Anyone Homesteading in Nova Scotia

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by MrsBob, Dec 18, 2003.

  1. MrsBob

    MrsBob Member

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    Hi All:

    Is there anyone out there homesteading in Nova Scotia or New Brunswick? We are currently in Ontario but our housing costs and property taxes are so high that we are just starting to consider a move and I am thinking NS or NB. My husband is not so sure.

    I've looked at property on the net and some of the farms are very cheap, we could be mortgage free, but I guess that the chances of getting any sort of job to cover our bills would be extremely slim.

    Also, the weather, is it much more severe than central Ontario? What about the lifestyle and the people, surely it must be more laid back and pleasant than the hustle and bustle that we endure everyday?

    I guess I'm just rambling on, but any advice or information on the merits or pitfalls of living out there would be great.

    Thanks for listening to me.
    MrsBob
     
  2. woodenfires

    woodenfires Well-Known Member

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    Decided to edit my response to simply say that winters can be tough here in New Brunswick but not a lot tougher than in Ontario. I lived in Mississauga and Brantford and they may have been a bit less severe but nothing that stands out to me that much. The people here are friendly and will help when asked. Most people here mind their own business but certainly don't mind helping someone out, in my experience. Its a really great place to live and I believe its way cheaper than ontario or the west. Good luck!
     

  3. Janon

    Janon 993cc Geo Metro

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    Have you considered farther north in Ontario. Too cold? Well, I've been in southern Ontario (Toronto and Windsor)... and there the cold and moist lake wind will cut through you like a knife. Some places may be colder temperature wise, and they may have more snow... but that does not always translate to how cold it feels.

    cheers,
     
  4. You might want to ask at http://www.acountrylife.com/. The proprietors Carolyn and David, are planning on moving from Britain to NS/NB in the near future. They've probably done some of the research in which you're interested.

    Good luck!
     
  5. affenpinschermom

    affenpinschermom Well-Known Member

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    We are also looking at moving to either N.B. or N.Scotia. We will be going there in May to check out the real estate. My husband is a self employed general contractor so could do carpentry, etc. to fill in where needed. we are hoping to move there and semi retire. The price of land is so much less there than here that we should make out quite well.
    Our greatest concern is the issue of citizenship. We've looked into duo citizenship, but do not understand all the implications.
    We've been homesteading for 20 years, so know what to look ofr and think that both providences have a lot to offer.
     
  6. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Nova Scotia has caught my eye too. Annapolis, Kings or Hants run 2800 hu which is very close to here. The right climate, people and politics. I would want a farm (that makes at least as much as I do here) and I am stuck on that point. I am in Ottawa so selling the farm and moving to Nova Scotia would get me a sizable farm all equiped and stocked and probably leave cash in the bank, but the population base of the entire province is less than the city I sell into now! I like it here though the city taxes will go up and the near urban people/bylaw presure will get worse. I have looked at N Ontario too but there isn't enough Deet in the world to get me back up there. (Petawawa isn't really "North" but the bugs only get nastier the further north you go) I'm curious what sells off NS farms and to whom? I'd consider a Band B with a wool fibre workshop/lamb sales etc. but I've heard sheep farms are a little scorned in some parts there. They are here too by some come to think of it. So what makes a farm profitable there?
     
  7. MrsBob

    MrsBob Member

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    Thanks everyone for responding to my post.

    I do tend to daydream about a "better life" but my husband is always there to bring me crashing to reality. But I have been working towards my dream for the past couple of years. We moved from a village and into the countryside a couple of years ago, and now have 7 acres a few chickens, ducks and grow our own veggies. Hopefully we will start getting some animals in next year. But I still feel restless and wish that we could get away from the hustle and bustle of central ontario. My husband works full time, and I just feel that life is too short for us to spend so much time apart.

    We had considered moving further north in Ontario, but NS or NB just seems so much more appealing, and I think that we would get better value for money there.

    To answer Woodenfires, we have been putting quite a bit of thought into how to make a move, so we are thinking of visiting NS and NB in the spring to look at the different areas and check out the property market. We have two small children, so they simply go where we lead, and my 13 year old doesn't seem too concerned about where we live. We would have enough money (hopefully) to live on for one year after purchasing a property, so in this time we would hope to get some form of income.

    Thanks again, I'm going to check out that website that Darren has mentioned and see what they are up to.
     
  8. affenpinschermom

    affenpinschermom Well-Known Member

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    I have a friend who lives in N.Brunswick, but does prefer N.Scotia. She said the economy is picking up there. She said organic farms are a big thing and people are selling their veggies and fruits in the larger cities. I would only count it as a side income, though and would not make the move without cash to hold us for quite some time while we got established. We have done that both places we've homesteaded and I can't tell people enough that if you are planning on homesteading, one of the biggest down falls is not being prepared financially. There are beautful farms for sale in N.Scotia. Some have a B&B potential, also as a side income.
     
