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This past weekend, 2.0 and I made a wee trek to Ironwood Farm. The weather was spectacular, and we were super excited to finally visit Heatherjay in her natural habitat. She has settled there with her partner, Rupert Jannasch (herein, Rupertjay). They are awesome. No lie.
You can find the farm at the mouth of the Avon River in Hants County, Nova Scotia. Actually, you should probably get more specific directions than that, and you should probably ask if you can come for a visit first. You might even want to help harvest some blueberries or tomatoes (don’t let them con you into shovelling cow manure). Rupertjay purchased the farm several years ago from an elderly friend (Stanton Sanford). The most lovely part is that Mr. Sanford got to see the farm rejuvenated before he passed away.
When we arrived we were met by Pedro. Pedro was, quite possibly, 2.0’s favourite part of the farm. His whiskers are incredibly long, and he is very soft and floofy. (Pedro, not 2.0.)
Next to greet us was Hazel the Dog. As far as I can tell, Hazel is in charge of rounding up the humans on the farm. A managerial position of sorts.
We spent about three hours roaming the house, barns and fields. Heatherjay is one of the most interesting people I know, and her guided tour was fascinating. It was almost enough to make living on a farm sound appealing (until you take a look at the number of spiders around the place). Rupertjay is a force to be reckoned with. How he can have that much energy when doing as much as he does, I’ll never know. (Note to self: investigate stats on farmers with addictions, performance enhancing drugs.)
Sheep are making a return to the farm after a decade-long absence. Ewes arrived in June, and Luke the Ram arrived in August. Luke will be in charge of increasing the size of the flock (if ya know what I mean). I like to think that all of the sheep will be used for wool fibre – Heatherjay is really into felting – though the lamb roast we hope to attend in October makes me think otherwise. There are also some piggies in the barn/pen and cattle roaming the pastures.
I guess running a huge organic farm (200 acres) isn’t keeping Heatherjay and Rupertjay busy enough, as they are currently renovating the old farmhouse (1850’s?) that they live in. Though now that I think back on my tour of the house, I don’t recall seeing a bed, so I guess they don’t sleep, which explains how they get it all done.
Raspberries, tomatoes, beans, zucchini, eggplant and peppers. Row upon row of tasty treats.
Look at this huge onion! It must have weighed five pounds! (Give or take.)
The highbush blueberries were my favourite. Ten varieties of the most delectable blueberries I’ve ever tasted. Guess what we ate for lunch yesterday? Ironwood Farm blueberries!
Just before we left, Heatherjay took us on what she likes to call the “Antiques and Collectables” part of the tour. A jaw dropping collection of antique fruit baskets, bottles, windows, doors and furniture. Some of the collection will most likely take up permanent residence in the farmhouse once renovations are finished.
You can find some of Ironwood Farm’s produce at Pete’s Frootique, the Halifax Farmer’s Market, and at Sobeys (they’ve got lots of Ironwood grape tomatoes right now).
Visit the Ironwood Farm blog by clicking here. Their contact information is listed, so if you want to find some of their produce in your area, contact them directly. I’m sure they’d love to help you out!