City slickers move to Alberta farm, document their new life on YouTube
Jonathan Forani, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Thursday, February 15, 2018 9:52PM EST
In a move that would make any city slicker’s polluted lungs seize, an Alberta family decided to adopt the country life and move out of their downtown Leduc home.
They needed wide open spaces. “I really wanted goats and some horses,” said Ashley Berndt, who with partner Shayne Kirkland packed up and moved with their blended family from Leduc, a city of more than 55,000 people to a farm outside the small town of Millet, home to around 2,000 people. The kids were enthusiastic about the move, drawing pictures of their vision for the farm, coming up with names for their future horses, dogs and cats.
While over the last year they have gotten into homesteading -- the lifestyle of subsistence farming -- and caring for farm animals, they’re still in tune to some aspects of modern city life: they started a YouTube channel about their new way of living called “City Girl Homestead.” The idea came to Berndt in the fall. The family had settled into farm life more after a good summer and she thought they could share what they had learned on social media. The kids were enthusiastic.
“They just got so excited and started throwing ideas in to the air,” said Berndt. “Suddenly it became an all-in project of the entire family and it's just so mind-blowing, because they love it, their heart’s in it. They create the ideas, we film it, we edit it together,” she said.
Berndt and Kirkland are seeing new talents emerge among their children too. Their oldest daughter Audrey has a good eye for the editing process and mentioned she might want to go into radio, said Kirkland. The boys are picking up hammers and getting to work. Kirkland is even teaching them how to use the power tools safely.
“They’re learning so much and we’re doing it as a family and that’s kind of the most important thing,” said Berndt. “It’s bringing us together in such a way we never thought would happen.”
Because of that, the YouTube channel -- and any subscribers and attention they get -- is just an added bonus.
“If people follow us and if they like what we are doing -- awesome, thank you so much,” said Berdnt. “And if they don't like it and they click to the next thing, that’s OK too. We’re doing it because it's something we want to do as a family.”
Not to mention, the parents are finally feeling the zen in their new rural surroundings with ample space to do what they couldn’t in the city. They had always done a lot of gardening at home, but the plants quickly took over in the small backyard. “We kind of needed something bigger,” she said. Now they’ve got acres.
With files from CTV News Edmonton