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The Dome Chronicles: The Trade

The Dome Chronicles: The Trade By Garry Leeson In the early nineteen seventies, the barter system was still alive and well among the small farmers of the Annapolis Valley. One morning in May in 1974 I loaded my pickup truck with a second-hand saddle horse, a crate of roosters, and a runt pig. I was hoping that someone at the Lawrencetown Cattle Auction might take a shine to them and take them off my hands for cash or kind. I guess I hadn’t checked the calendar because when I arrived at the site where the auction was normally held I…
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The Dome Chronicles: The Eye Of The Beholder

The Dome Chronicles By Garry Leeson In 1972, a boxcar from Toronto containing a menagerie of farm animals and an eager young couple pulled into the station platform in Kingston, Nova Scotia. They were bound for a deserted hundred-acre farm on the South Mountain, determined to preserve the foundations of farmsteads past while constructing a geodesic dome. They were pioneers of the future, armed with respect for tradition and an irrepressible sense of humour. They didn’t call themselves farmers. They were back-to-the-landers. Farming was industry and their calling was sustainability. Over the next forty years, through flood and fire, triumph…
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What’s Growing at the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens – Cultural heritage

What’s Growing at the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens – Cultural heritage By Melanie Priesnitz Conservation Horticulturist When you think of what defines Canada, one of the primary things that comes to mind is this country’s natural environment and its wild and rugged wide-open spaces. You need look no further than our dollars, coins, and postage stamps to see how proud Canadians are of the flora and fauna that we share this great country with. Every Canadian flag that flies is a reminder of how much as a country we identify with the trees that grow here. So many of the…
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What’s Growing at the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens: Gardening Together

What’s Growing at the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens: Gardening Together By Melanie Priesnitz Conservation Horticulturist Children are sponges. They absorb what they see around them. We learn to speak from hearing language, we learn to walk by witnessing the upright motion of the humans around us. Children learn to garden if they see their parents or grandparents gardening. They learn not be afraid of the outdoors and the insects that live there if they see their parents lying comfortably on the grass or digging in the earth in their yard. If you love to garden and spend time outdoors very…
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From Kentville to the Camino: Biking the Famous Pilgrimage Route Through Portugal and Spain

From Kentville to the Camino: Biking the Famous Pilgrimage Route Through Portugal and Spain By Earle Illsley This spring, two of our intrepid deliverers, and great friends of The Grapevine, Karen and Earle Illsley of Kentville, embarked on an adventure of a lifetime, and Earle has been kind enough to share some of their experiences with our readers. The Camino de Santiago, also known as ‘The Way,’ is a series of paths, or pilgrimages, of various lengths that all lead to the city of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Last year over 300,000 individuals hiked, biked, or rode the Camino…
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The Dome Chronicles: This Was My Father

The Dome Chronicles: This Was My Father By Garry Leeson My mother wanted a large garden when they moved to a small farm on the Blue Mountain outside Meaford, Ontario. Dad agreed to do the hoeing but after a couple of days of fighting the weeds, he came up with a better idea. He disappeared into his workshop and when he emerged it was behind a one of a kind self-propelled row crop cultivator of his own creation. An old make or break one-lung gas engine, belching smoke and banging away, was mounted on a wooden frame above two cast…
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Grandsons and Mayfly Hatches

Grandsons and Mayfly Hatches By Ed Coleman The following is an excerpt from Ed Coleman’s new book, Gone Fishin’: Fishing Stories of Kings County Nova Scotia, available through the Kings County Museum, Kentville “Like anyone who was almost four years old, Sammy’s first casts with a fly rod were awkward and unsure. By the time he was six, however, my grandson could cast three or four meters of line without my help. While he wasn’t ready to fish a stream, he did a reasonable job in ponds on u-catch trout. Those captive trout in pay-by-pound ponds are ideal for introducing…
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The Dome Chronicles: If Dreams were Horses

The Dome Chronicles: If Dreams were Horses By Garry Leeson In 1972, a boxcar from Toronto containing a menagerie of farm animals and an eager young couple pulled into the station platform in Kingston, Nova Scotia. They were bound for a deserted hundred-acre farm on the South Mountain, determined to preserve the foundations of farmsteads past while constructing a geodesic dome. They were pioneers of the future, armed with respect for tradition and an irrepressible sense of humour. They didn’t call themselves farmers. They were back-to-the-landers. Farming was industry and their calling was sustainability. Over the next forty years, through…
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The Dome Chronicles: Canaan Road

The Dome Chronicles: Canaan Road A Poetry Month Special by Garry Leeson When you walk through the woods by the old Cannan Road Just west of the Fales River falls If you look very close you’ll see traces of fields And endless rows of granite stone walls And the lilies still bloom where the houses once stood At the heart of the once prosperous farms Where people carved a life with the axe and the plough And the never-waning strength of their arms But the life was too hard on that old mountain top So they moved their homes and…
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Home Sweet Passive Home: A Passive House in the Gaspereau Valley

Home Sweet Passive Home: A Passive House in the Gaspereau Valley By Genevieve Allen Hearn To recognize Earth Day on April 22, The Grapevine interviewed Phil Dennis about one of the most energy efficient homes in the Valley. Phil, his wife Mary Sweatman, and their two sons live in a custom-built, 2,500 square foot passive home in the Gaspereau Valley. The Grapevine (GV): What does passive house design mean? Phil Dennis (PD): Passive house is a standard of construction that sets limits on energy consumption and air leakage. Passive house isn’t really passive at all; the concept relies on active…
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