Finding a Balance in the Boundary

Tafel and husband Will Pedlar, who helped build the other dome houses, live off the grid

Erika Tafel

Erika Tafel

High above Rock Creek, author Erika Tafel has found the perfect blend of lifestyle and creativity as she begins work on her second book.

Following on the heels of Slave to the Farm, which chronicled her time spent as a ward in Quebec’s juvenile system in the 1980s, her latest title will document the construction of the family’s underground house, the fifth one to be built in the neighbourhood.

Tafel and husband Will Pedlar, who helped build the other dome houses, live off the grid, have no debt and, when all is said and done, will spend less than $50,000 for their dream home.

Pedlar has milled all of the lumber used in the house, harvested largely from their twenty-acre lot and is using recycled stainless steel and granite to furnish the kitchen. The house will be solar powered and use composting toilets rather than a sceptic system, with the waste being used to feed their gardens.

Tafel avoided describing her and Pedlar as “back to the landers,” though certainly feels their lifestyle encapsulates a whole set of values not unlike those embraced by the hippies of the ‘60s and ‘70s, who strove to turn their backs on capitalism and return to a more community-oriented way of life.

This movement has become a global one, made more viable by today’s communication technology, which allows for easy sharing of philosophies and technology.

Tafel has also recently completed work on a screenplay based on Slave to the Farm, and a producer is currently being sought to help take her story to the big screen.

In the meantime, she and Pedlar will continue to chip away at the construction of their underground home and enjoy their idyllic lifestyle here on what they call the top of the world.

Boundary Creek Times

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