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Looking for Nova Scotians.

dan collins


Joined: Apr 22, 2012
Posts: 59
Location: Nova Scotia
Hi everyone, I'm new to this site and new to nova scotia. Moved to right coast from BC last summer, would like to find some fellow permies in nova scotia to exchange ideas. Victoria was such a diferent climate to Upper Stewiacke where I bought a small farm, and have been feeling a little lost in adjusting to the later frosts...etc. Just finished my first hugelkultur and hope to do much more. Hope to hear from you fellow permies.


Experiment, invent, build, grow, share....lead by example people!!!
Willy Kerlang


Joined: Apr 29, 2011
Posts: 106
Hi Disco, I'm in NS too (South Shore). There are a few of us on here. You can also check out maritimegardening.com, which is not really about permaculture necessarily, but a growing place to network with other Maritimers. Welcome to paradise.
dan collins


Joined: Apr 22, 2012
Posts: 59
Location: Nova Scotia
Hi Willy thanks for replying to me, and thanks for the tip to the maritime garden site. Nice to know that there are a few of us around, yet to meet anyone anyone in my area that has even has an idea what permaculture is, very few even seem to respect organic practices. Have recieved many funny looks or rolled eyes. I toured the south shore abit when visiting a couple years back, very beautiful.
Jonathan Byron


Joined: Apr 16, 2011
Posts: 225
    
    1
I own land on Cape Breton, but am living in the US currently.

P3 is offering a PDC course near Baddeck in June, 2013. http://www.p3permaculture.ca/NS_June_PDC.html

Have y'all spoken with these folks: http://www.novascotiapermaculture.net/ ??
Scotia Scott


Joined: Mar 23, 2010
Posts: 9
Location: Laurentians, Quebec (zone 3b)
You'll likely find lots of permie kin at this event too, should be happening again this summer at the farm there in Tatamagouche:

http://freeschool.fairtrademedia.com/
pete mac sween


Joined: Jan 21, 2013
Posts: 7
Wow I envy all of you folks I grew up in Cape Breton but now live in Toronto due to the fact there is not much employment in that area. Maybe someday I will move back but for now am stuck here in Ontario. Good luck finding what you need there because most folks are not open to change or different ways of doing things, but that is simply my own opinion and experience. There are lots of people that will help you out but you just need to find them. Here is a link to NC State University and 38 seperate classes on a wide variety of permaculture issues ranging from introduction, soil, site analysis, design, trees, composting, water catchment etc.. Hope this is of some help, if nothing else it just might give you some ideas.
pete mac sween


Joined: Jan 21, 2013
Posts: 7
OOOPPSS....Forgot to add the link
http://mediasite.online.ncsu.edu/online/Catalog/Full/f5a893e74b7c4b7980fd52dcd1ced71521/?state=X6km6MWxet0Fow8uljpu
Vern Faulkner


Joined: Jan 01, 2013
Posts: 35
Southwest New Brunswick here - trying to ease off-grid, towards permaculture, in the next few years.
Heather Holm


Joined: May 13, 2011
Posts: 9
Location: Nova Scotia
The Blockhouse School Project on the South Shore near Mahone Bay, http://www.theblockhouseschool.org/, is transforming an abandoned school and 6 acres into a model for how to become more self-sufficient and sustainable, which includes permaculture.

We're running our second PDC in May-June 2013 taught by Graham Calder of P3 Permaculture, who is moving to Antigonish right now. We're also fundraising so we can meet Dep't of Environment regulations regarding the septic (much as we'd love to put in a greywater system, there is no "greywater" in Nova Scotia, and it will take years to change the rules, and we're much too public a project to try to get around it).

We have a few hoops to jump through before we can own the property, but we're doing what we can in the meantime.
Heather Holm


Joined: May 13, 2011
Posts: 9
Location: Nova Scotia
There's also a Facebook group called Permaculture, Sustainable Farming & Off-Grid Nova Scotia at http://www.facebook.com/groups/130703066110/
Anne Murphy


Joined: Dec 02, 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Nova Scotia
Hello from the valley.. we acquired an abandon farm, and are working on moving in and cleaning it up.. with the hope of being self sufficient and sustainable in the future.

