“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”Mary Oliver
William ~ Moving to Cape Breton from the West Coast was a big move, and it has meant many changes. I didn’t grow up in a farming family, however there is something about growing food that deeply resonates with me. My farming heroes are Bill Mollison and Eliot Coleman who have inspired my love and interest in gardening and permaculture design. I have an educational background in Environmental Science and in my younger years worked as a researcher learning much about ecology and observing natural systems at play. Following this early career, I transitioned to a profession of wilderness guiding exploring the wilds of Vancouver Island. For many years, I also worked with youth and young adults, combining my nature-based experience with youth and families, and guided for many seasons in a therapeutic wilderness program. My curiosity with the nature – human relationship has always been a huge force in my life, and my studies with the Animas Valley Institute have helped shape this relationship with nature and human development. My role here on the farm is one of builder, designer, architect, artist, guide, and all round Mr. Fix It mixed in with the occasional pig chase and goat walk.
Terry ~ I have a background in almost any job that you can think of, which has provided me with a colourful palette of life experience. I have traveled to different countries, dreamed many dreams, and searched for myself under every nook and cranny I could find. And who would have guessed it that I would find myself here, in this forest, on this land, with these beautiful beings who have chosen to take us sweet orphans in and love us so unconditionally. Having arrived at our home in the forest here in Cape Breton was an enormous move for me, far from friends, home, and family, yet it has been here that I have truly arrived, both within myself and the world. It fills my heart with incredible joy to envision sharing this magical place with others and continuing to plant seeds of curiosity and a deep love of life. I am the tender of life and the witness to death here on the farm, I care for the furry and feathered beings, I love goat, chicken, and piglet cuddles, and I am at home in the garden surrounded by the beauty of the plants.
Howard ~ After having spent my life exploring mountains, rivers, lakes, the desert, swimming in the ocean, canoeing, chasing bun buns, sticks, and squirrels, I am happy to be retired here on the farm at the wise old age of 14. I now take pleasure in long naps, supervising farm activities, and keeping the young, annoying pup known as Finnie in line.
Finnie ~ My life began in a barn with a lot of other dogs. Then I was brought to this farm where I have found my furever home. My work here is extremely valuable and includes chasing hawks, ravens, and squirrels, breaking up rooster and cat fights, alerting the humans to potential predator intrusions, such as Wile coyote (I have yet to see Road Runner), keeping the grounds clean of all excrement and misc grain crumbs, rogue pig roundups, and sweet cuddles with my humans.
Lily ~ I used to live the life of Riley in Cumberland, BC and then I took a ride on a plane and now I live the life of Riley in Judique, NS. My tasks on the farm, of which I am the true leader, include sleeping, more sleeping, then a touch of sleeping. However, I also keep the mice and squirrel populations in-check. I like the taste of squirrel the best, but not the tail….yuck. Those I leave as gifts for my humans.
Farley ~ As a kitten, I was living the hard life on the streets of Port Hawkesbury. Then I was brought here, to the farm. Now my life is great! I love playing with my sister, Lily, as well as reminding Finnie who’s boss. I patrol the grounds, stealing any available kills from Lily, and I will catch the odd mouse myself too. My hobbies include patio window dancing (my music video will be released in late 2020), waking up my humans throughout the night for the fun game of inside/outside, and couch cuddles.
Here are a couple of links if you would like to hear more of our story and more about the farm
Podcast. We were recently featured in a podcast series, Regenerative Real Estate, with Neal Collins. Neal asked some great questions and really brought how we arrived at this place to life. Listen here at this link.
Video. Back in September 2020, we participated in Meet Your Farmer Open House. Due to COVID, this was done via video. In this video we talk about the farm and some of our systems. Click here to visit the video.