I'm moving out east to NB or NS and I'd love to hear from anyone living there.
I think I'd like to end up in NS, preferably somewhere from Yarmouth, along the South Shore, to Halifax, but I think I'll be moving to NB initially to take advantage of the cheap land. I want to farm, so I want to be in the Maritimes to get a feel for the markets, regulations, (lack of) abattoirs, and to be able to scope out properties when I'm ready to buy. I'm thinking that the South Shore would be the best place for year-round grazing and mild climate. I would also like to live by the ocean because I find I can breathe freely without allergy or asthma issues.
I'd like to know what your experiences are, if you're originally from there or a transplant, what the organic market is like near you, if you've dealt with processing animals for sale and probably a bunch of other things.
If you could chime in, I'd appreciate it.
A piece of land is worth as much as the person farming it.
-Le Livre du Colon, 1902
we bought 29 acres of clear cut forest on the south shore and have a tent trailer on it. We are currently looking to buy a farm ourselves in the same area you have been thinking about. There are a number of farmers markets and restaurants in Mahone Bay, Bridgewater, Liver Pool, Shelburne etc so there are options for selling produce there. I found the winters to be similar to central Ontario on the south shore.
Year round grazing will be extremely difficult because of the snow that comes. I expect you will have to supplement feed and provide shelter (and water) or you will take losses.
I did intensive grazing management for 53 cows and then their calves on the North Shore. In winter, there is no way the animals could eat from the ground. The wind drives snow drifts, which accumulates quickly. I had a berm over 8 feet tall of pure snow. Temps down to -20 -> -23 C.
Land is cheap in NS too. Check out www.viewpoint.ca which is the premier website to seeing every property in NS at a snap. I am not affiliated in any way. Its one of the delights of buying a property in NS - every piece of historical and current info you could dream of, for every property except government. Amazing really.
If you are not married and are common law, get married. I found out the (extremely) hard way that if you are common law, you are merely a guest in your own home no matter if all expenses come through you. If your name is not on the title, then you are entitled to nothing, except "unjust enrichment" which is if you can prove you did all the work. You then have to go to Supreme Court to prove that which is extremely costly. Compounded when it comes to children.
There is a huge local culture which ostracizes or pervasively permits grudges against "come from awayers". That is, if you aren't born and bred, you are viewed with suspicion even upon first meet. Having said that, there are enough newcomers that is encouraging that crappy mindset to die down. Its still very pervasive in small villages though. I spoke with one guy who was part and parcel of a ! daily! morning coffee and chit chat group of men who sat on the porch of a local general store who was still viewed with suspicion after a decade of meeting there. He eventually put us his house for sale to move 15kms up the road to another village where he felt he wouldnt have the same issue. I experienced it too, but found some people with slightly more open minds.
Up in the North Shore, the local cattle sales were held at Truro. It was very difficult for the guys to make a living doing cows though they loved them to bits. Even a guy who was doing grassfed beef struggled, despite having a meat mobile where he would sell quality grass fed and finished meat in different locales daily to meet the various demands.