It was a lovely summer :)
Spring is short here but we have no shortage of summer. We had nice warm sunny days that varied from 22c to 38c for morning temperatures and 13c to 22c for overnight temperatures. Those were the range but mostly 26c in the morning and 15c for the night , which is absolutely perfect!
We never got the intense heatwave that parts of the country or planet got and had nice rain days that kept the ground and our 33 raised beds from drying-up :)
Our 400 strong & healthy garlic harvest was our best ever. Really, everything outperformed our best hopes and we're grateful for it. This is the difference between a stablished garden and a new-one and although we have always put in a garden over the nearly past 30 years, we never actually lived at any of our homes long enough to see the result. From here, everything should do even better and thrive as we go on adding organic nutrients, rotate & replenish.
We are still harvesting and eating basil, tomatoes & cucumbers with most meals.
It was a productive summer as well. We were finally able to purchase a battery powered chainsaw to gather firewood for the winter at the same time as managing the forest by clearing the fallen, falling, dead or dyeing trees and alleviate crowding. We made brush-walls from the branches and the dowdy trunks that will in time breakdown and provide us with amazing soil, yay!
So the forest is now walkable and inviting, magical beams of sunlight now aluminate and warm the forest and it's floor. Unfortunately due to the amount of other work and chores, we were only able to do this for the oh first 100 feet around the house. The rest of the forest will have to wait for the following years for us to slowly manage.
Some progress is better then no progress :)
It feels like I worked a bit more helping my elder neighbour this years. I help her with what she & her adult kids(when here) can't/won't do. Firewood, manure, weeding, cleaning, pruning, groundskeeping etc.
This year, we also had two lovely guests attending a six day Forest Practitioner workshop here. I believe that there were 30 folks(mostly ladies) from all walks of life and from all over the country. There were also a couple of native ladies teaching some of the courses that was nice.
Our two guests were a public school teacher and a university professor. I heard that the first day was quit an emotional-one. Apparently this was the first time that some folks were able to come out to attend any gathering, wow!
They went on to form friendships that was not expected. We were told this by our guests each day after they got back home from their daily training. By the end of the week, no-one wanted to leave. I guess that was to be expected. After all, folks were coming out for the first time in months or even two years, to be with like-minded individuals, at our amazing forest setting, seeing a "community".
File that under the "good side-effects of covid".
As I have written here before, for us, the past few months or two years, were no different than any other. We were always somewhat isolated and yet in our own bubble. We had our core neighbours that we visited, hiked, practiced yoga with. all unaware of the outside and whatever went on in cities.
Two more new families have moved here. One from the States, the other from Fredericton. But really both families are from Europe. I honestly don't know how the word about our "community" or neighbourhood has gotten out, because as far as I know, no-one here is advertising on the social media, which really is where everyone seems to be getting all of their information from.
I do know that NB and our neighbourhood in particular's real estate prices are a fraction of elsewhere in the country and the world, so that is another incentive for the newcomers.
But one negative point that I have to mention, as I have previously, is location!
One of those two new families was super lucky to have found rental space in the neighbourhood as they spend the next year or so building their house about 11 minutes outside of the neighbourhood. And that was one of their two mistakes, in my opinion.
1. Folks, if you find a neighbourhood that you love, buy a property there, not outside of it, especially if you are in the country/rural. This is because although 11 minutes may not seem long at all to drive, it is not at 50km/h and that translates to many kilometres that cannot be easily biked, skied, snowshoed or walked. You will unavoidably forget something at home(or someone else's home when visiting), who will stoke the fire?, you may decide to keep animals, that require feeding or watching over etc.
Plus you are in effect isolated and not in the neighbourhood should you require immediate help, in case of an emergency or even someone to keep an eye on your property when you are away in town(neighbourhood watch). So even though we are in a fairly safe region or province, times are a changing and if you have an option to buy property inside rather than outside of a particular neighbourhood, do it rather then regret it later.
2. The trouble for these folks does not end there because as I have also mentioned before, you need to avoid buying a property that is surrounded by large farms. Now, where as no-one sprays in our neighbourhood, those folks are completely surrounded by conventional large farms.
Why leave the city, it's polluted water, air and noise, only to have to deal with the possibly contaminated ground water, pesticide spays that will not stop at your property-line or the heavy tractor/machinery noise that can at times run for an entire day each time, as they plough, plant, spray, rush to harvest, ship etc.?
Just to prove to you the frequency of such stories, here's yet another-one.
A lucky(why lucky shortly) family from two provinces away arrived here after a 16 hour drive only to turn right around & head back only hours(12?) after arriving!
They were lucky because they were arriving with their purchased lot, having found someone to build a small home for them, with only to finish the interior left to do, employment at our school, rental space at the core of the neighbourhood secured as they finish the interior of their new home before moving in and a community.
Let's break this down a bit further.
No-one is really selling land around our neighbourhood.
All the builders, carpenters, handymen etc. are super-busy being employed by all the newcomers and they will not be available for the foreseeable future.
Employment secured to start within days or arrival is unheard of.
A community. This is just as rare.
Hardly no-one here has had the good fortune to have even one of those gifts, when they arrived here.
Seven years ago, when we decided to move into this neighbourhood, there was no place rent. So we were paying $110/night at a smoky motel on the trans Canada hi-way before we found an old damp cabin.
We had to search for months before we found our land.
It took us a minimum of one full year, working 6 days a week and at the cost of hundreds of thousands, while begging builders & contractors to come and build for us. And again, that was now five years ago, before all the newcomers.
We had very few to no job opportunities, unless we lived in town, where these folks only had to take a leisurely 10 minute walk to our school from their rental space.
And finally, a community. Seven years ago, there were oh 20 individuals as opposed now, over 40. So that's more kids for their little-one to play with and more neighbours for the couple to socialize with, buy eggs, meat, milk.....from. We had non of that as we were all basically pioneers.
So why did this family decide to give all of that up? I heard because "The plot was not what they had expected". Now I have never seen this plot but I know that it is roughly 13 minutes drive(at 60-80km/h) from us(the neighbourhood core).
If you are planning a move to our area, I'm here to help you. Whether you need guidance, an honest opinion, inspection, renewables, local tradesmen, connections or even our own property and/or land for sale.
My fee is nominal but your savings are in tens of thousands of dollars by having at least some idea of what to expect, costs & rewards.
Hope you had an equally good summer-harvest or even just summer.
Until next time.