October can provide us with a new lease on life, giving a bit of time to rest and reflect. | Alma Barkman photo

October — Sabbath of the soul

The month is a time to tuck in the loose ends of summer, all those little jobs no one wanted to do because of summer heat

No more cucumbers wilting in the corner of the kitchen. No more colanders of raw green relish oozing juice. No more stray tomato seeds pasted to the kitchen window. No more apple jelly stuck to the tiles. No preserving jars crowding the counters. No mysterious noises betraying imperfect seals. No big awkward kettles to empty […] Read more

The Bee Boyzz Honey & Meadery recently set up a display booth at the Winnipeg Beer Fest as part of an effort to introduce mead to the Manitoba market. | Supplied photo

Manitoba couple creates a buzz with meadery

On the Farm: Julia and Kon Paseschnikoff use honey harvested from their 175 hives located across the southern part of the province

WINNIPEG — The ancient Egyptians, Romans and Vikings all hoisted cups of mead, a fermented alcoholic beverage made from honey. Now Julia and Kon Paseschnikoff are introducing mead to the Manitoba market through their bottled honey wines and cans of craft mead. “All cultures had some form of mead,” said Julia, adding that it’s still […] Read more

This 104-year-old farmhouse has stood the test of time, but it’s what was found inside that turned out to be priceless. | Beverly Biggeman photo

Old farmhouse relinquishes its treasures

Sorting through the contents of a 104-year-old home while making it liveable again offers an enchanting link to the past

A 104-year-old farmhouse can yield a treasure trove of stories, memories and folklore. When my husband, Bob, and I moved into the family farmhouse near Swift Current, Sask., we began a 10-year-long project to restore the farmhouse to its former glory. We determined at the outset that we were not going to sink our life […] Read more

The author recounts a memorable fall road trip that almost ended in despair. | Alma Barkman photo

Long autumn road trip turns into childhood adventure

Fancy new car, a paved highway and ice cream were highlights of a trip that felt like floating straight toward paradise

The first bumper crop in years had just been sold and my parents and I were about to embark on the longest trip I had ever taken — almost 500 kilometres. Mom made arrangements with the new school teacher about my impending leave of absence, and because my marks in Grade 5 had all been […] Read more

Financial planners say clients were happy to participate from the comfort of their home after COVID-19 halted their in-person farm retirement and succession planning presentations and seminars. | Getty Images

Retirement seminars forced online

Sask. financial planning company doesn’t think society will go back to a time when ‘everyone travelled for everything’

You shouldn’t let a good disaster go to waste, jokes Don Tofin. “With a good disaster there are always opportunities,” said Tofin, managing partner of The Retiring Farmer. When COVID-19 halted its in-person farm retirement and succession planning presentations and seminars, the Saskatchewan company moved online and gained followers from across Canada. Clients were happy […] Read more

Realtors recommend carving an acreage out of an already treed area of the farm rather than building a new acreage on an area without trees. | File photo

Turning farmland into acreages can be risky

Subdividing a quarter section might be profitable but can also bring new neighbours who may object to commonly used farming practices

Splitting off acreages from a quarter section of land to help fund retirement may be financially appealing, but it also comes with risks, said a real estate agent from Camrose, Alta. The new acreage may bring $150,00 to $200,000, but the new neighbour may object to future activities on your land, especially livestock production, said […] Read more

The agricultural industry still doesn’t know for sure what the final rules of Bill C-209 will look like, but a tax expert says its intent — to smooth the farm transition between families — is clear. | Getty Images

Farmers eye farm transfer bill implementation

Parliament passed legislation earlier this year that will make it easier for producers to transfer farms to their children

A bill to smooth the transition and reduce taxes for the intergenerational transfer of farms received final approval in June, but farmers, farm leaders and tax accountants are still unsure what the final rules will look like. Bill C-208, introduced by Conservative MP Larry Maguire, was designed to allow family members the same tax treatment […] Read more

Farm tax write-offs make it more difficult for many farm couples to plan a post-farm life budget without them. | Getty Images

Cost of living key when calculating retirement expenses

Farm Credit Canada has noticed that more than half of its clients don’t know how much money they will need to retire

What may seem like a reluctance to retire and let the next generation step into the farm may sometimes be uncertainty of the unknown, said a retirement adviser. After talking to thousands of clients across the country, Patti Durand said she and her Farm Credit Canada colleagues have seen a trend emerge. More than half […] Read more

First calvers may have poor breed-back due to dystocia with their first calf, long recovery from calving or are slow to start cycling again due to inadequate nutrition while lactating and still growing. | Bill King photo

Fertility must come first in cow herd

The goal of pregnancy checking is not just to determine whether a cow is pregnant but also to determine why it’s not

Fertility is the most important trait in a cow herd. All other traits are negated if the female doesn’t get pregnant or fails to carry a pregnancy to term. If the latter occurs, it’s important to find out why. Duane Mickelsen, former university professor and cattle breeder near Pullman, Washington, has spent a lifetime specializing […] Read more

Gary Guichon has retired to his southern Alberta farm after 38 years as a brand and livestock inspector. | Mary MacArthur photo

Retired livestock inspector has stories to tell

Gary Guichon enjoyed his job but says he doesn’t miss middle-of-the-night calls to deal with livestock truck rollovers

STRATHMORE, Alta. — After almost 40 years as a livestock inspector, Gary Guichon counts everything.  Driving past a pasture he counts the cattle in the field. Animals walking down an alley get counted and sometimes he counts birds. “I count most stuff. Geese take off from the lake and I try to count them,” said […] Read more