The last few weeks have been chock full of community activities and interesting developments for us at Duskwood Farm.
I helped a fellow CFA, Ilona, organize an event at the local Anglican Hall called Connect with Your Community, a veritable welcome wagon rolled out for us newcomers to meet our neighbors and showcase local businesses. The event was a real party and welcomed around 90 people into the hall.
We attended a great Seedy Sunday organized by our friends Vanessa and Will from Honeywwooferâs Homestead at the East Dalhousie hall. We volunteered for the day and came away with a huge variety of seeds for free. It was also a great event with a big bake sale and lots of new faces.
It turns out that if you express an interest in farming or gardening, our area is full of avid gardeners and farmers willing to share their bounty in perennials:
We adopted a 2-3 week old kitten from our friends Jess and Jon. They were given the kitten by a neighbor who found it abandoned near their house. Jess and Jon took the kitten in and started the process of bottle feeding, however as they were expecting a baby themselves in the next few weeks, Jess asked us if we could adopt him instead. After about two weeks of 4-a-day feedings and constantly heating up a hot water bottle to help regulate his temperature, Vlad is doing well, heâs more than doubled in size and is eating and drinking on his own now as well as using the litter box. He has become an energetic and entertaining addition to our family and we are hoping to transition him to being an indoor/outdoor cat that can help with pest control around the farm.
We put our canoe back in the water this month and went out for our first paddle. It is wonderful to be able to have the access to the LaHave River again. This also meant that we stopped in at Robarâs, the local convenience store and picked up our fishing license. These licenses vary slightly from Ontario as you have to fill out the cards with information on the species of fish you catch, with locations and dates so that we can submit our findings to the Department of Natural Resources. Itâs a pretty cool exercise in Citizen Science that helps to monitor fish populations. Licenses for a year are about $26 each.
Now that we are starting to have livestock and gardens, our water needs are increasing. As a temporary solution, we have been walking down to the creek and drawing water for the plants and animals and for things like bathing. Iâve been talking with my Dad about off-grid water systems and trying to figure out what solution will best suit our needs. In this process, I started to think that perhaps a well might be the most cost effective solution, so I took a gander over at the Nova Scotia Groundwater Atlas to try to determine how deep we will expect to drill or dig in order to find the water table. To my great surprise, I discovered that there is actually a record of a well on our property already, though we werenât told about it through the process of purchasing our land. The company that completed the well is still active though it was done twenty years ago so I reached out to them to see if they could find anything for us. According to the Groundwater Atlas it looks like it is on our property, however it is so close to the property line it is hard to tell. Iâm hoping that the original contractor can give us some context so we can determine if it is still viable and whether we have the right to use it. If so, that would mean we only need to work on a transportation system instead of a transportation system and a filter system since it is graded for residential use. This was a very exciting morning for me because it felt like I stumbled upon a treasure.
We are super excited about our upcoming training course this Sunday to get our firearms permit and hunting license. This feeds into one of our larger goals of self-sufficiency, something we feel is a valuable tool on the farm for pest and livestock control as well as an excellent skill. Tyler got so excited about it that he pushed for us to get a pellet gun so we can do target practice. That was a pretty interesting night because I discovered Iâm a decent shot even though Iâve only used a gun a few times in my life. Another new friend and fellow CFA, Kristy from Rocky Moss Farm is putting together a womanâs hunting group so I am excited to get my permit so I can join other cool people learning how to hunt as well.
In the next few weeks we will be introducing 6 chickens and 4 muscovy ducks to our homestead, so we are spending the next two weekends getting both of those pens built. We are super excited to be working with George over at Barss Corner lumber as he can supply all of our lumber needs as a local independent mill. We have heard rave reviews that Muscovy ducks are great for eating up all the ticks on the property, so we are looking forward to testing out that experiment and seeing how they fair. We are purchasing the ducks from our friends Jess and Jon who started out with just 6 ducks last year, which grew without much difficulty to a whopping 30. We purchased our chickens from the local Shur-Gain in Bridgewater, and we have pretty limited expectations of their production, we are hoping we get enough eggs for our own consumption.
âWith these two additions underway, we will have completed all our planned activities for farm development for the year and the rest of our time will be spent getting used to our new additions and maintaining what we have started. Other than that, we are putting all of our energy towards preparing the property for the winter.