In 1972, a boxcar left Toronto with a menagerie of farm animals and an eager young couple and pulled into the station platform in Kingston, Nova Scotia bound for a deserted hundred-acre farm on the South Mountain in Harmony, determined to preserve the foundations of farmsteads past while constructing a geodesic dome. Armed with an irrepressible sense of humour, they were back-to-the-landers. Over the next forty years, through flood and fire, triumph and catastrophe, they persevered.
About the author
Garry Leeson is a writer/auctioneer/farmer from the Annapolis Valley. His work is primarily creative nonfiction and memoir. He has been published in various periodicals, both in Canada and internationally. His stories have been showcased on CBC Radio. In 2014, Garry received funding from Arts Nova Scotia to develop a collection of short stories about small farming in rural Nova Scotia. He was long-listed for CBC Writes Creative Nonfiction in 2012. He has participated in various writing workshops through Acadia and has been part of a weekly writing circle in the valley for several years. Garry lives in the community of Harmony with his wife Andrea and a menagerie of animals. His book, The Dome Chronicles, was released in December 2019 and won the 2021 Margaret & John Savage first book (nonfiction) Atlantic Book Award.
- Winner, Margaret & John Savage first book (nonfiction) Atlantic Book Award
Excerpt: The Dome Chronicles (by (author) Garry Leeson)
Back in Arthur’s office I strove to look nonchalant as he filled out an ‘offer to purchase’ form on the farmland on South Mountain, hoping like crazy that he hadn’t quoted me the wrong price. He finally passed me the paper and said, “Check this to make sure it’s in order.” Arthur had made a mistake. The purchase price on the form was thirteen hundred, not thirteen thousand. I ventured a condescending chuckle and handed it back to him saying, “Arthur, you wrote thirteen hundred.” He sat there for a moment staring at me, seeming really miffed. Then he slammed his fist on the desk and, in the loudest voice he had used all day, declared, “I’m sorry, Mr. Leeson.” I’d been plain Garry up until then. “The price is firm. It’s thirteen hundred and not a cent less.” Then, even louder, he shouted, “There is no room for negotiation!” So I wrote a cheque for the full amount and have never regretted it.
We purchased our little slice of heaven for the tidy sum of thirteen hundred dollars… and were only slightly taken aback when our new neighbours informed us that they could have got it for eight hundred.
Oh well, you win some, you lose some.