Thanks for the links
dan collins


Joined: Apr 22, 2012
Posts: 59
Location: Nova Scotia
Thanks for post the posts and links everyone. Sounds like there are more of us than I though, excellent.

Permies travelling in the Truro area, contact me I would love to give a tour of what we up to here at Backwards Brook Farm, Upper Stewiacke.

Andreae Callanan


Joined: Feb 13, 2014
Posts: 9
Location: St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada zone 5b
Hi everyone! I'm in Newfoundland, but I'm going to post here so I can keep up-to-date on any exciting happenings in NS - there aren't generally any PDC opportunities here, but traveling to NS to study wouldn't be impossible. I'm planning to visit Halifax for a short time this spring or summer, and I would love to take in a permaculture workshop or two if I can make it work. Fingers crossed!
James Wheeler


Joined: Nov 25, 2013
Posts: 11
I'm coming home from Maui this summer to take the P3 permaculture design course in Antigonish. I fly in around the 15th of May. Are any of you interested in seed sharing and work trade?

I really want to practice building rocket stoves of all kinds, Natural building and pond construction.
James Wheeler


Joined: Nov 25, 2013
Posts: 11
Forgot to mention I am working on 7 acres of land outside of Oxford and living in Amherst.
Jennifer Surrette


Joined: May 03, 2013
Posts: 1
Hi everyone,

I'm currently living in Halifax. My partner and I are looking to buy land in the Windsor to Stewiacke area to start a farm/homesteading. I've been studying permaculture on my own for a couple of years and just took my PDC in May/June (James was there too...hi James!). I've been experimenting in my backyard for many years and there's little room left for anything else. I'm interested in growing perennial vegetables, mushrooms (in a food forest), and medicinal herbs/plants. I'm learning about beekeeping now. It's comforting to know there are like-minded people in the province.
dan collins


Joined: Apr 22, 2012
Posts: 59
Location: Nova Scotia
Thanks for the post Jennifer. You sound to be in the same situation as me proir to moving to the Stewiacke Valley. We love it here and recently discovered many more homesteader/permie minded people in the upper Stewiacke area.

We found we lucked out with the farm we chose as we are close to (5k) gas, mail, groceries, part-time employment and bank. This has saved us many hours and gas $. Aswell having a small home and wood heat allows us to be warm without large heat bill.
Fallon Wilson


Joined: Jan 10, 2013
Posts: 22
Location: London, Ontario, Canada
    
    1
Hey everyone, we are making serious plans to purchase land in NS this winter/Spring and wondering about concerns like strict building codes, areas to avoid etc. Ive bookmarked the posted links after checking them out. We are coming from Ontario and will be Tiny Homing it in a converted Bus RV until we can build our home in NS. We are travelling to various festivals and events to vend my partners art work, jewlellry etc and breaking the chain of city life for good.
Jeff Higgins


Joined: May 16, 2013
Posts: 9
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
The North Shore area(Tatamagoughe) is a very diverse and eclectic area, if you are looking for opportunities. Besides the free school put on by the waldengrave community, I know of Biodynamic farmer who is attempting to form an intentional "commun"ity with a relatively low buy in to his farm. If you are organic and preparing for self sufficiency ie Prepping there is also a possibility for cheap land or assocation with that group. Build your own tiny home etc. there are Cob homes, organic homesteaders and generally a free spirit in the area.
Christine Fedora


Joined: Jan 09, 2013
Posts: 8
Hi, I was living in Upper Stewiacke for 10 years, slowly working towards my permaculture and self sustaining goals. Last March we moved to Cape Breton. Now I am looking for like minded people in my area. There are a ton of amazing, like minded people in Upper Stewiacke. If you haven't done so already go in to Cochrane family farm.
kyle saunders


Joined: Dec 19, 2014
Posts: 32
Location: Sackville/Graywood
    
    2
Hi there Dan,

Lived in Nova Scotia for my whole life. Been reading these forums for a while. Just saw this thread and it encouraged me to join and start talkin. We've got a 50acre, post-clear-cut in Graywood (nearest town you might have heard of is Annapolis Royal). We have a 3 or 4 acre soft/hard wood mixed forest on the plot with a camp, and are beginning a food forest / edible landscape within the clear cut.

