I've been lurking on this board long enough to like what I see, so I decided to join. A bit about me...
My wife and I decided we had had enough of living in the high population density, pollution, and taxes of southern Ontario, so in May 2009 we pulled up stakes, and headed east in search of greener pastures. We lived in our travel trailer in a campground near Sussex, New Brunswick until we found a property in rural NB, about an hour north of Moncton. Now we are on 40 acres of treed land with a trout filled river, and we are purchasing the surrounding 44 acres. Our north border meets up with 355 acres of crown land.
Our plan is to build a self sufficient food forest based on permaculture principles. Currently, my wife is working as a CMA accountant in Moncton, and I take care of building the farm, cutting wood, cooking, canning, etc.
This year we started with 3 Berkshire hogs in a large electric fenced pasture, and they are doing great. We're expecting to slaughter them in mid to late October. We also built 3 hugelkultur beds, and companion planted them with various plants that are doing incredibly well, considering I haven't watered or fertilized them at all. We're in harvesting and canning mode here right now, and soon hunting season will be starting. Our pantry is filling up, and we hope to make it through the winter without grocery store bills.
Our cooking is done on an open fire in the summer, and on a woodstove in the winter. We try not to use electric appliances when ever possible, and have cut our power usage to under 400kWh per month so far. We don't use the electric heaters, coffee maker, toaster, microwave, or clothes dryer at all any more. Our computers and network hardware chews up a good portion of the bill, but we're not at a point to scale back in that area yet. Our water heater is electric, so I heat water for dishes, washing floors, etc on the cookfire instead, and only use the water heater for showers. We have an electric well pump too, but we plan to reduce that load with the addition of a hand pump. We also collect rain water which cuts back on the pump usage.
Next year we will be building an outdoor shower, and a summer kitchen. We'll add a compost toilet system, expand the hugelkultur beds, add more pigs, add free range chickens, start mushroom farming, and build a greenhouse. I hope to meet others that I can network and share ideas with while I'm here.
Welcome D! This is a great site, lots of people with practical info. I have learnt a whole lot from here.. Good luck with your new property,it sounds wonderful,any chance of a few pictures? Its brilliant that you have cut back so much on your use of electricity, we are doing much the same although I have to be honest and say we still use a toaster occasionaly! We also are planning a summer kitchen,we already have an outside toilet and we have started to put in systems to collect rain water. we have had a very(too dry!)dry and hot summer,no rain for over 2 months!and hot too,between 27oc--38oc! now thats hot for us. Our well is dry so we have to collect drinking water from the village and water for animals from the lake, just hope it rains before winter!
Pigs and chickens,perfect combination, eggs,meat,land clearing,fertilizer...oh yes and lots of entertainment! Keep posting so we know how you are getting on.
Not sure I'm established enough to welcome you, but welcome from another north (and east) of the border
I'm still living the Southern Ontario life , but I have found the land - in Hastings County, north of Belleville. No facilities yet, so a long way behind you on the sustainable living front.
I'm still at the point of discovering what's already growing on the land, and planning for next spring's planting - I want to start off nut and fruittrees as soon as possible, so by the time I can move there, I won't have to wait too long for things to grow. I also want to start laying hedging.
What is your climate zone? What trees do you have and what are you planning?
I'm looking forward to hearing what does and doesn't work for you.
@Nicola - Yes, I will be uploading a few pics soon.
@Ceog - We are also in zone 5 here. We have lots of maple, spruce, red pine, tamarack, and yellow birch here. The property was selectively harvested about 15 years ago, but there are still plenty of trees, and lots of space for growing a food forest. When it was cut, they left all the scrap limbs in piles everywhere. I'm going to cover these with manure, and use them for large hugelkultur beds. We haven't decided what we're going to do for fruit trees yet, as we want to be here for a full year, and understand the property before making important choices. Apple and peach trees will be put in for sure, beginning next spring. Also, since we don't have gray squirrels here, I want to plant lots of hazelnut. We had these in the south, but the squirrels always got them first.
Hi. Our family is looking right now to make the move from BC to NB. We've been lurking for ages too and also because we're already pretty self reliant, have our woodstove, livestock, CSA garden etc. but we're just renters and the owner of this property is turning out to be a total bi-polar nightmare. So upon the advice of the RCMP we're moving and figured now was as good a time as any to make the move to a place where we could actually afford to purchase some land. It's so expensive here, $650k for 14 acres and a house, unreachable for us I'm afraid. So yep, we're moving out east.
We've been looking for place within an hour of Moncton and it seems a nice area in general. I'm wondering if you have any advice or tips and what the weather is really like? I'm from Alberta so cold and snow are fine with me but my husband is Vancouver Island born and raised so he only likes rain
"Success is usually earned by persevering and not becoming discouraged when we encounter challenges. Paul Harvey, the famous news analyst and author, once said: 'Someday I hope to enjoy enough of what the world calls success so that someone will ask me, "What's the secret of it?" I shall say simply this: "I get up when I fall down" '
10 Podcast Review of the book Just Enough by Azby Brown