Hobby Farming · Our Farm

From Planned Community to 1800’s Farmhouse

A year ago we were living in a planned community built in 2002, on 7,805 sq ft lot, now we are living in a house built in the late 1800’s, on 3.5 acres of land.  It’s been quite the ride, and will continue to be lots of work, so why did we make the change? This post is an explanation of why…its going to be long, with lots about how I grew up!

So where do I start?

It goes back to my parents really, when they decided to leave the city they grew up in(Toronto) and move to what most of my family referred to as “the sticks”.  When I was 4 they rented a 200 year old monster of a house, on 200 acres of land with a big barn. It was in rough shape in a lot of ways but my brother Matt and I had a blast, we refer to it often, and have more memories there then I can count.  We had pigs, chickens, sheep, rabbits and a guinea pig named G.P, calves a time or two and a pony named Ginger.  We spent lots and lots of time outside, running all over the place, playing hide-n-seek in the corn fields and hay bales, climbing trees, making forts and of coarse caring for the animals. My Dad was a very talented carpenter/cabinet maker and my Mom was at home at first, then worked part time, we were not well off by any means, but we didn’t care.  We only lived there for 5 years before my Dad went back to school and we moved in with my grandparents in town.

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Here I am at age 6, with our dog Cody

 

(Next several paragraphs include an overview of what happened between then and now, because well…a lot happened!)

When my Dad was finished with school he wanted something different, he had visited his uncle in Colorado when he was little and loved it.  He loved everything cowboy & western. He went to Colorado and got a job with a company that would later become Aerogarden. He returned to get my Mom and I, and with just our little car and what would fit in it, we moved to Colorado.

Fast forward to when I was 15 and met my wonderful husband in high school, we lived in Longmont, CO with our parents until college, then we moved in together in Wyoming.

When we were 20 we moved back to Ontario, by this time I had been away from my extended family and 2 brothers for 6 years, and missed them terribly and also wanted to go to school to be a nurse.  We lived with my parents again, in a big old house on a bit of property…of coarse being back on property I had to have some chickens!  This was Ryan’s first introduction to having farm animals, and he enjoyed it too, he likes eggs, a lot, lol. We got married in 2007, and in 2009 had our first daughter K.T.. In 2010 we moved to Iqaluit, NU for 6 months to make some money and when Ryan returned he got news of a job offer in Aspen, CO, so back we went to Colorado!

In 2013 our second daughter H.E. was born, and we bought our first home, a townhouse, with NO backyard, just a park.

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Our townhouse

 

After less then 2 years and K.T. having an increasing fear of bugs (did I mention I was a tomboy growing up), I couldn’t handle it anymore and we decided we needed a yard!  I was not going to have what I called “an apartment kid”. We had put a lot of work into the townhouse and we were able to make some good money when we sold it.  We bought a bungalow with a nice yard, it was a short-sale in Milliken, CO and it was all we could afford.  It was gross.  But we got to work, doing everything ourselves (other then carpet), before too long it was looking better, but it wasn’t until we moved that it finally had a lot of the renovations done! We always seem to do that :/

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Our bungalow when we bought it

 

We loved our house there, but we started discussing moving back to Canada.  Not only did we miss my family (my parents and brother, sister-in-law and niece and nephew had since moved to Nova Scotia from Ontario) but we also were having massive issues with health insurance, I’m T1 diabetic, and had my insurance cancelled 3 times in the year, resulting in me not being able to get my prescriptions at different times. Once being without test strips for over 3 months, causing my health to decline and my A1C to be over 9 (usually in the 6’s to low 7’s).  Canadian health insurance was sounding pretty damned good at that point!

I had planned to visit my family in Nova Scotia in the summer of 2016, but in April I got a notice AGAIN stating that my insurance had been cancelled (despite being paid through automatic bank draft!). So enough was enough, I called them and told them where to stick that insurance, cause I was moving back to Canada! I had spent 2 years of calling the insurance company weekly and getting passed back and forth between agencies and I was d-o-n-e.

Apart from all of the health insurance issues and family, we had also been seeing pictures of Nova Scotia for 3 years from my parents, and it looked beautiful! Plus we could not believe the prices of homes here! You can get a great house with PROPERTY (!) for under $100,000. This was unbelievable to us living in Colorado.  I could see that if we made the move we could finally have the property we dreamed of having, with of coarse a farm.  We started looking online at properties and figured that we could not only have property, but be mortgage free if we moved now. So with all this, we had more reasons to come to Nova Scotia then to stay.

So in May 2016 my girls and I headed to Nova Scotia, Ryan stayed behind working and renovating the house further, we had thought the girls and I would return at the beginning of August and move in September, but like with all best laid plans that didn’t happen.  In July Ryan lost his job, and everything was put into fast forward! He finished up the house as best he could and drove a moving truck 4 days across the country to Portland, ME where he got the Ferry to Nova Scotia.  We were finally together again after 4 months!

Meanwhile in Nova Scotia, the girls and I were having a great time with family, seeing the beautiful province and acquiring several animals that were able to be housed in my parents small barn, with the plan they would move with us.

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(Back to why we bought a farm now)

After living all over the place, it has continued to be my dream to have a farm, just like I did when I was little.  I wanted my girls to have the experiences that I did, I want them to know where food comes from, and get outside, get dirty, and not be afraid to take on things they don’t know about, but to learn them (sometimes the hard way),  I want them to experience birth and death, and have a realistic view of life.  I’m not a naturalist, or a real farmer, and don’t consider myself much of any category really.  This is just how I think life was meant to be lived, not in a box, but by what you create yourself.  Luckily my city born husband is 100% on board with the idea of all of this, and likes having fresh bacon and eggs!

So now here we are, we sold our bungalow in September and in October we were fortunate enough to buy this old farmhouse on 3.5 acres with the proceeds.  We are here to stay, and I think in 5 years from now this now bare property will look very different! I have LOTS of learning to do myself, and can’t wait to look back a year from now and see how different things are once again.

If you got this far, thanks for reading about my crazy life 🙂

To see where  we are currently, go on back my to my post “Ramblings of my Mind“.

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