For almost a decade, a Canadian couple with two daughters living in a self-built clay house has not paid any bills and have become almost self-sufficient.
Misty Murph’Ariens, 36, and her husband Bryce Ariens, 46, came to the remote forests fifteen years ago. Their daughters are Sage, 7, and Auroroa, 5.
The couple spent a few years in the countryside picking up tips and tricks before they paid $37,500 for a plot of land and began constructing a cob house using natural resources such as clay, sand, and straw. About $10,000 was spent on the construction.
The pair claims that their entire annual cost of living is only CA$15,000, thanks to their “off-the-grid” lifestyle, according to Parent24.
The Ariens saves about CA$70,000 per year compared to the average Canadian family of four.
Solar panels provide power, while rainwater and rainwater are used to keep the family virtually fully self-sufficient.
Misty, from Dundalk, Ontario, shared why her family moved to the remote place. “From the moment we met we instantly knew we wanted to live an alternative lifestyle,” she said.
After spending 54 weekends in Bryce’s grandmother’s cob house in Durham, the couple decided to build their own home after moving there in 2006.
“Bryce’s grandmother’s cottage was so peaceful and we were constantly disappointed when we had to leave and go back to the city,” Misty added according to METRO.
“I’ve always suffered with intense migraines but when we moved to the countryside they started to become less and less frequent,” said the mother of two.
“Six months after moving they’d stopped completely and I’m convinced it was the noise and the city environment which had been the cause of my discomfort,” she went on to say.
The little girls are homeschooled and receive a traditional education and specialized training in animal care and construction techniques.
Misty and Bryce make a living by running a modest catering business in the nearby neighborhood. Because they do not own a car, they go by bicycle, foot, or horseback.
Bryce claims that not everyone is suited for this lifestyle, but it is a dream come true for his family.
“Whereas most people are spending the majority of their time working to afford the necessities of life, we spend our time working to acquire these necessities directly.” Bryce said.
“Granted its not a life for everyone, but it works for us, and, as a family, we’ve never been happier.” he added.