Stephanie has been looking for something new, and that’s how she decided to leave her hometown to live in the mountains in a small growers community. At first I got intrigue by her amazing school bus she restored, but I also discovered a talented artist and an inspiring B.C. farmers organization! Read her story here.
Where are you from and where are you now?
I grew up on Gabriola island B.C. , but currently (mostly) reside in Lillooet, B.C. I moved here a few years ago when friends of mine bought a farm, and I was looking for something new. It’s beautiful here, the landscape is always shifting with the light of the day. It’s very inspiring.
Your bus looks really cozy, can you travel with it or is it always parked ?
My bus is always parked. It does run, but it has air breaks which I don’t have a licence for. Mostly I wanted a home that I could put work into and take with me wherever I go. I like the idea of traveling with it someday, but its too big, I think for just Uka (my dog) and I.
Did you restore it yourself ? Can you show some pictures before and after?
I had help along the way, but a lot of it I did myself. This is apparent if you look closely at any of the “carpentry”.
Your art is pretty cool, can you make a living out of it ?
Thank you. I have sold Art, and made trades, but not on a capacity that I am currently make a living off of it.
Can you describe the community where you are now ?
We started farming the land two summers ago, and are in transition to becoming certified Organic. We formed a co-op with some of the neighbouring farms called The Rainshadow Growers collective, and sell products together at farmers markets and to restaurants. The community is small, but entertaining. In the summer the farm is full of people, work-awayers, visitors, family. Its pretty crazy sometimes. We have had a few house concerts in the summers as well. We drag all the couches and blankets to the yard and invite all the neighbours. Its pretty dreamy.
You have many dogs in your pictures, are they all yours ? Can you tell us a little more about them ?
I highly recommend having a canine companion, and especially if you can, adopting one from a shelter. There is nothing better then going for a hike with your dog and seeing how happy it makes them to explore. Uka (Uka-lele) is my dog (the boarder collie-ish fluffy one, who is the star of my instagram). She is almost 4 and is my best friend. The rest of the dogs are all the pets of other people who live on the farm, and close friends.
Follow Stephanie here:
Instagram account : @s_artuso
Farm instagram account: @rainshadow.growers.collective