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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was just thinking today asking myself when did we decide to start our life over? We had established a productive ten acre farm over the last 32 years raised , 5 kids total and got them all well on their way to productive lives. The farm fed all of us and provided some income. My husband worked for others doing landscaping, hedges and flower beds. I groomed dogs and opened a very small second hand store. We needed the extra income to pay for things we couldn't produce. We re-cycled, re-invented and made most things needed to work with. It seemed we worked day and night bringing the farm land back to productivity. We raised organic vegetables to sell before it was popular, bred goats, raised chickens and always kept a work horse and sometimes another horse or two and a few sheep as well as a farm dog and barn cats.

The most often question we get asked ; "Is why are you starting over when it took so many years to establish the farm?" My answer to that is;" Because now we can." We are free of family responsibilities for the first time in 45 yrs.. From the time we met all we ever wanted was a small home, a few animals and a simple way of life that allowed us time to go fishing; read, study; write , enjoy nature, family and help others. Still is work but without the struggle. It happens the more you have to take care of whether land or buildings the more work is required and there is less time to do things you really want to do.
We farmed but not the way we envisioned. Our farm was not a business, it was a way of life. It is what we knew how to do and was necessary to provide for our family. Neither of us are smart about making money but we did know how to farm with animals and grow food. We both are frugal by nature and don't need a lot of money to live. So we worked very hard and made it work. But it was much more work than we wanted to continue to do. The old house built in 1830 needed major over hauling that we could not afford. We didn't need a big place anymore.

So in the Spring of 2016 we decided we would sell the house, barn and 2 1/2 acres because that is the amount of land we were taxed for along with the house and barn. We were told it would take a year to sell around here so we had plenty of time to clear out house, barn and re-home animals. What actually happened was three weeks after listing someone wanted to buy the place. Then two more people wanted it. They all wanted us out in a month! That was not possible. We were very particular where our horse would go and goats. Bill was having health issues and a sudden move was out of the question. A deal could not be made at that time. The listing was up in September and we decided we would take our time getting rid of things and downsizing before we listed again.

What we accomplished in 2016 was first we moved our 10x12 ft. wood shed out back with the help of a neighbor and his tractor. The by-law officer said we should move it before sub-dividing while the place was a farm. After sub-dividing the back land would be resource land and we wouldn't be allowed to put the shed there without re-zoning.
Next we hired a surveyor and had the farm sub-divided in two lots. So now we have 5 acres and 2 1/2 acres went with the house. The line went through the garden and took in the hay field and some pasture.
Bill put black plastic on a 20ft x 40ft piece of ground out back to rot up the sod. First he determined the best place for a garden by observing the sun at various times of the day. He wanted the garden to catch the East and South sun particularly. Covering a future garden plot with heavy dark plastic or old hay or haylage is the simplest, easiest way to break up sod ground. No need for a tractor ; plow or tiller initially. Just leave the ground covered all winter weighting the plastic down with boards or rocks. In the Spring remove the covering and the sod will be rotted up and ready to till.
That was as far as we got in 2016 because we were still doing all the farm work too and caring for animals, haying, hauling and cutting up wood for winter, canning and preserving and putting food in cold storage. Our little building perched cockeyed on the back hill through the winter. Nov. I rented an apartment in town and started down-sizing, getting rid of excess things and putting what we wanted to keep in the apartment.

2017 dawned but the weather didn't co-operate as it was a cold year. We did our normal planting.
It was July before we got a walkout basement dug for the building out back and cement walls poured. We had to get some one with an excavator to put the building onto its foundation. Then Bill built a 8x12 ft. sun room on to dry vegetables . All total the building was now 216 sq ft which was exactly what we were allowed with our development permit. Anything bigger would have required re-zoning and a whole lot of expense and headaches.

Next Bill built an outhouse which is now legal in Nova Scotia. Government decided requiring permits was just extra work for them so legalized outhouses. Most of our land is hilly so he had to dig into the side of a hill and built a cement foundation for the outhouse. It has a south window and west facing door. The north side has a door at the bottom that opens for clean out. It will have plastic bins that pull out for easy cleaning.

