A recycled brick path to a garden shed and brick flower beds were long awaited projects that were completed during time spent at home social distancing because of COVID-19.  |  Betty Ann Deobald photo

From masks to more free time: life in 2020

Who would have thought at the beginning of 2020 that it would be socially acceptable and perhaps mandatory to wear a mask to cover your face when going into the bank. A year ago, you might have been arrested or at least seriously questioned. Such is the strangeness of our world since COVID-19 came to […] Read more

The Rocky Mountains rise up in the distance as Hugh McLuckie, left, and Hadley, Logan, Edric and Lynette Van Steinburg walk through Saint Mary’s Prairie with four of the nine Border Collies they raise.  |  Christalee Froese photo

Family members gradually return to B.C. ranch

On the Farm: A ranch started in the 1950s is now home to three generations, raising Herefords and Border Collies


CRANBROOK, B.C. — Putting a fence post in the ground here isn’t easy. The bedrock that lies beneath most of the 10,400 acres of grazing land at Pine Butte Ranch is unforgiving, sometimes requiring A-frame posts to hold up the more than 80 kilometres of fence. When Ray and May Van Steinburg bought the dairy […] Read more

Arrowwood, Alta - Aug. 23, 2020 - Friends of Leo Gooch pitch bundles of oats into the threshing machine at a threshing bee at the Gooch farm south of Arrowwood. | Mike Sturk photo

Threshing bee – photo essay

Photo essay | Friends of Leo Gooch participated in a threshing bee at the Gooch farm south of Arrowwood, Alta., Aug. 23. | Mike Sturk photos

Friends of Leo Gooch participated in a threshing bee at the Gooch farm south of Arrowwood, Alta., Aug. 23. | Mike Sturk photos


Efforts to quiet a noisy family starts with quieter parents

Q: I never would have guessed that our family could make up the nosiest house in the neighbourhood. We never thought about it when we were living on the farm. No one was there to complain. However, in town it is different. Everyone hears us, and many of those who hear us are starting to […] Read more

Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta have taken steps to bolster protections for livestock and other producers against trespassers and activists, and Manitoba is carrying out a public consultation on the matter. | File photo

Feds closely watching provincial changes to trespassing laws

The federal government is not looking at ways to boost trespassing legislation being passed in some provinces, according to Minister of Agriculture Marie-Claude Bibeau. Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta have taken steps to bolster protections for livestock and other producers against trespassers and activists, and Manitoba is carrying out a public consultation on the matter. Bibeau […] Read more


The potential amendments are part of larger changes to trespassing rules in the province. Manitoba's agriculture and justice departments are working together to modernize trespassing legislation, which includes amendments to the Petty Trespasses Act, the Occupiers' Liability Act and the Animal Diseases Act. | File photo

Trespassers not welcome on Manitoba farms

Manitoba may follow the lead of Ontario and Alberta, by passing legislation that protects livestock producers from trespassers and activists. For now, the province is consulting with farmers and landowners about legislative amendments, but the intent is to strengthen the Animal Diseases Act and other laws. “Manitoba is exploring potential legislation that would protect biosecurity […] Read more

About 150 people attended a recent Friends of Augustana event to bring awareness to the importance of the 110-year-old university to Camrose and rural Alberta. Many students from rural communities attend the university as a stepping stone to a larger university.  |  Mary MacArthur photo

Supporters hold rally for Alta. campus

Advocates for the University of Alberta’s Augustana campus in Camrose worry about what funding pressures mean for school

CAMROSE, Alta. — Joelle Skinner met her husband at Augustana, found herself at Augustana and learned to understand rural communities at Augustana. “I think of Augustana as my love story,” said Skinner, during a Friends of Augustana rally across the road from the 110-year-old university. “Augustana has absolutely shaped who I am,” said Skinner, who […] Read more

: Make boxes for each guest with appetizers, side dishes or even the main course when hosting backyard gatherings this summer. These containers are biodegradable. | Sarah Galvin photo

Watch common touch points with backyard gatherings

Besides physical distancing, the most important thing to know about hosting a gathering during the COVID-19 pandemic is to eliminate common touch points. You can’t just plan a big buffet anymore. When planning your menu, how it is served is as important as the food. Take advantage of individually packaged items such as potato chips […] Read more


DNA Gardens offers visitors a variety of options: a trip to the orchard for fresh berries, a walk on the wild side with the self-guided nature trek, a more serious hike on the blue bird trail or kid-centred fun in the family fun park.  |  Maria Johnson photo

Alberta orchard not afraid of diversification

On the Farm: A greenhouse and tissue culture lab followed the fruit trees — and then came the store and patio café


ELNORA, Alta. — Dave and Arden Delidais own and operate DNA Gardens. The 15-acre orchard is nestled into the rolling parklands of central Alberta, where the hills and valleys dotted with wetlands gradually give way to sprawling prairie. The fruit farm is known for an abundance of saskatoons and boasts 19 varieties. “We are the […] Read more

The iconic Prince of Wales Hotel is a majestic railway hotel built in 1927 and perched on a hilltop with one of the most magnificent views in Canada.   |  Arlene & Robin Karpan photo

Waterton Lakes’ major attractions have now reopened

While all national parks went through tough times due to COVID-19, Waterton Lakes National Park in southwestern Alberta had to contend with a double whammy. The pandemic struck while it was still rebuilding after the massive Kenow Fire of 2017 that burned more than one-third of the park. The townsite was spared, barely, but the […] Read more