13 Years Living Off the Land – Man Shares REAL Homestead Experience

Peter from TreeEater Farm & Nursery ( in BC shares the challenges and lessons learned from his experience earning a living off the land for 13 years with his partner Magdalene.

Peter moved to a piece of land in British Columbia’s Gulf Islands as an idealistic 22-year old who wanted to save the world and reduce his environmental footprint by growing his own food, building his own shelter, and producing his own fibres for clothes. Magdalene joined him a few years later.

To make this homesteading project financially viable, the couple has had to experiment with different revenue streams, including community supported agriculture (CSA) vegetable box programs, hand forged tools, meat animals, dairy cows, and selling fruit and nut trees, as well as plenty of off-farm work as well.

After a steep and labour-intensive learning curve, Peter has realized that living off the land can be very expensive, that it can be difficult to earn an income from agricultural products — especially if your land isn’t situated in an area with a market for your product nearby, and that living off the land requires a lot of infrastructure & maintenance — all of which costs time and money. And they aren’t even trying to be off grid.

It was refreshing to get such an honest look behind the scenes of what appears to be a utopian lifestyle: living in a hand built timber frame home with a cozy wood stove, and eating fruit and nuts from your own island orchard’s trees, and to know there’s quite a big financial and physical struggle to make it all happen.

To learn more about Peter and Magdalene’s Farm & Tree Nursery, you can check out their website and follow them on Facebook:

Thanks for watching!

Mat & Danielle


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Music & Song Credits:
All music in this video was composed, performed, and recorded by Mat of Exploring Alternatives.

Editing Credits:
Mat and Danielle of Exploring Alternatives

Filming Credits:
Mat of Exploring Alternatives

Photo Credits:
Photos of Peter & Magdalene provided by Tree Eater Nursery


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28 Replies to “13 Years Living Off the Land – Man Shares REAL Homestead Experience”

  1. Rick Joneshy

    I think I'm going in this
    direction just because I don't wanna be too dependent on anyone or anything other than God.

  2. angela bluebird60

    This is a dedicated man! I've noticed, over decades of gardening, that biting off more than we can chew is part and parcel of many worthy endeavors! Difficult and so joyful, too 🙂

  3. Kenny Nguyen

    Nice video, really like to stay out of crowded city and close to nature. For the cons, think maybe you can consider to sell the properties and allocate to another place or even other countries that is much cheaper to buy land and save yr cash for other investments to hv more finance independence.

  4. Christine Lewis

    He's got a bag of onions from the grocery store in a bowl on the countertop….. he can't grow his own onions?

  5. Atom Atom

    I'd trade the Modern Confused lifestyle for this back to the Earth way!!! Good luck.. What about planting Ginseng and or Wasabi? And any interest in Aqua-Culture?

  6. James Ford

    I really appreciate your honesty. I heard something recetly that went something like, "find your joy, and do lots of it." Simple , but in context how many people can say they do that everyday…very very few. You my good Sir, seem like one of those people.

  7. TwoWander

    Great video. So honest. I wouldn't say his outlook is negative, it's real. We are going through the process, have been for a while, and it is not cheap. Unless you have land donated, building materials, tools, fuels, food, water, power… The idealist (me) things of the end product but doesn't realize the road is long and filled with pitfalls. Thanks for posting!!!

  8. Simon Delaney

    I like to grow only what I need for myself and my family, I also trade for other things I need that way I don’t have to work for money instead I can work towards my own goals.

  9. Ramir Lopez

    One thing for sure we need to get attached to land that give us everything to live. Feeling happy watching someone tilling the soil, planting food crops, raising farm animals and living a country way of life. Just reminiscing over my childhood in the boondocks, no tv, just transistor radio. After dawn when everything have eaten for dinner at 6 in the evening, time to listen to radio news and shoot the bed at 7pm. Thanks for the video.

  10. zarah doan

    Peter, I love your life. Now I know where to order my trees from. Do you have classes or are you going to in the future?

  11. Coden11

    "It's hard to build without capital. I've been gifted a lot." Why some neighborhoods look horrible. It takes having to have. And resiliency and hope to endure for long term goals.

  12. Márizá Epicentro

    Seems that the conclusion is it´s hard to do it alone. Better with a group, a community…And have startup capital. I went back to the land in an agricultural community with a ot of knowleadgeable neighbors and with a small pension- that makes all the difference!

  13. Brad-awesome channel

    I love that you guys can live off the land, if there is anything i can do let me know. To provide you with finances or more material

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