Red Spruce Farm Farming with the land in Pictou County, Nova Scotia, Canada

Who We Are

Red Spruce Farm

– since 2018 –

where we are

Red Spruce Farm is a family community farm and homestead, half way between River John and Pictou at the old Ten Mile House, in Poplar Hill, Nova Scotia. Our beginnings were a corn field, but we now have barns to house chickens, guinea fowl, cows, dogs, cats, pigs, sheep, goats, and all! We are developing an apple orchard that’s been focused around producing cider in a biologically balanced layout. We hope to have the cider tap open and flowing by 2025. In the meantime we are carefully selecting and growing tree stock for cider specific apples while we construct our cider mill.


Red Spruce Farm aims to practice natural and holistic farming that seeks to balance biodiversity to achieve a thriving, self reliant homestead. We look for simple solutions. We are learning to encourage microflora and biodiversity focusing on practices like:

  • compost, compost tea, and worm castings
  • pasture rotation
  • no till gardening
  • respecting spaces of riparian and remediation zones
  • partner planting
  • heirloom seeds, wild flowers and native grasses
  • thriving native bird species

Permaculture based self-reliant and sustainable methods practiced on our farm help give us a guiding voice as we grow and build towards a landscape that we hope will thrive for at least seven generations.

at work

Some ventures that have begun at Red Spruce Farm include:

  • a flock of North Country sheep for wool to spin and meat to eat
  • a herd of Highland cows, and berkshire pigs
  • woodworking products spawned from our needs on the farm
  • herbal medicinal tinctures, teas, oils, lotions, and salves
  • fermented enjoyables: cider, kombucha, sauerkraut, and wine
  • seasonal garden produce
  • chickens eggs

Bart Tobin

Bart is an experienced tree planter. His interest in harmonizing with nature is inspirational in our approach as a farm. He is the natural shepherd and gardener who sleeps in the barn during lambing season.

Ned Tobin

Ned’s background is in electronics engineering, so he likes to design, plan, and build. He carries a wrench, pencil, tape measure, extension cord, and dog treats most of the time.

Marina Tobin

Marina’s background is in education and ranching. Her motherly love keeps everybody fed, motivated, and directed. She starts the plants early with grow lights.

James Tobin

James’s background is in education and animal science. His constant flow of ideas ensure that Red Spruce Farm will always have a flock of something, and a father feeding them treats. He makes a mean bun of bread and all the birds follow him around.