His next plan was to shingle both the shed and outhouse before winter. But that didn't happen. In August someone offered to buy our house even though we didn't have it up for sale now. We agreed to be out of the house by the end of Sept, and out of the barn by May of 2018. So I finished cleaning out the house and was happy I had started a year or more ago! Bill had a barn sale and sold off farm equipment and tools he wouldn't need .
We found a retirement home for the horse, sold goats and kept only one. She is boarding at a friends farm for the winter. There is only a few things left to sell in the Spring.
We moved the rest of out things to the apt for the winter.

Then one day in Nov. I was looking on Kijiji on the internet which is a similar site like Craigs List and saw a house trailer for sale just a mile from the farm next to a camp ground and lake. It is a fixer upper and very reasonably priced. It has a well and septic tank and a cement block basement and better than an acre of good ground with some woods and apple trees. After some convincing Bill agreed to buy it. Our wood shed out back on the farm has now become a camp. We can camp there as much as we want but can't live there full time. So this trailer is as close as we can get to home and we can legally live in it.
The place has been empty a few years and grass not cut so Bill cut it all with a scythe. He cleared and burned brush. Then hired the man and excavator to take down a rotten tree, level some rough land and haul all the trashy wood away. He also pushed all those huge mounds of dead grass to the back of the property to compost up. In his younger years Bill and a horse would have done all that work but at almost 73 yrs and the retired horse is thirty or more ; working like that is far into the past.
The entrance to the basement is at one end of the trailer with a stone wall on either side holding up the hill side.. The one wall was falling down because it had not been built properly. So Bill took it all down dug back into the side of the hill and rebuilt the wall. Someone didn't know to put big rocks at the bottom of the wall and used small round rocks and big ones on top which was why the wall caved in. Well the wall is done and will probably last longer than we will!

That is as far as we got this year as the next day after Bill finished the wall we had a beautiful light fluffy covering of snow, not a lot but enough to let us know it is time to rest. Preparing our new home will resume in the Spring. This winter we will stay in on stormy days and read and write and rest and eat. Weather permitting we visit where our goat Rose Bud is boarding. We also go visit Rex our former work horse at his new home. We will plan what to do in the Spring as far as re-building the trailer to live in and planting our garden. There is still work ahead to get to a place where the work will be minimal but if God grants us a few more years we will achieve what we had planned to do when we were young before we got side tracked by life. Right now we feel like newly weds starting a new adventure in life together! Have a good winter everyone! To be con't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone for your kind comments! We were out where the new place is today on our way to New Years dinner with some of Bill's family. My heart actually leapt with joy when we passed are new place! There it was covered in fresh fallen snow glistening with sparkles of light ! The snow covered ground was unmarked by either beast or human. It was so pretty! I can hardly wait until Spring and warm weather to come so we can start preparing our place to move to. Have a nice day. Linda
 

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Linda, thank you for sharing this lovely glimpse into your lives. You played those cards right, and won a royal flush!

I was encouraged by the "to be con't" in your first post, which hopefully means you will be sharing more! Your writing takes me away to a saner, gentler world not often seen these days...a treasure!


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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I must say I am humbled by the comments of friends here on Homesteading Today. I enjoy sharing and will do so as our journey progresses as long as I don't bore anyone. My intention is to share in hopes something may be helpful to someone else who is on their own journey.
Starting life over now is a joy. The most important lesson I have learned from our past life ; is to leave it in the past with both the good memories and the bad things I can't change. When you give your burdens to the Lord you can truly be free to move ahead. That chapter of our book of life has ended and a new one is beginning.
We start over trusting God's guidance first, carrying forward and sharing any good we have learned; living each day to the fullest and looking forward to the future.
Well it is 8:30pm here and past our bedtime! 5:00am comes too soon! But I suppose we could sleep in until 7:00am since we don't have barn chores to do this winter. Have a peaceful and restful night everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Today is February 6th, 2018, So hard to believe we are already 18 yrs. into a new century! Time and life sure does pass by fast especially as you get older. I wrote the date for my benefit so if I come back later I will know when I wrote this. If I don't write things down I will surely forget.

