Hi! I’m Terri. Although born a city-girl (Sarnia, Ontario) there is farming in my blood and since 2001 I’ve been living the country life full-time. In my pre-Cape Breton life I was a work-at-home, self-employed mom who drove a school bus on the side. Now I am self-employed full-time business co-owner and I love every minute here in beautiful Kempt Head. My job is to keep the farm and Bed and Breakfast running smoothly. I am seldom seen without my camera.
Meet Dave. He’s a born and bred (Huron County, Ontario) country boy and is a mechanic and truck driver by trade. His roots run deep (the farm had been in his family since it was purchased from the Canada Company in the 1800’s) but he too fell hard and fast for Cape Breton. As if keeping the farm (and me) in working order isn’t enough, Dave is also working full time off-farm hauling propane around Nova Scotia. Dave’s favourite pastime is surveying his domain from the seat of his 1947 Willy’s Jeep.
Then there is Jack, a Shitzu mix that we rescued during one of our trips back to Ontario. He plays up the “cuteness factor”. Jack is Dave’s wing-man.
Our newest member is Shamus. He’s a mid-size dog with a huge heart. We rescued him in November 2014. He loves to run in the fields. Shamus has claimed Terri.
We must also include Fauna in this intro. She’s our Livestock Guardian Dog although, she prefers to guard the porch. She’s cautious when she first meets you but I guarantee she will steal your heart!
So how did two Ontario born and bred-with-no-ties-outside-the province people end up in beautiful Cape Breton, Nova Scotia? Well, in July 2009 we took a 3-week holiday to the East Coast. Six of those days were spent here in Cape Breton, and by October of that same year we had quit our jobs, pulled up stakes and moved our farm (lock, stock and barrel) from Seaforth (Huron County), Ontario to Kempt Head, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.
I don’t think we ever “decided” to move out here. It was just a given that we were coming back to stay. And, although we had never seriously discussed moving, we both knew that the farm was coming with us … well, most of the farm!
Dave immediately set to work to figure out how to get all of our belongings, equipment and livestock 2000 km across the country. He was in charge of the physical move. I was busy packing up the house and organizing the technical details. Our family and friends just watched in shock.
With the help of two friends, we arrived with the first load – one transport truck full of our household belongings (and a stow-a-way barn cat) and our two personal vehicles hauling trailers – on October 14. Dave made four more trips with the big truck – hay, livestock, and two loads of equipment – and when he finally pulled in driving his Chev truck the first week of December I knew it was finally over and we were here to stay.
In between trips we desperately tried to build and/or repair fences and get the barn ready for the livestock. The local feed store got us in touch with two guys that knew how to build fences. Needless to say, we were a bit disconcerted when a pair of “kids” showed up. They were awesome. They worked away getting the barnyard ready to go. In true Cape Breton fashion they offered to help offload the hay (400 bales!) and they volunteered to come back and help unload the livestock.
My favourite trip was the one with the livestock. Of course, it was also the most nerve-wracking! The chickens and turkeys had the front two levels of the cattle trailer. The llamas and sheep travelled in the bottom with a makeshift gate separating the girls from the boys. The six barn cats stared anxiously out of the dog crate. The back and top floor was filled with the rest of our household belongings. With the arrival of the livestock the farm was truly beginning to feel like home.
Cape Breton was a lonely place when we first arrived … but not for long! The community was very welcoming and we weren’t long making new friends and establishing traditions. It’s like we’ve always been here … almost!
Naming the Farm
We put a great deal of thought into our farm name. Some of you may remember us by our Ontario name – Windstone Acres. Although that name would have worked out here as well we decided we needed a new name for our fresh start. We were struggling to find the perfect name so we ran a contest. 32 people submitted 92 names … there were some really crazy names and some really well thought out ones as well. In the end it was me (Terri) who found the name and we feel it perfectly describes who we are. We were out walking along the shore one lazy afternoon and I had camera in hand (as always) shooting both scenic and artsy pictures. Later, while editing the pictures for Facebook I titled one “Seaweed and Sand”. In that moment the farm name presented itself and I knew right then that is was not “sand” … it was “sod”. And so Seaweed and Sod Farm was born.
Seaweed – this represents our connection to the salt water. It was the water that drew us here.
Sod – this represents our connection to the land. It is the land that keeps us grounded (no pun intended!)
- To Harve Grant for designing the perfect logo
- To Mary-Jane, Tim and the rest of the gang at CBU’s Shannon School of Business Small Business Development Centre
- To my neighbour and dear friend Pat for her sewing skills and for being my sounding board.
- To our friends and family – we never would have gotten to this place without your support and encouragement
- And last but not least, to Dave for having my back. It is your support I value the most.