Words, sweaty foul armpits and stinking doped up hippies

Permaculture.

Not at all what I thought would stand for, what it meant. I’m not a hippie lover because of the afore titled mentions and I often think there’s a lot of boo baa going around in a lot of doped up thick minds when it comes to left wing policies on a bunch of topics on earth.

Permaculture was one of them. Past tense, because thats what I used to think. One might think I’m a stinking hippie at heart too, with daughters named Skye, Eden and Storm. And one might be forgiven for that absolutely.

But I’m not. And as I’ve become educated in things farm-ey, I’ve begun to learn that not all preconceived notions or even reasonable assumptions of things that may be, are true.Permaculture is one of those.

Permanent Agriculture uses a lot of things that I have believed in since being a boy, and is quite frankly quite brilliant. Of course there are a lot of minds out there who bring their own slant to it. Its good to experiment and learn. But a few who had the guidance (unlike me) or courage to follow their hearts and who have practiced this stuff their whole lives are like a kindred spirit for me. Looking at you, Sepp Holzer and Geoff Lawton.

Its my new (old) direction for me at the farm. And I haven’t been happier doing day to day¬†earth activities that make sense since being a boy, close to African nature. I’m blessed.

A list of resident farm wildlife

Cool animals, bird life, insects, domestic animals that we see, have seen or are here permanently.

Two different resident owls

Fox 

Coyote wolf hybrid

Bear and two cubs

Porcupine

Beaver 

Eagles of various kinds

Hummingbirds, blue jays, chickadeas, barn swallows, crows, ravens, robins, etc

Snakes

Hawks

Pheasant and grouse

Loads of cows, our first calf

Fireflies

24 hives of Bees and loads of bumble bees

Wasps of many different varieties

Bats which is really cool because 90% of all bats were killed off two years ago here in Nova Scotia.

Tbc

And to us..

our first farm animal is born. A healthy bull calf.

At nine at night, I heard Menno the neighbor driving urgently around the main gate to the pastures. Next thing I know, I hear a second car. I was in bed, natch.

Grumbling loudly, I threw on a tee shirt and went to investigate. Menno, his wife and George were there. I greeted then all gruffly and they motioned to the cow with a pair of hooves sticking out her rear.

Fun time! George wrapped a rope around the hooves and I helped tie it to their pickup truck under his urging. He called, I acted as hand signaller and Menno reversed with rope attached. The cow was in my head gear rig already which kept her in place. She bellowed, which I really really felt for her. 

The truck strained some, and then the calf popped out. There were concerns it might be dead because it had been sticking in that position for some time’s

But no fear! Chestnut was born healthy to his inexperienced mum and I spent the next two hours guiding his mom back to him because she pretty much left him alone. 

The next morning it was clear they had bonded and all was well. George brought a bag of collostrum and we feed it to the youngster the next day. She and the calf had injections and Menno brought hay. We brought the kids to get a peak and I took photos Adi as to minimise disturbance.

That calf is healthy as a horse(?) and runs around like he’s the new kid on the block. Wait a minute..

Adventures with daughters

We had our first calf born here in the last week or so! After being released in the main field so that the mama could eat whatever grass she wanted to help bring in her milk, she took the calf to the rear of the farm. We couldn’t find it.

After following her late in the day, Skye and I found mama and calf in good shape after a few days. Skye also found some lovely brown eyed Susan’s..

Old school is sometimes daft

The previous owner, a self righteous locally despised engineer turned farmer, thought that killing all green life on driveways or around fences was de rigeur.

We’re turning that around by encouraging green ground improving pants, which will help with erosion control tremendously. Weeds included. Here’s a test bed for three different methods of scarifying lupin seeds.

Feeling like a farmer


Even the Jerseys approve.

Result. Not my favourite, mold board plough is pretty awful for erosion. I’m testing it to learn how to use it for cutting swales. 


I love the curiosity and interest that cows have in anything that changes. This is the first time I hooked up the plough, and despite the plough being in their corral since they came here, the combo of tractor/ plough is enough to illicit investigation.