To hunt or not to hunt, that is the question

A true hunter gives the animal a fighting chance. It’s as though the universe has to offer the animal up to the hunter or it just isn’t fair

To hunt or not to hunt, that is the questionYou don’t venture into our neck of the woods without an orange vest at this time of year. The regular deer hunting season is wrapping up but muzzle-loader week is about to start. We aren’t exactly hunter’s paradise like the Muskoka region, for example. But we do have our fair share of hereditary hunters. They’ve…

Moving on: nature migrates as winter closes in

On the Pacific coast, the fascinating fall movements of whales, salmon and sea ducks have begun

Moving on: nature migrates as winter closes inOne evening recently at about 6 p.m., I heard a familiar sound from the sheltered bay just in front of our house at Skelhp. If you’ve never heard it, it can be bewildering, even frightening. It’s very loud blasts of air – sometimes two or three in succession, sometimes with about a minute’s silence before…

A Secret Santa challenge to one and all

Holiday gift-giving isn’t supposed to induce panic. Let's all scale back, reconnect, celebrate memories and build new traditions

A Secret Santa challenge to one and allThere was a moment, one Christmas morning not too long ago, when we realized we had overdone it. After opening our dozens of gifts, we couldn’t move from our seats around my sister’s living room. It had finally happened. We had too many gifts. It was an embarrassment of riches. As our children mature, they…

Saying goodbye to the farm animals is difficult

You can tell me they’re simple animals and they aren’t thinking anything, but I know better. I’ve seen cows express frustration, sorrow, contentment, delight

Saying goodbye to the farm animals is difficultThe drover was due at the gate right around the time I had to head out to pick up our homestay student. I was walking to the car when I noticed the Farmer circling on his ATV, trying frantically to get the cattle out of the pasture and into the barn. Sighing, I pulled on…

Furry fire alarms to the rescue

The barn cats prove their value when fire breaks out on the farm, just as they did when the basement flooded

Furry fire alarms to the rescueWe were busy setting up for our weekly family dinner when the Farmer grumbled, “Tell me again why we have three cats in the basement?!” “Lots of people have indoor cats.” “Yes but they never even come upstairs!” Actually, they do, but it’s usually when the house is quiet and they can be assured that…

Life lessons from Grandma, gathered over 102 years

To the end, she still enjoyed a love story, the occasional chocolate bar and an alcoholic drink (for medicinal purposes!) each day

Life lessons from Grandma, gathered over 102 yearsI had the chance to hold a newborn baby girl the other day. I looked down at her squishy little face and thought, “Imagine if she lives to 102 like my grandmother did. That would bring us to the year 2119. What will life be like then? How far will we advance – and in…

Give us our daily (gluten free?) bread

I’ve tried giving up wheat to lose a few pounds but I miss it too much when it disappears from my diet

Give us our daily (gluten free?) breadWe have a Norwegian international student staying with us for the year. Her English is quite advanced but occasionally she has to look things up on her phone to get the direct translation. The other day she had a question for me. “What do you call this kind of bun?” she asked, holding her phone…

Historical harvest event met with sunshine and success

Antique tractors belonging to the museum’s collection were used to run the roughly 100-year-old threshing machines

Historical harvest event met with sunshine and successBy Kenneth Brown The Kindersley Clarion Farming in the 1920s had few similarities to farming in the 2010s, and members of the Kindersley (Saskatchewan) Antique Threshing Club continue to show people how it was once done. The threshing club held a third annual vintage threshing, horse and binder demonstration on Sept. 24 in a field…

Ottawa’s tax changes could kill family farm

The federal government’s proposed changes to capital gains rules make it more difficult for a farm to stay in the family

Ottawa’s tax changes could kill family farmTwo things have always been certain: death and taxes. We can now add a third: botching the promotion of a tax reform for political gains. Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s tax reform has been a communications disaster, on both sides of the debate. Various claims made about Ottawa’s intentions to revamp our tax system for…

The Accidental Farmwife Tribe is worldwide

I’m inspired by the farmwives (real or accidental) who have managed to produce something unique and special from their property’s bounty

The Accidental Farmwife Tribe is worldwideDuring this season of outdoor farmers markets, county fairs and trade shows, I meet a lot of people. Some are readers of the column who want to meet me because they’ve been reading my about my life in my Farmwife blog and columns. Others are accidental farmwives themselves and stop by to compare notes and…