We're a bit (read: a lot) into the idea of nature doing most of the work, mostly so she doesn't undo it when she doesn't like our ideas. Third year starts in 2015. We put in a dozen or so fruit trees last year and the year before we experimented with soil building and did a lot of observation. Don't get down there nearly enough (once or twice a month) and it's great to see that she's been doing well and taking care of things. The pond is almost a pond, and the gardens are definitely gardens.

I live in the Halifax area during the week, working away and dreamin of 'retirin' to the land. Just thought I'd say hello and let you know there is a pretty deep network of interesting farming folk around this province. Next time you get to a workshop, talk around and offer someone some help on their farm. It's always surprising to see what other people do in this strange climate. One of our land partners gets paid for farmwork in plants and has been beefin up our gardens this way from the beginning.

Anyway, thanks for bringing my permaculture surfing back home, now I can get back to day dreaming.
bill berry


Joined: Dec 24, 2014
Posts: 5
Kyle, we are not far from you. we have 100 acres in clementsvale, where we were living off grid, till we had some issues with the county inspectors...


kyle saunders wrote:Hi there Dan,

Lived in Nova Scotia for my whole life. Been reading these forums for a while. Just saw this thread and it encouraged me to join and start talkin. We've got a 50acre, post-clear-cut in Graywood (nearest town you might have heard of is Annapolis Royal). We have a 3 or 4 acre soft/hard wood mixed forest on the plot with a camp, and are beginning a food forest / edible landscape within the clear cut.

We're a bit (read: a lot) into the idea of nature doing most of the work, mostly so she doesn't undo it when she doesn't like our ideas. Third year starts in 2015. We put in a dozen or so fruit trees last year and the year before we experimented with soil building and did a lot of observation. Don't get down there nearly enough (once or twice a month) and it's great to see that she's been doing well and taking care of things. The pond is almost a pond, and the gardens are definitely gardens.

I live in the Halifax area during the week, working away and dreamin of 'retirin' to the land. Just thought I'd say hello and let you know there is a pretty deep network of interesting farming folk around this province. Next time you get to a workshop, talk around and offer someone some help on their farm. It's always surprising to see what other people do in this strange climate. One of our land partners gets paid for farmwork in plants and has been beefin up our gardens this way from the beginning.

Anyway, thanks for bringing my permaculture surfing back home, now I can get back to day dreaming.
Joe Oblenis


Joined: Oct 11, 2014
Posts: 17
    
    1
What an interesting thread this is. I am originally from Nova Scotia myself, Amherst. Been in northwestern Ontario nearly 7 years now and out in BC for roughly 7 years before that.
Getting more and more interested in off grid living/ permaculture all the time.
Been working from home the last several years doing some woodworking items from a two car garage and am dreaming of ways to transition into something more off grid. Moving east is certainly an option for early 2015!

Cheers... Joe O'
kyle saunders


Joined: Dec 19, 2014
Posts: 32
Location: Sackville/Graywood
    
    2
bill berry wrote:Kyle, we are not far from you. we have 100 acres in clementsvale, where we were living off grid, till we had some issues with the county inspectors...


That's veery, very close. Just up and over a hill or two actually. Good to know that our county actually inspects, before I give them anything to inspect about. Mind if I ask what they were displeased with? And if you were building out of sight or along the road? We're off in the woods with little traffic, aside from hunter/fishers and dog walkers. But we're not looking to put more than a camp, shed, outhouse and some greenhouses. Oi, hope that goes over well.

heh.


Joe Oblenis wrote:Moving east is certainly an option for early 2015!


Do it!
dan collins


Joined: Apr 22, 2012
Posts: 59
Location: Nova Scotia
Right on. There are more and more of us. Thanks for all the replies.