  9. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I would luv to farm on a bigger scale than i do now and truely from a land cost point of view Nova Scotia has it. Good soil correct heat units good moisture.......... just kind of an ify market. I had thought of shipping lamb south to Boston but the mad cow import ban has snapped the reliability right out of that idea. I like the idea of a bed and brekkie, maybe 200 acres of export Christmas trees, and 400 or 500 acres of sheep pasture/farm? *sigh* Too bad the Ottawa farm isn't worth enough to retire at 40!
     
  10. fellini123

    fellini123 Well-Known Member

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    Hi everyone, now I didnt actually homestead in NS, but I lived there for 5 years. From 1981 to 1986. Now I will admit that has been a while ago. But it was the very best time of my life!! I absolutely loved it!!!
    I was in the Navy and stationed in Shelbourne. I have had a garden up and down the east coast and even in Northern California. I must say the VERY best garden I ever had was in Nova Scotia. It was probably the smallest in size but BOY could it produce. Those daylight hours until 10:00 PM really lets those plants grow!!!!
    The people??? One word...wonderful!!! They were all so friendly. I always had meat in the fridge, I didnt hunt but everyone else did and they always made sure I got some!!! In the summer we had sailboat races every Wednesday.
    On Sundays you had 2 choices, either you went around to all the neighbors and had tea and cakes, or you stayed home and had other folks come and have tea and cakes at your house!!
    Crafts??? Well they have the very best wool yarn I ever have found. And wonderful material. And I am still trying to find the little ceramic Christmas oraments that we painted there.
    I was lucky as I was being paid in US dollars and only had to spend in Canadian dollars :) It was very nice. Outside job opportunites?? That is tough, most everyone I knew either worked at the base, which is now closed down, or fished.
    Schools?? GREAT!!! Much better than the US equilivants that I have seen. I was really impressed. The joke was in NS the poor kids ate lobster, the rich kids got peanut butter!!!
    So can you tell how I feel about Nova Scotia????
    Alice in Virginia
     
  11. affenpinschermom

    affenpinschermom Well-Known Member

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    I am so grateful that someone else posted this question since I have learned so much. My friend said all the same things that were said here, it was just nice to have a 2nd opinion. I will for sure post something when we get back the end of May. I look forward to it more than ever now.
     
  12. lmrose

    lmrose Well-Known Member

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    Mrs.Bob; My husband gre up in the southren part of Nova Scotia on a dairy far. He is 68 yrs. old now. In his grandparents and parents time as well as his farming and fishing for lobsters was a way of life here. Bill and I have had our own little farm for 28 yrs now not far from where he grew up. What has changed here? There were atleast twenty dairy farms in the area and now there are only two left. We have a small group of local people spread through the municipality who raise vegetables to sell now and one beef farm . They all sell at the local Farmers Market on Sat mornings.

    Each village and community in our area was self sufficient with a school, gas station, store and churches and in earlier years a black smith shop. Some communities still have an elementary school but they are few. Schools were merged and kids bussed. Some communities still have a church but they are dying out as people age and die.People flock to the bigger churches in town. There are a few corner stores left but most have been replaced by a big box store in Yarmouth called Walmart. Then there are the two big grocery stores and two smaller ones in or near town.

    The climate here in this area is milder than further north in the province but we still have winter. Some winters there is hardly any snow and other winters there is a lot. Springs are usually damp and wet but occasionally we get a dry spring. Summers can be either wet or dry but along the coast we get alot of fog through June and July. August it clears up usually. Sept and Oct were always the best weather here until this past Oct when we had clouds and fog. Gardening is difficult along the coast if you are growing crops which need alot of sun. Cole crops do fine such as cabbage and broccoli. Tomatoes and peppers need a green house to ripen. Making hay is a nightmare as it is hard to get three good drying days in a row. Some farmers make haylage which requires less days to dry. Our other foe along the coast is the wind which is incredible!

    Further North in the Annapolis Valley growing conditions are better except some places lacked rain in recent years. Summers are much hotter and winters are colder nad have more snow.

    In the south of Nova Scotia where we are and it is probably true in other places around the province; the community structure has about disappeared. It has been a gradual demise over the past two generations as society changes. Automobiles made it possible to take schools, churches, stores and community events from the small communities and consolidate them in one area. So children and adults don't have the same interaction as they had in their small villages years ago. Neighbors keep to themselves but are helpful in an emergency situation. People travel to jobs so aren't interested in community when not working. The exception are some senior citizens who try to keep community hall events going. When that generation dies their efforts will die with them.

    Times have changed and not for the better. Even we feel isolated and cut off even though we have neighbors. Life as we knew it is gone and the best of close knit , self sufficient community life is also gone. TV, autos and now internet has ironically brought people together over distances but separated them right where they live. The world has changed.

    We miss the way life was and are presently planning to move to a different local in Nova Scotia. If we can find a close knit, self-sufficient, farming community we will be there. I will let you know if any still exist when we find it.