We bought "the Gordon Hill place" on route 104 in February, 2013; three hundred acres of farmland, woods, wetland, outbuildings, and a house at the forks of the Becaguimec Stream.
We, John Best and Emily Shapiro, came to New Brunswick from 'away.'
Emily grew up in a quiet neighbourhood in St. Catharines, Ontario. After completing her master in Geography at the University of Guelph, Emily came to New Brunswick to work at Falls Brook Centre in 2009. She is now Director of SPADE (Sunrise Partnership for Agriculture, Development and Education). Emily is a member of the Mount Pleasant Women's Institute and a Board Member of the National Farmers Union in NB, she is also a graduate of 21 Inc. 21Leaders for the 21st Century.
John was raised on a mixed livestock farm in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia. John came to New Brunswick in 2006 after studying at Saint Francis Xavier and l'Université Sainte-Anne. John has farmed alongside a number of local dairy farmers and currently works at the New Brunswick Seed Growers' Cooperative. John is Chair the New Brunswick Soil and Crop Improvement Association.
Rural New Brunswick is rich with affordable land, trout-filled streams, and hearty people with an appetite for real food. Cloverdale, like so many rural hamlets in New Brunswick, was once a small village with a general store and a slightly larger populace of inter-related families.
Perhaps it's the blackflies or the bitterly cold winters that have left local rural places in the Maritimes so severely under-appreciated. More likely, its the deficiency of adequate employment drawing bright young people to other places. Whatever the cause, at the moment, Cloverdale is sparsely inhabited with a few homesteads clustered along a rural road, vacant properties and an aging population. Even so, our neighbours are skilled and kind and generous with their time and knowledge, as well as their tools, their farm equipment, and even their farmland.
Cloverdale is an ancient lake bottom, the result of a Pleistocene ice jam. Its current superficial geophysical morphology is subject to the meandering branches of the Becaguimec Stream, and the integrity of local forests and soils, its socio-economic morphology is subject to the whims of the politicians of the day as much as it is to the ingenuity and entrepreneurship of its citizens.
- Revive and restore old buildings
- Grow healthy soil and nutritious grass
- Raise healthy, happy flocks and herds
- Feed the province really great meat!