Tour my brother’s British Columbia homestead

My brother Josh and I may live on completely opposite ends of the country, but we still share plenty in common despite the distance.

Coffee addiction, post dinner naps, gardening, foraging and cooking are a few things that come to mind. We can rock a plain shirt on a grouse hunting trip and we’ll never turn down a good gin and tonic. We both have three children under nine and we both have a thing for homesteading that keeps us busy on our respective properties.

I wish we could hang out more often, but at least when we do, we pick up where we left off as if no time had ever passed.

Josh & I

Earlier this month I took a quick trip up to my hometown of Smithers, British Columbia where Josh lives with his family. He agreed to let me poke around the place with my camera and snap a few photos for you. Thanks, JP!

While homesteading is more of a hobby for their family (both my brother and his wife maintain jobs outside the home) they still manage to keep a flock of twenty hens, a generous garden and a small greenhouse. Their place was looking beautiful in the fall, despite the grey skies.

A British Columbia urban homestead | Simple Bites

Josh’s place is nestled on five acres just under the towering peaks of Hudson Bay Mountain (click through for images because this rock is a beauty and I didn’t get any photos of her due to the fog) five minutes outside of Smithers.  It doesn’t have the massive old trees like my place, but the open spaces are restful and allow for a spectacular view in all directions.

A British Columbia urban homestead | Simple Bites

I love this corner because it’s often a hub of activity when they are entertaining. Double doors open from the dining room onto a deck and outdoor eating area. The steps are the perfect place to perch with a mug of fresh pressed cider and watch the kids play.

A British Columbia urban homestead | Simple Bites

Such is the view from aforementioned dining room and patio steps. It’s impressive during all four seasons, I can assure you, and when that mountain isn’t socked in with fog, you can see her ski runs and snowy peaks.

I can’t imagine waking up to this pastoral view ever gets old.

A British Columbia urban homestead | Simple Bites

The flock of hens are free-range most of the summer and provide enough eggs to sell to friends and neighbours. They are a good looking bunch of Speckled Sussex and Barred Rock, and a feisty (to be expected) rooster keeps them protected from predators.

A British Columbia urban homestead | Simple Bites

The all-season chicken barn is about as cute as they come. Josh is the town electrician, so of course it is wired with heat and light for the dark, cold B.C. winters.

A British Columbia urban homestead | Simple Bites

The garden and storage shed houses skis, antlers, tools and plenty of homesteading paraphernalia. It smells like sweet apples and earth.

I like how Josh pushed out a greenhouse space from one end. Northern B.C. has a fairly short growing season and if the cucumbers and tomatoes can get a head start in the spring, all the better.

A British Columbia urban homestead | Simple Bites

Plenty of split wood is essential for those evening fires in the grate; two old galvanized water tubs hold kindling for quick fire starting.

A British Columbia urban homestead | Simple Bites

Just down from the house is the fire pit and play structure. Both see plenty of use all summer long.

I somehow missed getting a photo of the garden, but it was mostly finished save for kale, cabbage and the last of the carrots. We dug up a big bucket and roasted them alongside our wild grouse one night. A salad of kale and tart apples rounded out our feast of local eats, and it was all topped off with my sister-in-law’s homemade apple cider. Spectacular!

Apple cider-1

Thanks to Josh, Laura and family for the tour!

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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Comments

  1. Gorgeous!! It definitely looks like a warm and cozy place to live or visit. And those chickens? Spoiled! That coop is amazing!

  2. Beautiful place and story!

    Love from Alabama,
    Angie

  3. It looks absolutely beautiful up there! I married into good Canadian stock, and my husband has family still up in Smithers. Someday we hope to make it up there. We’re currently in the lowermainland of BC and just love it here. I tell my husband (who grew up here) that he was spoiled his whole life because of the mountain views and easy beach access he grew up with.
    Sarah M

  4. I grew up visiting similar homesteads in Terrace and 150 Mile House, there’s something very special about that part of the country. Thanks for the look at their property, love the whimsy details!

  5. What a gorgeous homestead! I love their front door and the views are simply amazing. Thanks for the peek!

  6. Beautiful!

  7. What a beautiful home! The scenery is amazing and it all looks so cozy, but I’m a baby when it comes to the cold. I’m pretty in awe of you Canadians 😉

    I have a brother who I am close to as well. I wish we got to see each other more often, but it’s like you said, I’m glad when we do get together it’s like no time has passed.

  8. OMG- I love the tour. The place is gorgeous. So cool how you both homestead like that (even if his is a hobby).

  9. Thank you for sharing your travels and lovely snaps. Children & I just finished reading “Saving Sammy” (Eric Walters), and as I was looking at the end notes, I discovered it was based on a real family living in Smithers! Your photos were a timely, illustrative addition to our little bedtime story.

  10. Very beautiful- the surrounding look familiar since I am from the Pacific Northwest, just a few hours south. I love the photographs and am dreaming of that apple cider!

  11. Aww that’s so sweet!! My brother lives in California so I don’t get to see him as often but I definitely do agree that once you get together, you pick up where you left off! It’s so nice to have siblings 🙂 your brother’s place is gorgeous!

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