First World Rural

By Dave Block

First World (Rural) Problems - Bringing the 21st century past city limits.

First World (Rural) Problems - Bringing the 21st century past city limits.

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No Backup Plan

We live in an amazing house, surrounded by forest and farmland. We bought this land in 2007 and started building the house in the spring of 2008. When we got here, our neighbour was ahead of us - he had scouted out the water situation and was preparing his bu…


Chain Saws, 3/4 tons and PHP

I left my lawnmower behind.Living in suburbia, I had a pretty nice lawnmower. Not a riding mower, but it had that self-propelled feature and the bagging or mulching options both worked. I didn't have that much lawn to worry about, but a lawnmower, a trimmer, …


Victoria Day Weekend Break

First World Rural is taking a week off and going to Jasper National Park for the Victoria Day long weekend. Talk to you next week!


Going for Groceries

Living out in the country is kind of like taking a lot of week-long trips to a beautiful place with all the comforts of home, except that you are home the whole time. When you pack for a week at a cabin, you buy a bunch of perishable food, and you may stock u…


Working Together

The images of rural life in popular culture are drawn, I think, from New England and the American Midwest, where the population density is much higher and the climate much more friendly than Alberta. The picture above is from a Google Search, and it seems lik…


Lifestyle Design

In 2007 we lived in northeast Edmonton, in a conventional neighbourhood in a 3 bedroom house with a bonus room over the front-facing garage. We owned a Suburban for family hauling and a little red Acura Integra for commuting. We had four children in elementar…


Fixing Stuff

Living out of town changes the calculus for a lot of home maintenance jobs. We bought this shiny stainless steel dishwasher when we found a good deal (at DirectBuy) but it stayed wrapped in plastic well past the warranty date. When we finally got to finishing…



Before we moved out to our acreage, we lived in a very nice suburban neighbourhood in northeast Edmonton. We had grocery stores, convenience stores, schools, churches, and recreation centres all within a very small radius. Our mail came to a 'supermailbox' ac…


Internet Access and Rural Co-operatives

Moving from the city to the country has its challenges - and one of the chief topics of conversation between neighbours here is how we get internet access.When we moved, we had to switch cellular providers because the one we had was focused on urban connectiv…


My Neighbour's Tractor and the Sharing Economy

I live in a subdivision of 49 lots, carved out of a treed quarter-section by a farmer who had no better way of profiting from the hilly, forested land. He bulldozed some roads, ran power and gas along the roads, and separated the land into acreages.


First World Rural (problems)

I'm a freelance developer who lives out of the city, reliant on my ISP for my connection to my workplace, which is 'the cloud'. I was chatting with a client in California via Slack, and I was complaining about something - it might have been shovelling my driv…