Red Spruce Farm is located in Poplar Hill, Pictou County, Nova Scotia, Canada. We work ~ 25 acres of developed agriculture land.
The History of the Land
In years now past, the Ten Mile House and stables run by the kind hearted Angus and Rod McKenzie was located on our land, which served as a stop over for the stage coaches and their horses carrying mail, people, and cargo that were running between Pictou and River John. We still find remnants like large stone blocks from the original foundation, one of which we found with our old sickle bar mower during our first season haying!
In the 1970s, the nearby Daley dairy farm expanded their operation across the road by purchasing our land in a tax sale, renovating it for hay and corn production. The land was previously owned by a Mr. Colquhoun.
In 2017 Red Spruce Farm purchased the land from the Daley’s to build our homestead and apple orchard. In the nature of homesteading, we soon acquired some farmyard friends:
- a Jersey/Holstein cow named Clover
- two highland cows named Shawna and Lucinda
- a Nubian goat named Bella
- an alpine goat named Coola
- 6 Guinea fowl
- 16 chickens
- 2 great Pyrenees puppies named Rosie and Pogo
After 5 Years
Today our herd has substantially grown.
- We now have a second milk cow, a jersey, named Mary
- Shawna and Lucy have a brown highland friend, and a black highland bull
- Bella and Coola’s offspring, Isabella and Dua are joined by a mix of boer and alpine does, and an alpine buck named Moose.
- We have at least 30 guinea fowl and 24 chickens
- A herd of 28 north country cheviot ewes, with 2 registered purebred rams Howie and Lyle along with a bluefaced Leicester ram, Zephr.
- Rosie and Pogo have been breeding, establishing our great Pyrenees breeding program.
- Heidi, our dam in waiting, and Gunder, one of Rosie and Pogo’s offspring have been added to our dog lineup.
- 2 Berkshire sows we AI ourselves
We built this barn. It’s 44′ wide by 48′ long. The second floor holds about 1700 square bales we harvest from our fields. The siding is done in board and batton with hemlock our neighbours have milled. The interior is built with spruce our neighbours have also milled.
The Cider Mill & Apple Tree Orchard and Nursery
Construction is well underway for our Cider Mill here at Red Spruce Farm. It is a 40×50′, 2000 sq.ft building on each level. It will have a cold room, a walk in fridge, a cellar, an industrial kitchen, and a pressing facility. Production from apples to cider will happen here.
Apple trees are growing well, grafting has been successful and the apple trees we started in the nursery are now being transplanted into our orchard. We have about 40 different varieties of cider specific apple varietals planted in 5 acres of orchard or waiting to be transplanted from our nursery.