Senator Donald Oliver
Nova Scotia's Senator
|Pleasant River Farms|
I was born on a small farm in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, so I was quite young when I first caught the farming bug. Our farm had a cow, three or four pigs, thirty laying hens and a big vegetable garden. This meant, quite obviously, that everyone in my family had to pitch in. As a child I hated having to bat away black flies and mosquitoes, while I worked in the garden. But as I aged, this displeasure for working on the farm soon developed into appreciation, until finally I could
not imagine living any other way.
After I graduated with a law degree, I set out to look for a farm of my own. It was not an easy task. I must have looked at more than 20 before I saw a farm that I knew instantly I had to own.
The farm was in Pleasant River, Queens Country in Nova Scotia. It had been abandoned for more than 15 years and was showing the signs of its neglect. The 150 foot barn had collapsed and it was well beyond saving. The 100 acre hay field had more thorn bushes and wild berries than hay. The eight- bedroom century farmhouse was not properly wired and lacked adequate plumbing. All of the furnishings were either missing or destroyed as the property had clearly been ransacked by antique hunters and invaded by rats. And to top it all off, the roof leaked.
To many this farm was well beyond salvaging but all I saw was the potential for a frand house and the several hundred of acres of land that the property sat on.
I purchased my farm in 1975, and began to fix up the property immediately. It took a lot of work, but it is now my principal home in Nova Scotia and my favourite place to be in the world.
The Pleasant River gently meanders through the property. We have a large vegetable garden, in which we grows lettuce, peas, greens, beans, potatoes, carrots, broccoli, onions, tomatoes, among many other. We also have beautiful flowers and berries such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and red currents.
My farm to me is a place of bliss and comfort.
Christmas tree farming
Pleasant River Farms also farms balsam fir Christmas trees, which we sell during the festive season. Through my farm, I have learned about the rich tradition and cultural significance of Christmas trees in Nova Scotia.