Other than during the winter, I rarely I have time off the farm. I would like to fit something in this year permie-ish, any meetups I should know about for 2015?

bill berry


Joined: Dec 24, 2014
Posts: 5
Kyle, we built a 8x20 between 2 campers to make a spot for wood heat. it was only temporay, so we didn't get the proper approval.
someone reported us to the county, and have had to deal with trying to get it permited. where we are, is a water shed, and we are too close to the property line(not near the water, actually further away from the water) they now want us to move it all 20' closer to the water......
we are 4km from the pavement, and power, with no other houses, or camps on our road. we are 1km from the county road, on our own property, and still got reported.
for a season cabin, etc, the county is pretty decient to deal with. But it is in your best interested to talk to them before building anything.

kyle saunders wrote:
bill berry wrote:Kyle, we are not far from you. we have 100 acres in clementsvale, where we were living off grid, till we had some issues with the county inspectors...


That's veery, very close. Just up and over a hill or two actually. Good to know that our county actually inspects, before I give them anything to inspect about. Mind if I ask what they were displeased with? And if you were building out of sight or along the road? We're off in the woods with little traffic, aside from hunter/fishers and dog walkers. But we're not looking to put more than a camp, shed, outhouse and some greenhouses. Oi, hope that goes over well.

heh.


Joe Oblenis wrote:Moving east is certainly an option for early 2015!


Do it!
dan collins


Joined: Apr 22, 2012
Posts: 59
Location: Nova Scotia
The "Blockhouse work party afternoons" which were held on fridays last year and ended on dec 15 sounds fun. I hope to get to one if they do it again this year.

Did anyone here make it out to a blockhouse work party?



kyle saunders


Joined: Dec 19, 2014
Posts: 32
Location: Sackville/Graywood
    
    2
Thanks Bill.

I think I will try to push it for our first few structures, but if we plan anything that big it's good to know. Hopefully we run into each other at the Lequille store one day!

I've never been to the blockhouse work parties, but the place blockhouse does sound familiar.
Ross Raven


Joined: Jan 16, 2015
Posts: 95
    
  10
Umn! Someone said I should be here. This is a new site so it might take a while to navigate. Please forgive. Im a bit of a trouble maker. Some people like that. These are my credentials. http://internationalpreppersnetwork.net/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=5503
Quick question. Do I actually belong here? Before I immerse myself, best to talk to the local smart guys in charge. Its not the usual way people usually introduce themselves... But it sounds like a good idea to the moment. Your comment?
Joe Oblenis


Joined: Oct 11, 2014
Posts: 17
    
    1
Ross Raven wrote:Umn! Someone said I should be here. This is a new site so it might take a while to navigate. Please forgive. Im a bit of a trouble maker. Some people like that. These are my credentials. http://internationalpreppersnetwork.net/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=5503
Quick question. Do I actually belong here? Before I immerse myself, best to talk to the local smart guys in charge. Its not the usual way people usually introduce themselves... But it sounds like a good idea to the moment. Your comment?


Yeah Ross...I think this is the right place for you!! I am fairly new here as well and it was a bit overwhelming at first. There are just so many good resources on these forums. I'm glad ythat I found it when i did and I'm glad you are in here too!

Cheers... Joe O'Blenis
Jeff Higgins


Joined: May 16, 2013
Posts: 9
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Glad to see you're finally on permies, Ross. Lots of cool stuff covered on here. Check out the wofati buildings threads that will give you some ideas on your root cellar. That should be a great group project for the summer. That will a great weekend project for a group of us
Robert Dobie


Joined: Apr 05, 2015
Posts: 18
Hi Dan, you are right ! I am pretty much doing what you did by heading to Nova Scotia from the West coast. I grew up in Victoria before moving to Vancouver and then South to Souther California for a while and then back to Canada. Time for another change as I need more space to garden and the land prices on the West coast are out of control. I will keep in touch, Rob
Jeff Higgins


Joined: May 16, 2013
Posts: 9
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
About the county Inspectors, all I have to say is know your rights. If you are living off grid, anything that cannot be seen from the road can not be legally inspected if you have your land posted no trespassing. The only government official allow to trespass by law is a game warden. If inspector can see anything from the road he has you, as he hasn't trespassed to find out. Always check with some one about your rights, Nova Scotia is full of off grid Camps that have never been inspected. Once you want power the permits start. Most camps are not build to any kind of code in fact, as inspector require people to upgrade and change their home, perfectly good stoves and chimney pieces for the camps are easy to find here. Of course don't take my advice either if the inspector calls you call a lawyer, if you've just moved here and your not familiar with the loop holes the inspector might take advantage. If you don't hang a permit then hang a no trespassing sign. Also fyi a no hunting sign means the owner can't legally hunt the land either. And the game warden can trespass. If you want to live off grid keep quiet, don't attract attention, keep it out of sight , and keep in good with your neighbors.
Fallon Wilson


