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Dima and Amy: Ukraine and Canada

Updated: Mar 25, 2020

Amy was born and raised in Frankville Ontario on an off grid self sustainable family farm. The mentality of growing and doing it yourself is best. Dima was born and raised in Zhytomyr Ukraine with deep roots to his grandfather's traditional farm. We met in Hana Hawaii doing volunteering and working stints abroad. We then continued to travel around the world together.

What brought you to Frankville in Leeds Grenville?

Amy's family is still in Frankville and we recently bought our own off grid farm in the town.

Not many Canadians can say that they’ve visited Canada’s artic, but the two of you used to run a remote lodge in the artic of Canada, can you tell us a bit more about that experience?

Living and working in the north of Canada is an iconic, satisfactory and extraordinary experience. The pristine nature, wilderness conditions and need of a survivalist work ethic are not easy to describe, nor are for the faint of heart. We lived in a canvas tent frame with a wood stove, and endured conditions ranging from -48 Celsius with meters of snow and the winter darkness to 25 Celsius on the arctic tundra and the 24 hour daylight. We ran all aspects of living in the wilderness, working with crews and conditions, and running a tourism establishment. It is a huge scope that includes everything from ordering masses of food that are dropped in occasionally, to fixing machinery, to cutting wood, to fishing, to looking after guests and giving them a glimpse of life in Canada's north. It is hard work, but Dima and I take pleasure in the reward of living in raw nature, snowmobiling, fishing, the aurora borealis, and the amenities of tourism, especially the bush saunas where you can cut a hole through up to a meter of ice for a dip in the water!

Your family currently lives off grid and is self-sufficient. What led you both to want to live this lifestyle? What have been the biggest challenges / most rewarding aspects of this lifestyle?

Off grid and self sufficiency lifestyles require a lot of attention and planning, but is very simple to carry out. You need to be aware and carry out tasks such as monitoring water and power consumption, pumping water when needed, maintaining a battery bank, cleaning and tilting solar panels, performing energy saving habits, gardening, root cellar-ing, etc. The combination of small jobs allows us to produce our own power, pump our own water, and we try to produce or locally source as much of our food as we can. The rewards, numerous basically are sustainability, better food, no power bills etc. Its a wholesome concept.

Do you have any personal or cultural traditions you love to celebrate?

We try to celebrate holidays and traditions of both Ukrainian and Canadian orient. Now that we have our son Damian we will try to do more of this so he can learn both cultures.

What advice would you give a newcomer moving to Leeds Grenville?

Our advice to any newcomers would be to get out and meet people. In rural areas it can be difficult, but joining clubs, groups or organizations is a great way to get involved in the community.

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