Story by DANIELLE GRIFFIN
Photos by ALEX PEARSON
Hilary and Christopher Mueller built their home near Petite Rivière, Nova Scotia four years ago and spend most o f their time on their land. They have beautiful gardens, greenhouses and rolling fruit orchards. Their two small children and a lot of free-range chickens have freedom to roam and explore the natural world.
Though humble, the Muellers are full of intrigue and contrast. Their home is off-grid and they have chosen to forgo a lot of modern conveniences. Yet, in the midst of this rural simplicity, they also run a nationally recognized, internet-based seed
Their company, The Incredible Seed Co., is an online seed supplier that offers gardeners and farmers the ability to buy all of their heirloom, open-pollinated seeds from one website. Their green, low-impact office is located on their land and is powered entirely by solar panels. The office is small but boasts high ceilings to house the company’s 430+ seed varieties. Now in their seventh season, Christopher & Hilary have had to hire three more employees to meet the growing demand for their seeds.
Hilary notes that maintaining a low-impact farm, raising children and managing a thriving business can be hectic, but they do find a positive work/life balance. While the business operates year-round, the bulk of their annual revenues happen each year between January and April, as customers from across the country and beyond vie for their favourite seed varieties.
Even during the height of their busy season, Christopher says that running a business that is completely online and off-grid is simpler than most people think. Using MIFI (a wireless router that acts as a mobile WIFI hotspot), they can easily run the business and still - occasionally - take in a little Netflix. With a vision for enabling more people to grow their own food, Christopher and Hilary are passionate about making a large range of high quality seeds accessible for others. This falls in line directly with their passion for food security and living a low-carbon, sustainable life. The Muellers have a pioneering life-style that is simultaneously earth-friendly and modern; yet, they don’t seem to realize how remarkable they really are. For helpful tips on gardening and to access their seed
catalogue, visit Hilary and Christopher at incredibleseeds.ca