Joined: Jan 10, 2013
Posts: 22
Location: London, Ontario, Canada
    
    1
Hi Robert welcome to the east coast We just bought 29 acres near Mahone Bay and heading back out to NS first week of May for the summer ourselves. Ill be attending a PDC near the North shore and working my land on weekends until the course is done. We're looking for folks to network/connect with and plan on checking out the blockhouse as well.
Robert Dobie


Joined: Apr 05, 2015
Posts: 18
Hi Fallon, I just checked out the map and looks like you are about 55 miles from my farm as the crow fly's. Not sure how far of a drive it is from Mahone Bay to the Digby area ? I am still on the West coast in Vancouver about to start a mural project then onto a print making project as well as putting the finishing touches on a couple oil paintings heading South to a University in the US. Spending my free time what little I have of it right now getting some tools and other gear and part of my seed collection together for my trip out to NS in a few weeks. Weather looks like it is starting to warm up a bit so just waiting for the snow to melt. I will be heading to the old farm and have not walked the property yet so wont know what I am dealing with until I get there but the first trip will be a camping trip. Most likely will only be there for a week or two on the first round and back again in the late summer for a while. Be there 5-6 months to get things in gear full on about this time next year but will see how thing go on the first round this year. Lots to do if I am going to get the house in order, set up a working studio space, and get to designing the growing spaces and start planting. The old orchard will be needing a major pruning for starters to see what is worth keeping or taking cuttings from. A good adventure for sure and a bit of a culture shock from Vancouver and my time spent in the big show in Southern California. Looking forward to getting out to Nova Scotia and will keep in touch with you. Once I get the ball rolling I will have lots of extra veggie, herb and fruit plant on the go and quite happy to pass a bunch on to you that you may not have. I think we are pretty close to the same growing zone 6b as far as I know. I have tried the purple mooseage function here thinking it was an option to message people here direct but according to the message I received back from permies nobody gets the messages other than the permies moderators. Not sure what the point of that is but seems to be a waist of time and function. I am guessing we all have to post our email address on the forum. I added mine to my profile page but don't see it if I go to my profile page. Have a look and if it is not there I will send to you via this thread. Can also stay in touch via text message but have yet to see if my cell is going to work anywhere near the farm. Seems like the Annapolis Valley is a bit of a trip back in time but that might not be such a bad thing. Cheers, Rob
Laura Rutherford


Joined: May 24, 2015
Posts: 3
Greetings! I'm currently outside of Toronto, but have been looking for the last couple of years for a place to call home in NS. I came down twice last year with my young daughter where we focused mostly on the valley and south mountain, where I was really hoping to find something this year. When we came back in the spring, we hit the south shore and a couple of other places on the way to Cape Breton. The trouble with NS is that one is spoiled for choice!
The top 3 contenders (so far) are located in Williamsdale, Dean and Middle River. Does anybody here have experience in any of those areas? I've already checked out all the obvious stuff like distances to libraries, stores, gas, airports, etc but I'm more interested in things like, how vibrant and welcoming is the community? Is there a thriving market? Cultural events? What's it like to live there? Figures the properties with the best potential fit are all in places I haven't really had a chance to explore.
I plan on coming down again in June, hopefully to finally find the place - any input pro or con about the aforementioned areas greatly appreciated - thanks!
Oh, I just tripped over a few old articles on prospective drilling by Petroworth at Lake Ainslie - does anyone know if that went ahead?
Cheers,
Laura
dan collins


Joined: Apr 22, 2012
Posts: 59
Location: Nova Scotia
Hi Laura. Welcome to permies.

