Tides, Orchards and Vineyards
"So where do you live?" It's a question we answer frequently when talking to our friends back in the States. Where is Wolfville, Nova Scotia? How far is it from Port Williams? In my last post, I referred to "the Valley." What's the Valley?
Get ready for a quick geography lesson. Canadian friends, you can probably skip this one... or read through and tell me what I need to add!
Nova Scotia is a Canadian province located on the eastern seaboard of North America. Our region is often referred to as Atlantic Canada or the Maritimes. We're Maritimers! New Brunswick is the province west of us. If you drive up to visit from the States, you will drive through New Brunswick - unless you take the ferry from Portland, Maine to Yarmouth!
Basically, Nova Scotia is slightly northeast of Maine. If you got on a boat in Bar Harbor, Maine and sailed directly east, you would run into the Southwestern tip of Nova Scotia.
Nowhere in Nova Scotia are you more than 68 kms (42 miles) from the ocean. But Nova Scotia is not an island. It's a peninsula connected to mainland Canada by the narrow Isthmus of Chignecto.
And, by the way, Prince Edward Island is not part of Nova Scotia. A lot of people assume that it is... but nope. Prince Edward Island is the smallest Canadian province - both in land area and population.
We live in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, located in the northwestern portion of Nova Scotia along the shores of the Minas Basin. The Minas Basin is part of the Bay of Fundy and home to the world's highest tides. The highest tides are up to 53 feet. Twice everyday, the bay fills and empties a billion tons of water during each tide cycle—that’s more than the flow of all the world’s freshwater rivers combined. Wolfville is also a university town, home to Acadia University. Our neighbors are mostly professors and we can walk down the hill to restaurants and pubs.
Port Williams is about 5km (3 miles) away from Wolfville and where our church is located. On nice days, Don rides his bike to work. It's mostly downhill to the church which means coming home is mostly UPHILL!
Port Williams is an agricultural community which produces vegetables, apples, wine and cheese. We regularly hear stories of the thousands of barrels of apples that were once shipped from the old wharf at the Port.
Both Wolfville and Port Williams are located in the Annapolis Valley, so we truly live and work in the Valley. The Annapolis Valley is situated between the North Mountain and the South Mountain in northwestern Nova Scotia. I really think someone could have been more creative with those names - but you can always find north by looking for the North Mountain. The shelter provided by these mountains along with the very fertile soil create a great microclimate for agriculture. The Valley is home to hundreds of apple orchards, farms, and vineyards. There are at least a dozen vineyards and wineries within 30 minutes of our house. I haven't tried them all yet so that's another reason for you to come and visit!
In Nova Scotia, when you say you're going to the city - you mean Halifax. About 40% of the population of Nova Scotia lives in the metropolitan area of Halifax. It's about an hour away from Wolfville on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia. It's the closest airport to us so you will fly into Halifax when you come visit us. We head to the city for shopping, sight seeing, concerts and events, and picking up friends at the airport!
Tides, orchards and vineyards. Those words are the tagline on the Welcome to Wolfville sign you see as you crest the hill on Highway 102 from Halifax and begin your drive down into the Valley. It's an absolutely beautiful view. Don't miss it.