It all started with a question. How do we want to spend the rest of our lives? Both my husband, Tom, and myself, (I’m Barbara), were feeling tired of the relentless pace of life in a modern city. Our children were raised and independent. So what now? We wanted to live a simple life, to savour each day for its own unique gift, and to learn how to live independently and provide for ourselves. We also felt the call of the sea drawing us to back its shores. Growing up in Ireland the ocean was very much part of our lives and we wanted it to be a part of our lives once again.
So in 2003 we took a step out of the fast lane and came to live in beautiful Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. We are accidental farmers really. As city people we knew next to nothing about farming. But through trial and error and help from our neighbours we learned to grow our own food. Soon we were growing enough to sell at our farmers’ market in Mabou.
Along the way I stated on a wondrous and delightful journey into the world of herbs. I discovered the many varieties of garlic each with its unique taste, colour, and shape. And I never cease to be amazed at the health benefits of inconsequential looking herbs. I started growing different varieties of garlic to see which grew best in our soil, and became acquainted with the many common herbs (or weeds) that offered a treasure of health benefits.
I read everything I could get my hands on. I studied with Dominion Herbal College in B.C. and became a Chartered Herbalist.
Soon what started as a curiosity became a passion, maybe an obsession. I was obsessed, intoxicated with the aromas, the beauty, the simplicity. And deeply grateful and humbled by the richness of the gifts the herbs give to me, by their healing powers and unassuming ways.
Having an abundance of wonderful fresh vegetables, fruit, and herbs naturally lead me into the world of cooking. I love exploring new tastes. Herbs add that special flavour, whether it is the wow of very hot peppers, the richness of good garlic, or the subtlety of tarragon. And so I grow, and cook, and explore.