly be consistent with what we enjoyed.

In 2017, I was approached by a friend to lead a foraging walk for her and a few of her friends. They all had the desire to get out there and 'pick the things', but they didn't know what things to pick, where to go, just where to begin. 

In spring of 2019, I took great delight in camping with 4 other families, most from an urban background. The morels and verpa were bonkers that spring, so I popped into the woods to pick some to share with a communal meal. Be
fore you knew it, I was leading expeditions into the bush to show everyone else what to look for. It was a treasure hunt, and whether or not they wanted to actually try eating their find, everyone had loads of questions and was thrilled to be part of the fun.

These sorts of instances, and more like them, stuck.

I spent the rest of 2019 centred on a high risk pregnancy and then on a preemie, so those thoughts were temporarily shelved.

In 2020, during that glorious time of being at home, Jim and I spent SO much time in the woods. Our garden was the best it had ever been; we foraged for a greater diversity of plants than ever before; we learned and explored and soaked it all in. I started saving more garden seed. I made foraged tea blends as gifts. Jim tore down a granary and used the wood for projects. We milked a cow and made butter and cheese. We revelled in it all. 

Jim and I talked about what most fulfills us, what excites us, what we love to do - as individuals and as a couple. 

  • We love hospitality, hosting big, food-centred gatherings... or small groups, or individuals. 
  • We love our garden and growing food (and preserving it). 
  • We love traditional food preservation methods.
  • We love cooking in all methods and forms.
  • We love sharing food with others.
  • We love foraging for mushrooms and plants and berries and nuts, and I especially love making medicines and squirrelling away ingredients for the winter months. (I think I have a collection of spirit animals at this point, but one of them is certainly a squirrel.) 
  • We love the deep connection to the land and knowing where our food comes from - including the food we purchase from others. 
  • We love being self-sufficient, even though it's hard work.
  • We love encouraging others. 
  • We love our 'campground' and spending time out there with the family. 
  • We love reclaiming materials, and Jim especially enjoys upcycling them to give them new purpose. 

All of this sowed a seed in us of one day making our home turf something that will welcome others in a new and deeper way. 

The catalyst was 2022, and connecting with other people with the same passions and views when it comes to holistic living. On a walk with one such person in late August, we talked about our dreams and plans to someday have cabin bnbs, foraging walks, gardening or canning classes, those sorts of things. This friend is particularly good at cutting to the heart of conversations. He very simply asked, 

"Why do you think you haven't?" 

THAT question lodged itself in my heart and kept echoing like a distant church bell. Why haven't we? Why do I hesitate to take that leap of faith? Is it fear of failure? The need to be perfectly prepared beforehand? The very real busy-ness that is our life? Probably a combination, if I'm honest. 

So, while we're still in the baby stages, Wildhaven Hills has a new future with an exciting depth of meaning. I hope you'll join us for the ride.  


  1. This is just so exciting TobyLauren! Let me know when I can sign up!! Lindsay 🌸


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