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…

Trying to maintain my alpha status with the dog

I’ve been trained by a puppy. He has me scheduled and orders me to do his bidding with a simple whine

Trying to maintain my alpha status with the dogThe Farmer has surpassed me as the alpha in this pack. How did it happen? I’m the one who gets up in the wee hours of the morning to let the Ferg out for his morning constitutional. I’m the one who feeds, bathes and plays with the dog. It’s me who … wait a minute.…

Wasn’t that a party?

A great time was had by all, as was evident by the stray pair of underwear discovered on the lawn by the pool the next morning

Wasn’t that a party?The Farmer and I exchanged vows on the farm 10 years ago this week. It was a blustery, warm day and chunky clouds hovered over our heads, providing dramatic photos and reminding us that life wouldn’t be without its storms. The rain held off until well after the dinner hour, when everyone was having way…

The new breed of chef is cooking with gas

The Farmer is already planning his next menu. It will likely be some candied meat dish – or meat stuffed with meat. Vegetarians beware

The new breed of chef is cooking with gasThe Farmer learned to cook when he was living with a bunch of other guys in university. His cooking style is rather eclectic. He combines things you wouldn’t imagine, like brown sugar and turnip, and his guests are usually pleasantly surprised with the taste. If we aren’t, we keep our opinions to ourselves. His meals…

The joyful Zen of a well-tended, bountiful garden

Having a garden has enriched our diet, our appreciation of the natural world, and our relationships with family, neighbours and guests

The joyful Zen of a well-tended, bountiful gardenIt’s funny what people who don’t grow their own vegetables and flowers think about those who do. Five years ago, when we cleared a patch of brambles and created our deer-fenced garden at Skelhp, visiting friends and family from the city were unanimous in their comments. “Wow – that’ll keep you busy!” “Will you get…