(Clockwise from top left: Jocelyn (right) with her sister Stephanie, brothers Matt and Chris, Chantalle with son Canaan, and Julie with son Kai)We finally wrote up some bios for ourselves! You’ll be able to re-visit them under ‘The Farmers’ tab if you ever want to. There’s a good chance we’ll add more to them as we go along, possibly including a farm family tree to better explain the history and relationships of the people who are involved in this project which actually go back many, many years… Jocelyn Durston is the newest member of the farm and the primary author of this blog. After studying sustainable agriculture in university, followed by five years of desk jobs, she decided it was high time she get down and dirty. Luckily for her, she didn’t have to look far. Turns out her best friends were looking for someone motivated and energetic to help them build their dream farm in Maple Ridge, B.C. They invited her (along with her cats, Fergus and Lola) to move onto the land in exchange for some good honest labour (which she loves!). This blog is her story.
Christopher John Moerman moved to this piece of land when he was 10 years old. Shortly after, he bought his first pig. He bred and raised pigs for a few years until he got busy doing other things that teenagers do. At 19 he moved away, went to university, and spent a number of years in the music industry playing in a rock band. Now, having come full circle, Chris, his wife Julie, and their 1 year old son, Kai, are back on the acreage of his childhood. He has gained a new appreciation for the miracle of life and growing things. He is excited about pursuing this idea, especially in the context of Permaculture and resilient communities. He is also thrilled to have his friend Jocelyn here to help turn his good intentions into action.
Julie married a rock star and ended up with a farmer. And she couldn’t be happier. The unique living situation is rooted in deep values about family, community and how to live your intentions. For a significant portion of her childhood Julie lived on a hobby farm where she watched her dad create gardens, make ‘poop soup’ and raise chickens, sheep and ducks. To try her hand at it herself brings much delight to her family and friends who have a hard time envisioning her scooping coops. Who are we kidding. She doesn’t really shovel. But she does make sure none of the bull variety makes it onto the farm. Her presence is known through endless provision of French press, unwavering honesty and a strong inclination towards biting off more than she can chew. Julie loves her job as a teacher in the local school district, and loves raising the most active child on the face of the planet.
Matt Moerman is a rookie farmer-dad by day and a youth pastor by night. He’s also a recovering workaholic. Along with his longstanding ideals of community and interdependence, he is also uncovering the appeal of all things slow, simple, and still. He’s quickly learned that farming is great for holistic health and parenting is also easier on the farm – with room for Canaan to roam (once the fine art of walking is mastered), and free babysitting and a playmate only a knock away. Growing up, he spent half his time on a friend’s dairy farm and the other half on his parent’s hobby farm – which just so happens to be the same piece of land on which the farmforayear project is being birthed under new ownership. He brings the childhood experiences of raising most types of farm animals to the table. He’s also realizing that being a member of 4-H poultry as a kid maybe was cool.
Chantalle Moerman is an only child from suburbia, now living in this (unofficial) co-housing community. “Simply being here has created many opportunities for growth and learning. And now, we’ve undertaken The Farm. When Jocelyn put in her ‘proposal’ to come work and live with us I cried. This property is not just a hobby farm – it represents our hopes and values. We’re so grateful to Jocelyn for sharing her knowledge, creativity, vision, passion and love for things beautiful with us. As for me; I am a wife, a mother, an Educational Assistant and now an aspiring farmer!”