This is the time of year we finish last years work and start preparing for this year's work. Normally Bill would look over horse harness and oil it or make repairs. He would do the same with the horse machinery. The mower was already serviced when he put it away in the fall. But since he sold all the machinery and re-homed the horse these are things he will never be doing again.

What he did do is look over all the seeds he saved and ordered what ever he lacked. He buys organic seeds from Annapolis Seeds. The owner operator is Owen Bridge a young man in his twenties who moved to Nova Scotia from another province with his parents a few years back. They bought a farm and Owen started raising seeds to sell. [email protected] annapolisseeds.com is the address on line. I think he ships to the USA too. Bill has his seed order in the mail as Owen Bridge also accepts snail mail orders.
The weather is too cold most days to work on the cabin or outside so this winter Bill is at a loss of what to do. He goes for a walk every day in town and usually meets up with someone he knows. He has found two groups of men who get together once a week for a Bible Study. He reads a lot and is busy writing as he likes researching the Bible. For him especially this winter is different than any other in his 73 years.

I have been busy too still sorting photos and other things and down sizing more. Storage is limited but getting rid of excess things and all the plastic containers sure helped. All the canning, dehydrating , freezing and storing vegetables was finished in the fall.
My last thing I take care of from the last year's garden is the dry beans. They were dried in the sun porch of the cabin late last summer and fall. We put them in cardboard boxes until I find time to shell them. Because they are already dried in the shell they can wait to be shelled until I have time to shell and store them. The shelling I started today when ever I have a spare few minutes. Once shelled they will be stored in brown paper bags, labeled with the name of the kind of bean they are and the year grown. The bags of beans are then placed in glass jars like wide mouth canning jars. I screw on lids and store them on a pantry shelf. The apartment does have a small closet pantry for canned goods. When the beans are shelled in a weeks time my part in storing last years harvest is over. Then except for cooking and baking I can put my mind to things I like to do rather than things that have to be done.

Where our horse went to live is about 30 miles from us. Yesterday the snow was gone and roads clear so we went to visit Rex. He is at a farm that has a pony, a mule, and four other retired horses. We were very fortunate to find such a good home for him. The people who took him are very kind.

Rex was happy to see us and came quickly . Life has changed for Rex and he no longer works. The animals have 60 fenced acres to roam on. They have barns and a heated water trough. Life is good for them.But most of all he has companionship. Horses are social animals and thrive on having company in the pasture and barn.

In Rex's case he has found love in his old age! His close companion is Rosie the mule. She is beautiful with lots of brown polka dots all over herself. She has long ears, a sweet face and is very friendly. We fed Rex and Rosie carrots and Rex shared the apple we brought for him with Rosie! They searched Bill's pockets for more and nibbled my hair.
When it was time to say good-bye Rex nuzzled our faces and we patted him. He turned his attention to Rosie who had meandered back to a hay crib. Rex slowly turned and left to join her leaving us behind. It was a bitter- sweet moment of mixed emotion . We love him, we miss him but are also glad he is happy with Rosie at his new home. It was time for us to leave too and go home. to be con't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well here I am and a couple of months have pasted since my last post. It is April 25th.We have been extremely busy, especially Bill. Winter wasn't too bad snow wise but it was cold with a lot of wind. Bill got out to the farm a few times when it was sunny. He sharpened fence stakes in anticipation of putting up a fenced area for our goat Rose Bud. Between the first of March and now much has happened. Rose Bud has a fenced area on the South side of the cabin with East and West exposure. It is about 75 ft x 100 ft made up of page wire sheep fencing and some donated chain link fence. Bill is now finishing up a goat house 6 ft x 8 ft. It has a sky light and another window. We brought our goat home two weeks ago and she has been housed temporarily in the old barn we used to own. That was quite a trip home in the back seat of our Toyota Echo. With the seat covered with a tarp Rose Bud half laid on the seat and half on me! If you have never had a 150 lb. pregnant goat lay on your lap so she could see out the window you have missed quite the experience. She did good travelling and only grinded her teeth a little at first which is a show of anxiety. Then all 150 lbs relaxed squashing me!