I know the the Dean area a little bit, since I live 20k away in Upper Stewiacke . It's nice rolling hills but very quite and I wouldn't recommend it to you though if a vibrant community is what your looking for. I would recommend checking out Maitland, a small fishing town 30mins south of Truro on the Minas Basin, or the Tatamagouche which also is nice and reasonably priced.


Best of luck in your search.



Laura Rutherford


Joined: May 24, 2015
Posts: 3
Thanks Dan - that was my first impression of the Dean area; very quiet. I'm partial to quiet myself, but not sure that my daughter's quite the hermit I am. Heck, even I'm not always quite the hermit I am! Also, there's the small matter of wanting/needing to sell food to people...

Thanks again for the tips - we'll be down again in a couple of weeks to continue the search. Hope something comes of it - I'm ready to start observing and interacting with more than my computer screen!

kyle saunders


Joined: Dec 19, 2014
Posts: 32
Location: Sackville/Graywood
    
    2
Laura Rutherford wrote:Greetings! I'm currently outside of Toronto, but have been looking for the last couple of years for a place to call home in NS. I came down twice last year with my young daughter where we focused mostly on the valley and south mountain, where I was really hoping to find something this year. When we came back in the spring, we hit the south shore and a couple of other places on the way to Cape Breton. The trouble with NS is that one is spoiled for choice!
The top 3 contenders (so far) are located in Williamsdale, Dean and Middle River. Does anybody here have experience in any of those areas? I've already checked out all the obvious stuff like distances to libraries, stores, gas, airports, etc but I'm more interested in things like, how vibrant and welcoming is the community? Is there a thriving market? Cultural events? What's it like to live there? Figures the properties with the best potential fit are all in places I haven't really had a chance to explore.
I plan on coming down again in June, hopefully to finally find the place - any input pro or con about the aforementioned areas greatly appreciated - thanks!
Oh, I just tripped over a few old articles on prospective drilling by Petroworth at Lake Ainslie - does anyone know if that went ahead?
Cheers,
Laura


I believe Bear River (Southwest NS) and the Lahave/St Margarets Bay (South shore) areas are growing into some decent communities. Been eyeing those areas myself for a little while. Lots of like minded people around there for sure. (Southshore places are more expensive)

For farmer markets there is the Annapolis Royal market (my favourite one so far), Wolfville (pretty big I think, been a few years. I love wolfville, beautiful town near the tidal river. just move there! heh) and the halifax Markets (big, but downtown). I've heard the Antigonish market is really good as well, and that area is particularly beautiful, with the ocean being the warmest up there. Also hearing great things about the Yarmouth farmer's market, but again I've never been.

Been to a daylong permaculture course in tatamagouche and the area seemed to be very 'like minded'.

I've tried to buy land in Noel, but was too swampy and rumours of future fracking scared us out. And also tried to buy land in Great Village, but the property required trespassing to get to and we avoided it. Beautiful place though. We landed on Graywood (see above rants) and are in love with it.

Don't know much about the NS greater area even though I've always lived here. But please update us when you find something! I wish I could be of more help.
Anne Murphy


Joined: Dec 02, 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Nova Scotia
Hello NS Permies.. The group has really grown since I was here last.. Yay!!

Anyone up for trading? I went the way of buying an old farm to fix up.. which has been an awesome fun adventure.. and because it was an old farm that was left to do it's own thing for ten years.. I have extra.. extra raspberries canes.. extra black locust trees.. extra black/red currant bushes.. and so much more.. While i could dig them up and toss them to the burn pile.. it seems a shame.. especially when so many of you are just starting with a (sort of) blank slate.

So here's my proposition.. It's a U-dig kind of deal.. and I want nearly nothing for them.. Just some Permadvice.. or maybe a even a plant from your garden you have too much of.. or a hug.. one can never have too many hugs.. If your interested.. message me: LostinafieldofSunflowers@gmail.com

Good luck to those of you still looking for your piece of paradise.. It must be hard to pick.. Nova Scotia is so very beautiful

(Laura: Also look in that triangle on the map between Hantsport, Truro & Halifax.. So many old farms for sale for a song.. We have some great little communities and your close to a few busy markets... but not as far away from the city as Bear River or Antigonish)

Gotta go dig..











 
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subject: Looking for Nova Scotians.