‘Iron harvest’ still threatens European farmers

For soldiers and politicians, the destruction of the First World War ended 100 years ago, but for farmers in Europe today, it continues and will do so for centuries to come. Four years of siege warfare left parts of France and Belgium in ruins. Some mortars, bombs, mines and other shells that should have exploded[...]

Election dessert spices up politics

After you’ve voted, why not watch the election results with a dish of Tory Pudding with Liberal Sauce? I promise you won’t have a single party in opposition. Steaming hot and oozing with sweetness, it may just be the only palatable thing you take away from this election. I found this recipe in an old[...]


Fresh garden tomatoes make for a great soup

When fall moves in and plump, red tomatoes are in abundance, I think of making homemade cream of tomato soup. It’s become a tradition and there’s just something about the homemade flavour that makes it worth the effort. You’ll agree when you try this recipe. It is simple and delicious, letting the country flavour of[...]

Mother’s 1940 summer holiday remembered

Ah summer. That time of year when Canadians free themselves to travel while the weather is warm. As a history writer, I’m curious about most things from days passed, so I wonder what travel was like. Recently, I came across a diary written by my mother, then named Louise McLean, of a trip she took[...]


Choosing to laugh: a family’s approach to life

One time my sister got two baby ducks and named them Harold and Louise after our parents. The next spring, an egg appeared in the duck pen. Being in about Grade 4, she reported this event for her “news of the day” at school. “I have two ducks named Harold and Louise,” she said, “and[...]

Anniversary quilt turns into a labour of love

SASKATOON — When my daughter, Cara, married Todd in 2008, Todd’s mom, Brenda, and grandma, Marge, wanted to give them a quilt for a wedding present. They were gifted quilters, creating detailed, intricate designs. For Todd and Cara’s wedding, they had a special quilt in mind. They bought fabric in the wedding colours of mauve[...]


Remembering the year the cows ran away

SASKATOON — Almost anyone with cattle works in close proximity to nature and sometimes nature takes an unexpected hand in our livestock business. My father’s experience was no different, especially one particular time when he took cows to the Kettle’s quarter. Dad bought Alex Kettle’s quarter when Kettle retired from farming. He only had the[...]

When the Hathaways went to war

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice Agreement, which ended the First World War on Nov. 11, 1918. When it began in 1914, most thought it would be a brief skirmish. “I’ll be home by Christmas” was the phrase used often by volunteers. On their homesteads west of Lloydminster, two[...]


Electricity forever changed life on the farm

SASKATOON — We take electricity for granted today. Our hands move to the switch to turn on the lights almost automatically when we enter a room. But electricity wasn’t always taken for granted on our farms. In fact, in the 1930s, it was taken for granted that farms wouldn’t have it. The cost to install[...]

Telephones connected neighbours

The next time you slip your cellphone in your pocket and leave for the day, give a nod to your predecessors who worked hard to get any kind of communication to farms. For the first 100 years or so of settling the West, farmers’ only communication to a neighbour was by sending someone on horseback[...]