On Saturday April 21st Rose Bud became a Mama of two adorable bucks. One is mostly white with a touch of brown. The other has more brown spots. While Bill was working building a house for Rose Bud she galloped happily around out back jumping and running and having fun. About 2:00pm she headed back to the old barn and Bill followed. Rose Bud promptly when to her pen in the barn, laid down and popped out the first baby no sweat! She didn't have another so Bill went out back to continue working. Returning over a hour later there was a second baby on the floor and appeared dead. It still had a film of the birth sack covering both nose and mouth. He cleaned the mucus away from its nose and mouth and filled his lungs with air. After several breaths of air the baby gasped and came alive!! With in a few minutes he was on his feet and nursing on his Mother! It was quite the recovery! At first he would butt Bill's leg I suppose thinking he was mom. So that little one had to be redirected! He is doing fine now as is his brother. I was almost as excited to see new baby goats as I was to see the first pictures of my first new baby great-grand-daughter born 4,000 miles away ! Thank goodness for Face Book!

Bill pulled up the black plastic he put down last fall to find the sod nicely rotted up. He added compost , made beds separated by wooden planks and has fenced the 40 x 100 ft garden with a chain link fence. That also was someones discard. He has transplanted Shallots , chives, comfrey, from our former garden as well has established a new rhubarb patch out side the fence. Our weather is just starting to warm up a bit to plant. The part of the former garden we retained when sub-dividing will have squash and potatoes planted there.

We sprouted potatoes we eat and have seed potatoes in the sun room of the cabin hardening up waiting to be planted when it is time. I cooked the last of the beets today and cut up and froze garlic that wouldn't keep any longer . Onions that are left are also now cut up and in the freezer as are parsnips. This time of year they all start to grow or get soft if I don't freeze them. We have plenty of dry beans left and canned green beans I put up over the last several years. This will have to be continued after supper as I have one hungry , tired man heading back to town any time now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Potatoes, carrots, beets all from last years garden, local fish and ice cream and supper is over for today. I should sit down and figure out how many meals I have cooked in the last fifty years! It started when I had kids! The hardest thing right now is all the driving every day back and forth from town to the farm and keeping up with meals and lunches. That will change when the trailer home is ready to be used.

Bill worked more in the new garden getting ready to plant. It has only been a few days ago we still had frost in the ground over night so it still needs to warm up a bit more. Around here when warm weather finally comes it happens literally over night. People some times wait until it has warmed up before they start preparing the ground to plant. That is a mistake. The ground should already be prepared so when it warms up the seeds can go in the ground. The part of the old garden we still own was prepared for planting last fall so he just needs to add compost to plant the potatoes.

Right now the tomatoes Bill started from seed two weeks ago are about 4 -6 inches tall and growing in sod pots set in pans in a south facing window of our apartment. They will soon be leaving here to go to the farm . There they will remain in the sun porch until planted out side in warmer weather. We will miss our hot house as it was part of the sale of the house and barn. By another year he may have a small hot house up. This year the tomatoes will be planted along the south side of a rock wall and have plastic around each plant. We grew tomatoes like this 40 years ago on the island Light House station. It was windy and bleak there so we took plastic fertilizer bags cut out the ends and made miniature hot house for each plant. It worked great and the open end let in sun and rain. Something similar will be done this year.

Bill finished putting the sky light in the baby goat barn and did some shingling. We are both a lot slower these days so everything takes longer. I would recommend that anyone wanting to down size or start over to start the ball rolling by 60 yrs. or 65 yrs and not wait until their 70's like we did. As you age every five years makes a big difference. I still ride my bicycle nine miles to town but it takes me about an hour and fifteen minutes where it used to be 55 minutes and that is with walking all the steep hills I never could peddle up. Speaking of hills I use a long walking stick when out on the farm because almost the whole area is hills.It makes it easier getting around. I have a crooked foot and where a special support which does not flex so the walking stick keeps me from falling. I actually find riding a bike easier than walking.

