George's River, Cape Breton
My wife and I and our daughters live on beautiful Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. We are just 7 minutes drive from North Sydney. Our 27 acre farm looks out over the Bras D'Or lakes,and on a clear day we can see the cars at the lookoff on Kelly's Mountain! For that reason we have named the farm, Highland View Sheep Farm, est. 1997.There is a family of Bald Eagles who like to roost on my tallest tree and enjoy the view. Luckily they have not developed a taste for lamb, but prefer fish instead!
In 2005 we built 3 tourist cottages at the back un-used part of my farm. We set this up as subsidiary business of the farm.
Starting in 2005 , I started having troubles with domestic dog attacks and coyote attacks on my flock. By 2006 I could not control the coyote attacks. A local trapper and I killed 11 animals that year. Due to the financial pressures of these losses , I ceased all livestock activity on my farm, (except bees) and sold all my livestock. To service the debt, I had to return to my old career as a Marine Engineer. I presently work at Marine Atlantic. I still keep my bees, the coyotes don't bother them, and I do occasional field work , growing hay, grain, sunflowers and garden vegetables. We have dropped the word "sheep" from the farm, and until I eventually retire it will probably be a long time before I have anything other than bees as livestock.
The coyotes also took two of my cats, including my old buddy Slash. Alexander and I actively hunt the coyotes now to try to control their population
My flock used to
consist of Purebred Dorset, Dorset Horn, Suffolk, East Fresian
and their crosses. I also had a strain of black Suffolk that I
brought with me from Prince Edward Island. I was able to
duplicate a similar breed to Black Welsh Mountain sheep by
crossing the Dorset Horns with Black Suffolk and back-breeding.
Unfortunately nobody was interested in buying this stock, and so
when I got rid of my sheep, all of my Black Horned rams went to
the butcher. These were dark days for me (and my sheep).
My interest in herbs grew as a natural digression from the poisonous plants that my animals might be exposed to, and the spices that I love to cook with. Older sheep are remarkably wise in staying away from some of the common plants like: Lambkill, St. John's Wort, Nightshade, Blue Flag and Tansy Ragwort. Baby lambs aren't always that lucky. Plants such as St. John's Wort and Lambkill have been traditionally used as medicines, but they also contain toxins; and Lambkill or Mountain Laurel is particularily poisonous. Knowledge and experience can be the defining line between medicinal or toxic I collect both the herbs that I can grow in my garden as well as those traditional Folk and Mi'kmaw herbs that I find growing wild on my property. I am presently interested in exploring the qualities of Bayberry, Golden Thread, and Sasparilla.
| Back To My Home Page |