Erin Harris breeds all of her farm’s cows to Jersey bulls because she finds the breed preferable in terms of ease of handling.  |  Christalee Froese photo

Remote dairy farm grasps retail opportunities

On the Farm: Kootenay Meadows in the southern British Columbia interior finds markets for its cheese and bottled milk

CRESTON, B.C. — These dairy cows have it good. They graze on fresh organic grass every 12 hours. They are sheltered from blustery winds by a towering mountain range. They are milked on their own schedule. They don’t stand on concrete. And as newborn calves, they stay with their mothers for an extended period of […] 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

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

Corey Clark cuts steel fence posts from 2 7/8 inch tubing in preparation for an expansion of the existing corral system at Shady Nook Farm.  | Maria Johnson photo

Alberta family’s matriarch returns to the farm

On the Farm: A love of the farming lifestyle and a century of rich history draws woman back to her family and the farm

CLIVE, Alta. — Louise Bell recently bought a quarter section of land at Clive and plans to move back to the farm, even though she’s reached an age where many people are slowing down. “I need a purpose in life,” said the 74-year-old. She currently lives in a condo in nearby Lacombe and has bought […] Read more

Fresh Flavour Farms produces a variety of hydroponically grown vegetables. | Barb Glen photo

Fresh Flavour Farm a year-round operation

NOBLEFORD, Alta. — At first, Andy Katoch’s reasons for starting a vegetable operation were selfish, he admits. He and his family are vegetarian and he sought quality year-round food supplies to meet their needs. But now his aquaponic operation in this southern Alberta town is supplying many with vegetables and serving as an example of […] Read more

Paige, Luke, Teri and Scott Ruecker kneel in one of their 2020 oat crops. The family is growing oats certified for the gluten-free market. | Karen Briere photo

Oats become healthy answer for family farm

ABERNETHY, Sask. — Harvesting wheat always presented a problem for Scott and Teri Ruecker. Their two children, Paige, now 18, and Luke, 15, would get sick each fall. And Luke wasn’t growing like a six-year-old should. They sought out medical advice but no one was able to pinpoint the problem. Finally, with no pediatric gastroenterologist […] Read more

Keenean Amy and his father, Elgin, split the chores down the middle on their commercial cross herd and grain farm near Sturgis, Sask. |  William DeKay photo

Father and son focus on moving farm forward

On the Farm: Saskatchewan family emphasizes the importance of soil health as a key way to keep operation viable

STURGIS, Sask. — Education is a lifelong endeavour for a father and son focused on improving their soil health. Elgin Amy and his son Keenean are moving their farm closer to where they want to be next year and beyond. “There’s just so much to learn. But you got to get your head around the […] Read more

Three generations of Hooglands — Jake, left, Kolton, Evangeline, Sophia, Kurt and Sherry-Ann — operate a market garden and raise livestock near Blackfalds, Alta. | Maria Johnson photo

Alta. farms focus on growing vegetables and raising animals

BLACKFALDS, Alta. — There’s no doubt the Hoogland family in central Alberta will remember 2020. The worldwide experience of COVID-19 would be the main reason, which has, among other things, clarified the importance of food security. “There’s definitely more people interested in buying home-grown food,” says Sherry-Ann, who with her husband, Kurt, and three youngest […] Read more

The Kyle family on their Tyvan farm: (left to right) Tanner, Kipton, Macy and mom Codee.  |  Christalee Froese photo

Farm operation provides home schooling too

On the Farm: The Kyle children are involved in various aspects of Country Road Concepts, an on-farm business

TYVAN, Sask. — It all started with the making of a quilt from old jeans. Upon the sale of that quilt, and a few more craft items, Country Road Concepts was born. Codee Kyle started her on-farm business in 2012 as a way to keep up with her love of crafting while raising her first […] Read more

Kevin Lefsrud, who farms near Viking, Alta., started distilling honey as a way to find a creative outlet after retiring from the CFL because of concussions. | Section 35 photo

Producer finds fun outlet making honey liquor

On the Farm: Kevin Lefsrud needed a creative pastime after retiring from the Canadian Football League because of multiple concussions

VIKING, Alta. — When Kevin Lefsrud began coping with his concussion, he realized he needed a creative outlet to improve his mental health. He decided to distill honey, creating an array of uniquely flavoured alcohols through his company, Section 35. “Concussions are a very nasty thing,” he said, speaking in a telephone interview from his […] Read more