It’s estimated that more than 300 million ordnances deployed in Belgium during the First World War were duds, and most have not yet been recovered. |  Getty Images

‘Iron harvest’ still threatens European farmers

Thousands of tonnes of unexploded ordnance, largely from the First World War, continue to be found every year

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 […] Read more

This recipe was found in an old cookbook that was a church fundraiser.  |  Sheri Hathaway photo

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 […] Read more

There’s just something about the homemade flavour of this cream of tomato soup that makes it worth the effort.  |  Sheri Hathaway photo

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 […] Read more

The author’s mother’s diary shed a light on the excitement of this major trip away from home.  |  Submitted photo

Mother’s 1940 summer holiday remembered

The author’s mother made a trip with a 
friend to Vancouver Island, and captured 
her adventures in a diary

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 […] Read more

Choosing to laugh: a family’s approach to life

The author’s father made it his life’s mission to coax laughter out of his family — but sometimes it was best to wait awhile

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 […] Read more

Cara and Todd hold their anniversary present as Sheri Hathway tells the story of the quilt during the couple’s anniversary party.  |  Supplied photo

Anniversary quilt turns into a labour of love

Tragedy cut short plans for a wedding present, but the project was revived in time for the couple’s 10th anniversary

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 […] Read more

Fences didn’t do much good the year the author’s family’s cows decided they no longer wanted to be in the summer pasture.  |  Clayton Henderson photo

Remembering the year the cows ran away

The herd got spooked, broke down the gate, disappeared into the bush and didn’t come out for much of the summer

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 […] Read more

Harold Hathaway was the first Hathaway brother to enlist in the First World War.  |  Hathaway family photo

When the Hathaways went to war

Surviving letters from one of two prairie brothers shed light on the tragic experiences of Canadian soldiers in the First World 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 […] Read more

Provinces began wiring the countryside in the 1950s, changing how farmers lived.  |  File photo

Electricity forever changed life on the farm

The prosperity of 1950s allowed farmers to look toward an easier life as electrical appliances became commonplace

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 […] Read more

Telephones connected neighbours

It was expensive for government-run telephone companies to connect every homestead, so farmers did it themselves

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 […] Read more