After the goat house is finished shingled and the floor painted and door made Rose Bud and her babies can move in. Today they spent out back and her babies went in their new house to nap. Five hens will be joining the goat family May 17th. We are buying laying hens ready to lay from the local farm co-op this year since it is too late this year to raise layers from baby chicks.The next job to finish is planting and transplanting. After that Bill has to shingle the cabin and out house and hook up stove pipe to the little heating stove. When starting out whether moving like us or starting a homestead the first priority is the land and preparing it to plant because that is what feeds a family. The next priority is determining what minimum animals you need and preparing fences and shelter before acquiring the animals. Third priority is establishing a house or cabin to live in in accordance with laws of the place where you live. In the mean time you can camp or rent. The last is the hardest because there are to many laws here about what is allowed or not allowed to be built and how it has to be done. So far every thing we have done is to the letter of the law which brings me to the next part of our move.

Before winter Bill rebuilt a stone wall at the new property as it had to be done to get to the basement door. It has only been April that any more progress has been made with the house trailer. First I appealed the tax assessment and got it dropped by several thousands of dollars which means lesser property tax when it comes due in June. I went there and cleaned. Next I hired an electrician to re-wire the whole place . This place will be our home but is also an investment so I thought it better to have power and do things according to the building code. If we were younger we would have gone solar but it is way too expensive and we don't want to be in debt at our age. Again even solar power is subject to regulations here. Today a plummer is starting work replacing water lines, pipes and the toilet. Years ago Bill did all these things in the old house but he can't any more and has enough to do on the farm. In a few weeks the roof will be replaced and that we will hire done but Bill will over see it to be sure it is done good. Then we will be able to camp out there so I can cook!! The replacing of windows will happen bit by bit this summer as well as painting the interior. According to the by-law here we can't move in until all repairs are complete but I will be there part time in the mean time we will camp at the farm. Out side I plan to only mow the small front yard and a strip around back of the trailer. The big field will be mowed off about every 4-6 weeks to keep weeds down. The deer will take care of the black berry bushes and brush. This property is my project for us and the farm is Bill's project as doing both is too hard for one of us. Everyone who has looked at the trailer is surprised at what good condition it is in underneath. The basement is solid and the trailer has no rust even though it was put there in 1987! So with a new roof, wiring and plumbing it will be as good as a new home. I found a second hand heat pump and there is a wood stove in the basement with a prefab chimney coming up through. So next winter we should be warm with heat vents in the floor.

Next Spring I will have an herb garden outside by the door. This year it will be all I can do to get the yard cleared of weeds and long grass and keep it mowed. I think no later than fall we can officially move in once all the windows are replaced. The major repairs were expensive so I have to save up for windows and hopefully find some second hand. When finished this will be where we will live winters. It is on a paved road where the snow plow goes and also close to Bill's family. We will make another baby barn for Rose Bud and the hens. So before the snow blows again we will say good-bye to the apartment and town. It has been interesting living in town and we have met some nice people. But goats and chickens aren't welcome in Yarmouth and us country folks are going home! To be con't.
 

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Wow, I am amazed at your energy. It must be challenging keeping track of two places. Glad you are able to do the things you choose. Enjoy your new challenges,and progress!
 

