Starting Our Homestead In Nova Scotia
Hello from the beautiful coastline of Nova Scotia! Do you remember seeing an aerial photograph of a wilderness homestead accessible only by float plane on this site? We are the people that lived so remote we shopped and received mail twice a year and never saw another human for 6 months at a time. We were really out there! Well, we finally sold our remote homestead in northern Saskatchewan. Now we are on our third and final adventure, starting from scratch once again to build a new homestead but this time on the coast of Nova Scotia.
I’ve contributed over the last few years to this site. My wife and I have lived off grid for 37 years with the last 17 being spent alone on that isolated lake in the wilderness. Our 37 years of experience makes it easier to start again but that is balanced out slightly by our age. But the big point is, it’s never too late to make another start. Furthermore, the endeavor doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Self-reliance is a journey. Each of us sets a target to see how close we can get, but self-sufficiency doesn’t come all at once and in actuality, it’s as variable as each individual.
We were quite fortunate to pick up a large acreage in Nova Scotia at the end of a peninsula that juts into the ocean. Neighbors are perhaps a mile away so we still have that isolated feel that we desire. But truth be told, we are quite aware we are back in civilization. Although roads and neighbors are a good distance away, we occasionally hear car and boat traffic. When we lived in the bush, we had the sense we were the only humans on the planet. Quite a change for us here.
This property is all forest. It had an old gravel logging road running through it that was overgrown and needed to be reclaimed. The first order of business was hiring an excavator to uproot the older and young spruce/fir so that we could access the property. A bulldozer would have disrupted the hard road base, which we didn’t want to do, plus there was ditching that needed to be done and that is best accomplished with an excavator. Then we had a decision to make. Where on the acreage would we park ourselves and create this new homestead?
One day as I was wandering around the property, I came upon a stand of young trees that was relatively close to the shoreline. The area had the appearance of being an old overgrown field since it was more open than any place else I had come across. We ultimately decided to carve our new homestead out of this spot. Much work was required to clear the land. It took the 2 of us many days to chainsaw the trees and shrubs and pile it along the perimeter. By the time we were done, we had hand cleared over an acre.
We started this endeavor around the beginning of May with our priorities being shelter, water, and heat. We had no illusion we would build our home, plant a garden, establish an orchard and be up and running by summer’s end. As much as possible, we are doing the work ourselves, just as we have done before. We knew building the new homestead was going to take some time. As in a year or more.