Harvest Festival coming soon: September 4!

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Harvest Festival comes on September 4 this year, beginning at 10 a.m. Activities for the kids will start around noon. The Cookhouse will be open all day.

The important part of Harvest Festival is, of course, the harvesting and threshing of oats with our period equipment, drawn by horses and/or antique tractors.

A large ox pull will be held simultaneously with the harvesting, and we expect an excellent turnout. This event has drawn as many as forty-two teams of oxen in other years.

We’re planning a blacksmithing demo, fur & feathers show, horse-drawn wagon rides, and a Name That Tool contest. As in other years this asks you to identify some of our smaller artifacts. We’re also repeating our baking, garden, knitting, and flower competitions, with a cup & saucer display added for good measure. Please read the list below for details!

Baking competition:

Class 1: pumpkin pie; 2: white bread; 3: oatmeal cookies

Garden competition:

Class 1: attractive vegetable display; 2: strange or unusual vegetable

Knitting competition:

Class 1: pair of mittens; 2: knitted scarf

Flower competition:

Class 1: flower arrangement; 2. wildflower arrangement

Cup & saucer display: Bring your favourite cup and saucer, with a line to explain why it is special. The audience will vote for the winner.

11:30 a.m. -12:30 noon: all entries must be in Heritage Hall

(entry tags for all categories supplied when you deliver to NFHC)

Prizes: grocery gift cards!

Hot and dry for hand mowing competition

This year’s Annapolis Valley Hand Mowing Competition saw increased attendance and participation from last year’s first effort, making sure that this event is now established as an annual occurrence. With an ongoing drought plaguing the Valley, any concerns about rain were unnecessary. Participants came from miles around and included men and women of various ages. Top prizes went to Carmen Legge, Frank Ansems, and Peter Redden.

Below are a few photos to show what took place.

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Hand mowing competition coming up!

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The second annual Annapolis Valley Hand Mowing Competition is coming up on July 30. This is a good time to have some fun. Never mind if you’ve never held a scythe before – we have an expert on hand from ten till noon to give you some quick, personal instruction. You can practice until 1 p.m. when the competition begins. Of course the old-timers who have been mowing since the age of twelve will do better than you, but you’ll have just as much fun!

Those who have been swinging a scythe for many years will face some real competition. Can you mow underneath a chair that has a bottle standing on it, with an egg on top of the bottle, without rocking it down? Some of these mowers can, and you’re challenged to do the same.

Either way, you’ll have a good time, and a ribbon to prove you were part of this event.

(These photos were taken last year.)

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It didn’t rain on the horse pull


The much-needed rain failed to fall on July 2, and although farmers were disappointed, it was good for the horse pull.There were plenty of teams for good competition in all three weight classes – these photos show some from the middle size range.  The children amused themselves very nicely, while our treasurer and tour guide changed course and joined the live music.

Horse pull this Saturday, July 2

Yes, it’s this Canada Day weekend that our annual horse pull is being held. The weigh-off begins at nine in the morning, with the pull starting at noon. There will be the usual three weight classes. Our Cookhouse will be open, and admission is by freewill donation.

Come join the excitement! Below is a photo showing some of the teams at the 2015 pull.

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And an advance announcement on our Annapolis Valley Hand Mowing Competition, coming up on July 30. Get your scythes sharpened, and start practising in the long grass behind the barn. This is only the second year for this new event and we hope to see a good turnout.

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Lots of antique cars at Tractor Pull

20160529_123816 copy20160529_123931 copy20160529_124036 copy043 copy065 copy20160529_124305 copy136 copy106 copy126 copy109 copy018 copy20160529_144437The Apple Blossom Tractor Pull was a big event, as usual. Apart from the main event, antique cars also took the spotlight, with proud owners coming from many parts of the province. These graceful vehicles make most of today’s cars look rather dull.

Below are some photos to give an impression of both the tractor pull and its extensive display of antique cars.

NFHC float wins 2nd prize in Apple Blossom Festival parade

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Northville Farm Heritage Centre once again entered a colourful float in the Apple Blossom Festival’s Grand Street Parade, and took second place in the Historic division. Both an antique riding carriage and an antique tractor were featured, with an antique mower adding a good vertical accent. The above photos show the entire float during parade setup on Middle Dyke Road, with members of the Festival committee and with fans eagerly snapping photos. A large sign called attention to the NFHC’s big tractor pull on Apple Blossom Sunday, which is NFHC’s biggest annual event.

The tractor pulling the float is a restored 1966 International Turbo, with Clayton Dauphinee and Madelyn Wiles on it. They put Mervin Lyons, straight out of a nursing home in Berwick, on the float tractor. Madelyn and Mervin received the ribbon and the plaque from the Apple Blossom Festival Committee. The weather cooperated with a light overcast and no actual rain.

(Photos courtesy of Cora Anne Rogers).

Crop of oats seeded under sunny skies

4-H yard sale325resizedDSCF1640man&daughtersoxenDSCF1639DSCF1632brown horse teamPostponing Planting Day turned out to be an excellent decision this year. Instead of last week’s rain we had sunny skies, warm temperatures, and enough wind to keep blackflies at bay. Ice cream was a popular item at the Cookhouse, along with the usual burgers and dogs.

Plowing, harrowing, and seeding a crop of oats was trouble-free, with three teams of horses, a team of oxen, and an antique tractor all taking part. Check out the photos, and pay attention to the three teams in one shot: a four-horse hitch on springtooth harrows, the last team on disc harrows. Children, as always, amused themselves well. The area’s 4-H groups held an indoor yard sale a week earlier, and repeated the event while Planting Day took place.

Note: the last photo, of a Haflinger team, had won 126 likes on the Nova Scotia Haflinger’s Facebook page within the next couple of days. Where else but at Northville Farm Heritage Centre can you still see work horses actually working?

Planting DayPostponed! (May 21)




Coming up fast – our annual Planting Day! Come see teams of horses, oxen, and antique tractors working the land as they did in the olden days. A 4-H group will be holding a yard and bake sale at the same time. The Cookhouse will be ready with yummy hamburgers and hot dogs. You can tour the buildings to see the newly organized artifact displays, so there’s lots to see. Little ones seem to enjoy the swing set and sandbox once they’ve had enough of horses. We hope you’ll join us for this trip back in time.

Have you seen this Porsche?

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Tractor lovers in the NFHC often spend many hours lovingly restoring an old piece of rust, turning out a real showpiece. In case you missed earlier photos, here’s the Porsche that Jos VanOostrum brought back to life last year. The photo above shows the finished project; the ones below show what it looked like to begin with. This Porsche took many hours of elbow grease and considerable expertise.