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You made a very good three points (should be Cardinal Rules for Would-Be Homesteaders):
When starting out whether moving like us or starting a homestead the first priority is the land and preparing it to plant because that is what feeds a family. The next priority is determining what minimum animals you need and preparing fences and shelter before acquiring the animals. Third priority is establishing a house or cabin to live in in accordance with laws of the place where you live. In the mean time you can camp or rent.
Extremely important points! If any of the above are in backwards order, life becomes pretty complicated in a hurry.
Thanks so much for sharing, it is exciting to read of all you both are accomplishing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Wow, I am amazed at your energy. It must be challenging keeping track of two places. Glad you are able to do the things you choose. Enjoy your new challenges,and progress!
Thank you for your reply. Yes it will be challenging keeping track of two places but because of the municipal laws here concerning building codes this is the best we can do. The house trailer and acre are already approved as a residence but the farm is resource farm land. For some reason my energy levels are running super high right now maybe because I am trying really hard to get us re-settled back in the country so Bill doesn't have to drive to town and back. He suffers a lot of pain in his bad knee and is really worn out from hard work all his life. He works all day and it is hard driving for him when he is so tired. Yesterday we went to the farm and I brought my cat along so we camped at the cabin overnight and all day today. There is no stove hooked up yet so I made stew and picnic lunch and we ate it cold. By next week I will have both water and power at the trailer and I can cook there and we will only come back to town when we need too. Power was connected yesterday. Plumbing should be done by next week. Hopefully soon we can get rid of the apartment and the money saved paying rent will help make the rest of the repairs on the trailer. The trailer is only a mile from the farm and I use my bicycle to go back and forth. The road is all steep hills so the highest one I push the bike up but going down is easy and much coasting after that. I am very thankful we are finally getting to choose how to live. It has been a hard 40 year trail to get to that point though . Selling the old big house gave us money to buy the smaller place and fix it up. Otherwise this all would never have happened. The big old house is being rebuilt and looks wonderful! But the new owner is investing $200,000 about and that is something we couldn't do. I am happy as the house looks so different and it does not make us feel bad looking at it because it no longer looks like home. We need a much smaller space now and ours will be all on one floor. We are happy about this move. Now if we can survive this transition and be able to enjoy life without so much work it would be nice. Have a good day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You made a very good three points (should be Cardinal Rules for Would-Be Homesteaders):
When starting out whether moving like us or starting a homestead the first priority is the land and preparing it to plant because that is what feeds a family. The next priority is determining what minimum animals you need and preparing fences and shelter before acquiring the animals. Third priority is establishing a house or cabin to live in in accordance with laws of the place where you live. In the mean time you can camp or rent.
Extremely important points! If any of the above are in backwards order, life becomes pretty complicated in a hurry.
Thanks so much for sharing, it is exciting to read of all you both are accomplishing!
Thank you for your comments. Those priorities came to light through experiencing the road of hard knocks! Nothing like doing things backwards to teach one what should come first!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
The last post I made here was April 29th, 2018 and today is August 20th! The almost four months have been incredibly busy and I have had very little time to write here. Much has changed.
We picked up Rosebud our goat April 1st from where she had boarded for the winter. She gave birth April 21st to two little bucks. The first popped out with a loud "blat" no problem! The second entered the world silent as death itself. Bill cleaned mucus from its face and nostrils, cupped his hand around its nose and blew his breath into the lifeless body. He taped the baby's chest and blew more air into the still form. After several minutes there was a gasp! A blat followed and where there was no life a minute before we had a new kid struggling to find its feet! A short time later he joined his brother learning to guzzle his first new milk from a contented Rosebud. The miracle of birth was experienced again and reminded me of why I love the life we have.

April passed and it was still cold here and too raw to plant and there was no rain! Bill planted anyway things like lettuce, chard, radish and spinach. He always says," Plants can't grow if the seeds aren't in the ground. If the seeds are there they will grow when the weather warms up." Well the seeds did grow but the weather didn't co-operate and it was still cold here where we live through May and June! Despite that we ate our first salad greens by the end of May.

We still had the apartment in town while we were preparing to move to the house trailer. That in itself proved to be exhausting and expensive ! The trailer first needed a new electrical entrance, new plumbing, hot water tank, pressure tank, water pump, roof, and heat pump. By June 13th we were all moved in but still need to replace all the windows as we can afford too and need new stove pipe for the wood stove in the basement. . The trailer itself is sturdy and sets on a cement basement. Had we not sold the old farm house we never could have done all that needed to be done to the trailer. The old farm house has under gone a major rebuild which it needed and we couldn't afford. I have been inside and it is beautiful! So all worked out as the new owners of our old property are happy and we are content with our smaller place.

