Greetings From Nova Scotia

Here at Land’s End in Short Beach we are busily winding up the years work trying to stay ahead of winter! The past week there has been a definite change and drop in temperature. It has been in the 40s F or about 6° or 7°C at night . Days range in the 50s F or 10°-12°C. The wind blows hard and we have had some cold rain this week. The clouds look more like snow than rain clouds

Bill was waiting for a hard frost before harvesting turnips. Frost seems to take the bitterness out of them. We have had mild frost so far some nights. The cabbage is also still in the field. One step forward and two steps backward is the order of the day. Lay plans and the unexpected always comes along to change them. So we are a bit behind schedule getting things done.

Bill ran into problems repairing the broken mowing machine. In the end he had to take another broken mower and dismantle it and use two to make one. This was no easy task as both mowers are a hundred years old and most likely have never been apart before. Five aggravating days later he succeeded and the new mower is oiled , put away for winter ready to use next year. Bill is a few years closer to a hundred himself after this frustrating week. He hates working on any machinery horse drawn or other wise.

The winter wood is split and much is now under cover in the sheds. We still have more to bring in before it snows. Some years winter is late here and other times it has snowed in October. Pick a choice when it comes to weather forecasts as none of them are accurate all the time for our region of the country. I prefer to watch the clouds and observe the wind and wildlife to know when winter is coming.

Our goats were right on schedule coming into heat this year and we now have four expectant mother’s to be. The buck was only born in the Spring but managed to breed all our females and jump two pasture fences to breed the neighbor’s goat not that she minded. When not performing his duties he was still nursing on his mother. How gross is that!! Too bad his life will be short, as as soon as it gets colder later in November it will be butchering time. This is a sad reality of farm life.

Bill finished shingling the front of the barn but still wants to change the goats stall around as well as the opening to the out side before winter. When done the barn will open on the south side letting in more sun and making a nicer place for the goats to be out doors to lay. Presently the enter and exit on the east side . The new entry will have a big south window to let in sun and light. That is sun when we have it! Until September it was very elusive this year! September and October were our best months weather wise.

I have finished canning and putting up preserves finally.Then I stocked up on essentials such as toilet paper, flour, brown sugar and cooking oil. My goal is not to have to shop until next summer. It is my least favorite thing to do. I am about finished fall cleaning in the house and am getting ready to close up the upstairs for winter except for one guest bedroom.

Hunting time has already arrived and the deer have disappeared again. Like magic a herd of sixteen can suddenly vanish. Bird hunting starts earlier. The deer must hear the gun shots and use this as a warning to start finding hiding places. Up until now the deer have been grazing in our pasture and hay field every night.

Rex somehow acquired a swollen tendon. Our theory is he must have slipped and twisted his ankle on one of the hills after a hard rain. After treating it with compresses and giving him Brute, which is like horse aspirin, for pain he seems no better off a month later. Bill thoroughly examined his foot to be certain he hadn’t picked up a stone or split a hoof. Rex has good horse sense but accidents still can happen. Since he can’t talk we must observe and by deduction assume what is wrong.

Here is what I have noticed lately. Rex no longer takes off for the back pasture when Bill handles the harness which was is cue to hide if he didn’t want to work! He spends his days lazily grazing in the west pasture in view of the neighbor’s house from which the humans bring him apples everyday. They felt sorry for him. If Molly runs circles around him trying to get him to play he is still able to run from her or rear on his hind feet. If Bill and I are outside in his sight he limps when he walks. He hangs his head and looks pitiful or lies down. But when he is unaware of our presence he stands with head alert watching everything of interest to his horse brain. True is leg is still swollen some. However Rex is either aware of his hurt only at specific times or he is aware he has found a good excuse not to work! What ever the case Bill has decided not to work him in the woods this winter. He will wait and see how his leg is in the Spring. If it is going to heal Rex should be fine six months from now.

Personally I think Rex is much wiser than we give him credit for. I am sure when he lies down with eyes half shut with the friendly buck goat lying next to him he is thinking ; ” This is the good life! No more work, just great pastures, free apples , people catering to me ; even making that pesky dog to leave me alone, plenty of hay and water. How much better can life get for a horse! Those poor humans are such saps!” Who knows; maybe we are. But we love Rex and aren’t taking any chances with his leg even if he may being using horse sense to pull the wool over our eyes, out fox us or maybe I should say using horse reason to out wit human reason!

About lrose

Greetings from " Land's End" in Nova Scotia! My name is Linda Rose. My husband , Bill, and I have been living on and farming organically on a ten acre farm for 23 years now. Bill grew up dairy farming and I grew up and lived in both the city and country. We were married thirty years ago July 9th. and are former Light House Keepers. I am a writer, mother of four, grandmother of two, former dog groomer, hospital worker and now do child care part time. Bill always farmed but also did gardening for others . He was also assitant Light Keeper on Green Island and Bon Portage Island off the south shore of Nova Scotia. We live in what is now called Short Beach on the south shore of Nova Scotia. Many years ago before the first white settlers set foot from their sailing vessels on the rocky shores of Short Beach the natives called this place Kespoogwit. Translated to English it means "lands end" Appropriately named, the land does end a two minute walk from our farm. This is where the Atlantic Ocean beats the rocky shores holding us spell bound. Nature, ever changing, demostrates the puniness of man or woman to the relentless forces of the sea. The forefathers of many people who reside in this area sailed on vessels from England and Scotland. They journeyed to Nova Scotia to begin their lives afresh in a new land. They brought with them only the bare essentials of clothing and tools and in some cases animals. They came men, women and children. Challenged by the weather more than from hostility of the original inhabitants, many a stout man and woman carved homesteads from forested land near the Atlantic. The weather and rocky soil presented obstacles for the original homesteaders and the generations who would follow them. Bill and I came to Short Beach in 1985. I prefer to call our homestead "Land's End". Our journey was much different than that of the first homesteaders who settled here. However our lifestyle is not a whole lot different. We still till the ground and mow the hay with horse drawn implements. I sweep the house with a straw broom and cook on a wood stove. Although ;someone thinking I was missing something gave us an electric stove and fridg; I still prefer my wood stove. Our wood for heat comes from a wood lot and is hauled five miles home with our work horse. Our food is grown organically using mostly simple hand tools to work the soil. The Atlantic continues to hold its observers hypnotized by its sporadic beauty. Tranquil repose is periodically interrupted by furious surging tides, eroding and redefining the shoreline of Short Beach. This is Kespoogwit ; "Land's End". It is our home.

One thought on “Greetings From Nova Scotia

  1. You have inspired me! I, too, hate shopping. Why couldn’t I just plan to not do it for months at a time? I have enough savings to do it now. This is a great idea!

    -Robin