Is Stepping Stone Farm Your Dream Too?
A picture once painted can be easy to embrace. ..............................Opportunity is waiting.
It took 2 decades to find the perfect location. A reliable, year round stream, a place that was not complicated by ‘modern’ agricultural practices and a place that felt like home. It took a long time to find a property that felt just right.
It offers tranquility and peace that make it a place that will always feel like home.
Stepping Stone has many unique attributes. It is located in Nova Scotia's amazing Annapolis Valley on the edge of the small village of Waterville and lies between the #1 and #101 highways with the Cornwallis River forming part of its’ border. The village insulates the Farm on one boundary while mainly municipal holdings virtually surround it. It is a virtual oasis of organic integrity with only two bordering holdings challenging that reality. Even then these properties are down wind. l While the land is not a ‘perfect 10’ it is unique. It features a sandy and virtually stone free arable land area.
It was love at first sight. A commune had held it for a few years and had done nothing to challenge its organic integrity…so when we took it over it was simply a matter of picking up where it had been abandoned.
There are walks in the country where there is a thin and meaningful layer of insulation from everyday reality. Walk the borders, watch for birds and a variety of wildlife. See the majestic and primitive blue heron that has returned each spring…the odd marauding raccoon or fox or mink or... Exercise in the old orchard that is somewhat past its’ ‘best before’ date. Take a canoe out on the Cornwallis in the spring and wind silently down river; see the ducks and the otter and the bald eagle searching for his next meal of field mice. Killdeer on the river bank and muskrat raising a new litter…
Sometimes trout will entertain from the bridge just above the swimming hole; watch a beaver make its way beneath the bridge on its journey upstream to parts unknown. This farm makes memories every day.
New born calf or lamb or a proud family of pheasants traveling across the driveway on a daily excursion to the rivers edge; its all here… or can be if you choose.
Venture further and go to the woodlot on the other side of the Cornwallis River…it’s not a long hike. The sense of escaping is even greater there. It can be a walk or a solitary cross country ski outing in the white of winter….let the dogs run….this will be the only home they ever need to know…Yes there are cats…they come and go and they add a balance to life on the farm that needs to be…
The barn is substantial enough for a variety of pursuits. It may need some extra attention to be able to present it your way.
The wood and oil furnace is housed in a free standing building across the drive from the main house and behind the cottage. Locating the fill pipe for this unique heating system has mystified more than one oil delivery driver. So much for hiding it in plain sight. It heats both homes via underground hot water heating. The wood heat always seems warmer. Likely a state of mind.
There is a butterfly garden that can grow from the experience of 'greening' a new thumb, a sunken garden paved with the bricks of old farm chimneys, raspberries, blueberries, and rhubarb….
An Atlantic Salmon planked in front of the fire pit makes my mouth water. A BBQ on the enclosed deck fills the country air, perhaps drowning out the delight of freshly blooming lilacs in the spring. Early spring offers the opportunity to tap 3 large sugar maples…an opportunity to share the joys of farm life with an inquisitive family, friends and Guests.
This property is a hidden jewel in the spring and summer, hiding from a world that is so very close yet seems so very far away. The green of those seasons work their wonders and into the fall with the autumn array of color also acting as a canopy up the long driveway…like a highway to a special piece of heaven…
The ‘Cottage’ is simple and intimate. The warm floors are very inviting and the feel is one of simple hominess. In the sun of summer there is a wee garden area that hosts a few flowers. In the snow of winter there is a special cozy feeling found within.
This large Farm Home is open and interesting with a large kitchen and eating area; sufficient appliances compliment every day needs and special occasions. The raised dishwasher even helps alleviate extra bending and even random breakage. A special treat is the private telephone booth 902-538-HOME; you’ll need to see this first hand.
A large living and dining area are open to the country kitchen and on occasion have been reconfigured to house 50 plus people for a sit down meal. Wood floors and an antique staircase compliment the room. There is a big bay window with views of the meadow and the Valley's north mountain. The front entry leads to a covered veranda that draws a cool breeze on the warmest of summer evenings.
A south facing sun room with its own entry from the veranda has a large walk in closet and a delightful wood floor. It has its own heat zone so it can be an intimate meeting place on the coldest winter nights.
Off the kitchen area you'll find a bath with shower and an office or play room or a main level bedroom possibility.
The upstairs is divided into a rear master suite area with full bath and laundry area. The room spans the whole east end of the home. A private stairway leads to the kitchen area; the laundry area is situated at the top of the stairs. A hall doorway secures the master suite's privacy. Perhaps a king size bed along with comfortable wing chairs and a generous bedroom suite can leave a feeling of spaciousness.
The ‘lilac suite’ on the south side is complimented by a full bath and a bay window overlooking the lilacs in spring. On the northwest corner is the two room ‘sage suite’ with a 3 piece shower en suite; there are privacy doors between the 2 rooms creating 2 independent rooms when required. This suite overlooks the meadow lawns and garden areas below. Each bedroom will easily house a queen size bed. Except for the bathrooms and laundry areas, all the floors on this level are wood. The front stairway is bright and inviting.
The artist in you may determine that the picture is complete or it may critique that it will always will be a ‘work in progress’. No matter, each of us will have our own priorities. It deserves to be loved and appreciated for all its unique attributes.
In a world that celebrates new and unique challenges every day, Stepping Stone offers an island of tranquility. Give it the love it needs and it will return the favor many times over with new life and fresh, healthy harvests until it is passed on to the next generation of caretakers.