What we like the best is our mini farm on the five acres we kept when sub-dividing the farm. Our former 10x 12 ft wood shed is now a cabin with an 8 x 12 ft sun room. There is also a basement under the cabin for storing vegetables. Bill built an 6 x8 ft mini barn for Rose Bud and a small hen house for four hens. The garden he started is fenced with chain link fencing that was someone's cast off. It is topped by fish net and string on each side to keep deer out. There is a gate on either end and a path way. There is a new outhouse also not far from the cabin. It kind of reminds me of The Little House On The Prairie book with the picture of the Ingall's cabin with the slanted roof! Except ours is Little House By The Big Sea! We still retained part of the old garden and planted potatoes, squash and garlic there. Quite an odd feeling to see others planting the rest of our former garden.

A mile away back at the trailer I established a small lawn in front and behind the trailer. There is a field which Bill only mowed three times this summer. He made one garden bed and has melons growing and beans. Next year we will have an herb garden here where I do a lot of cooking.

The rest is woods which had a lot of dead trees on the ground which he is cutting up for fire wood. We had the well cleaned and despite a dry summer there is still water in the well. I am careful not to waste water though and save dish water or bath water to flush the toilet. Our goal with this place is to keep it simple and maintenance to a minimum. Thankfully both places are close to lakes so if this warming trend continues we will still have access to water. We would rather live at the farm but laws won't permit that and practically speaking the land is so hilly it would be hard in the winter. I use a staff to navigate the hills as everything is on a slant! Even the basement of the cabin is built in the side of a hill which means when you leave the cabin you either are going up a hill to the outhouse or down a hill to the basement or garden. Works great if you are a goat!

If we keep one goat and the hens we will need another little mini barn for winter at the trailer and some fencing. I must admit after spending several days camping at the farm it was nice to come back to the trailer and have running water and a bath and a place to wash clothes! The land is level also so we aren't walking on slopes when outdoors.

This year in the part of Nova Scotia where we live we only had on day of rain in the Spring and that was not a hard rain. The second day of rain was 18th of August and it would rain hard for a short time and stop and resume again. It rained again the next day and that has been all the rain this year. The rain Sat filled two 40 gallon barrels off the eaves of the cabin. Other than that we took the old lawn tractor and cart to the lake for water and watered the garden. I heard this was the fourth driest year since the late 1800's.

We are eating from the garden everyday so keep cooking to a minimum during these hot and muggy days. We went from a cold June and frost to very hot and muggy during July and the first two weeks of August. It is still hot but not so muggy. Usually it is cool near the Atlantic coast but this year was very different. If this is to be the new normal we will have to adjust the way we grow food. Global warming means we need smaller raised beds for vegetables that are easier to compost and keep watered.
The pastures are turning brown from lack of rain and in the long term it means we will be keeping very few pasture animals that also require winter hay. Goats are good at foraging and require less pasture than a cow. A small Shetland pony to do light farm work is good too. They are rugged and don't need a lot of hay and pasture. In our case it has to be few as we need to move them during winter and back to the farm in the Spring. We can't change the weather so we will adapt our growing practices and way we live to this new climate we are entering in.
I will also make use of any wild plants that grow on their own that are sturdy enough to adapt to climate change. Eventually I want to do away with my little freezers and just dehydrate or can as I used too. Even at the trailer we could adapt it to live in without power if need be. Right now though my husband seems to enjoy having a few conveniences as I do too. Although I realize they could be temporary.

Our other family member Isaac our cat is also adapting to his new life style. For his own safety he has been an indoor cat. So imagine how elated he was to be outside at the farm far from any cars and roads! He explored his territory and touched noses with Rosebud gently tapping her nose with his paw when she got a little too nosy! He drools over the hens knowing he is not to touch them . I suppose he dreams of chicken dinner in his feline sleep.

One wonderful experience happened this month when our grand-son and family came all the way from British Columbia to visit. We met our first great grand child; a now six month old little girl named Kylie Rose. She is sweet and adorable as a baby can be and very adaptable meeting all the new relatives. They are back home now but we have very pleasant memories to cherish of their visit. Thanks to Facebook we can track her progress as she grows. Hopefully we will see them all again someday.

