Nova Scotia Road Trip! - 2002

100 The other half of the garden ’ s interest was the Acadian House and the old dyke system created by the Acadian farmers in the 1700s to keep down the salt water intrusion into their farmlands. The house was pretty basic with a thatched roof on one half and a board top on the other. The beds were in cabinets which kinda gave us the willies. The house was plastered inside and out and painted a pinkish color. There was a kitchen garden with colossal cabbages, really healthy-looking parsley, rutabagas, shallots, and carrots.

The marsh area at the back of the gardens showed both Acadian dykes and some modern ones and we learned that to clear the soil of salt, the Acadians grew “ salt hay ” which was good for their critters and their gardens (because of the trace mineral content and because the hay seemed to resist mold and spoilage more effectively) and also removed the salt from the soil so that other crops could be grown there within a couple of years. The English did not understand the system (which the Acadians had learned in Europe) and thought the irrigation and dyking were just evidences of French laziness. However, this particular area has survived to demonstrate that the method was quite effective.

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