6 years ago, Daniel and I, weary of traveling and pregnant with our first son, began to entertain the idea of buying a chunk of land we could move to and create a homestead on. We quickly realized that buying in the Victoria region was out of our price range. We also realized that to co-purchase the land would be necessary, not only financially but also for our sanity- and to be able to share the great work of starting from scratch. Thankfully, my dear friend Zena, who was also Daniel’s sister, was reevaluating her life, and decided, along with her then-partner Zane, to land-shop with us. A summer excursion tasting wines of the Cowichan Valley cinched our decision and within a few months we were selling off and storing our worldly possessions and moving into run-down trailers on 10.6 acres in the mountains south of the valley. On New Years Eve of 2005, we found ourselves in the trailer in the rain, exhausted from moving and looking at each other across glasses of champagne. And thus began our adventure in modern homesteading….
Since that day we have had many changes- in vision, in relationships, in jobs and children, but we still strive to create a life on this land that is abundant, beautiful, nurturing and that connects us to nature, our creative lives and our community.
Hailing from the south shore of Nova Scotia, Daniel spent much of his post-high school years messing about in boats. Tiring of the high seas, he decided to put down roots with his young family and take on learning all about building- both natural and conventional. He loves to work in wood and other natural materials and has created some beautiful spaces.
After completing a biology degree Zena decided to give up medicine for the wild herbs and healing foods of her own patch of earth. Total immersion in gardening quickly gave her skills to reap the bounty of this hard-to-garden land. She has recently been creating balm, salves, oils and tinctures from plants both grown and gathered. Zena also loves dancing, is a skilled artist, a talented cook and works at Cowichan Women Against Violence.
Even though she’s from Victoria, Genevieve always knew she was a country girl at heart. She majored in theatre at Uvic, and the fine arts were always important to her whether it was dance, music, or visual art. But tired of being a “Jill-of-all-Trades” (master of none!) she escaped to the seas with Daniel to soul-search and experience with world. Returning to the Most Beautiful place on earth (next to, say, the Marquises, St. Lucia, and Guanajato) Genevieve longed to start a family and begin the work of creating a home-place that is beautiful, functional, and inspirational. She still sings with the Balkan Babes and dabbles in songwriting, and dreams of creating a homesteading musical some day.
Joah is the most recent addition to to Twisted Vine, born on Earth Day 2010. He is the third son of Gen and Dan and his smile can make even grumpy old men feel like a million bucks.