Well this has been our year so far. There is much to be thankful for. Bill wore a heart monitor for a month but never has a heart spell! He has been working hard and is physically fit for a 73 year old man except for his hereditary heart problem. Like he says; "I will live here as long as God wants me too! After that I go to Him and have a good long rest!" Because I know God is in charge I don't worry about him. He is in good hands.

At the cabin a few days life slowed down. The birds chirped while a chipmunk hurried about storing seeds for winter. Squirrels chattered and played scurrying from tree to another. They too are working on winter stores. The Loon called its formidable distinct call while sea gulls and crows added to the chorus. A brown rabbit found a way into the fenced garden and ate the tops off the peanut plants. That is all he wanted so we didn't prevent him. He didn't seem disturbed by our presence and would let us come within ten feet of him before disappearing into the woods.
I am enjoying the new swing Bill made for me in the sun porch of the cabin. It was his way of making atonement for selling my porch swing to the owners of our former home! My swing is now theirs and sits prominent on their new deck !He had decided It was too big for the sunroom in the cabin and sold it one day when I wasn't home and forgot to tell me! But I do like the new swing with its board seat suspended by two chains from the rafters. I can swing away and see the lake and ocean in one direction or turn the opposite way and see the woods. Always did like to swing and since I am still a kid at heart still do. It is kind of like flying I guess.

All would be perfect I my world right now except Rosebud doesn't like being alone at the farm with her kid and the hens. Either Bill or I or both have to be there at night or she will blat all night long! Her voice echoes through the hills and according to neighbors far from the farm her chorus can last from two hours to all night! I actually looked in her mouth one day while she was vocally complaining and was surprised at the total length of her tongue. It trembles and vibrates when she is on one of her tirades which must help up her volume . Now if we are there she looks through the cabin window and then around the corner to see if the car is there. If all is well she goes in her mini barn with her kid for a good nights sleep! And a good nights sleep is where I am headed for right now as it is midnight here! Have a good night. to be con't.
 

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Glad to hear you both are doing well and enjoying your new abode. I am surprised at your lack of rain though. I always thought of Nova Scotia as a damp climate.

Do you gather wildfoods for eating and medicine? I've got elderberries in the freezer to be combed and golden rod drying. Last year we had a virus come through with unending coughing and I'm trying to accumulate possible resources if it comes through again this winter. Daughter sent a syrup made in Canada. It did help but the smell and taste were horrid!!!:confused:

Congratulations on your new baby great geand daughter! Pretty name!
 

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Hi light rain! Nova Scotia along the coast had significant rain; fog and lots of dew . It would be drier inland. Temperatures along the coast were seldom more than the upper 70's in the summer and there was always a breeze. Inland areas had much warmer summers and more snow during the winter. This year was different than anything Bill had experienced in his 73 yrs! Cold into June and very hot and muggy July and August. Temps were up in the upper 80's and much hotter inland! The humidity was horrible. Then add the lack of rain which has happened inland areas before but not along the coast. Other area would get drenched where normally they wouldn't get much rain but where we are there were clouds but hardly no rain. The past few years our climate has been changing and not for the better.

I do gather wild plants when I have time to find them. Comfrey grows wild and we planted some to have it handy. It is good for congestion and goats love it too. Blue Vervain also known as New Jersey tea I used for many years when I was prone to lung congestion. It worked on me but taste just terrible so I only use it when necessary. Can't be bought in Canada anymore I was told but may be available in the USA. As with all herbs don't use them for medicine if you are taking drugs of any kind. Medicine drugs and herbs are not always compatible. It can be a deadly combination so I usually don't tell people what I use for what ailment. I don't take any medicine of any kind but Bill has to have a small 2 mg pill for his blood pressure so he doesn't take medicinal herbs. Trying to be preventive and avoid getting sick is the best option but things happen sometimes no matter how we try to avoid illnesses.

Kylie Rose is doing well. Her parents gave her our last name as her middle name which we were very pleased by She was 5 1/2 months when we saw her and already strong enough to pull herself upright! Hold her hands and she tries to walk! No holding this one back once she gets mobile! Thanks for your comments and have a nice day. Linda
 
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