Blog Category: Letters to an Elder Farmer

Letters to an Elder Farmer

Posted by Dana Penrice on April 05, 2018

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Inspired by Stone Barns Centre for Food & Agriculture’s recently published book Letter to a Young Farmer: On Food, Farming and Our Future, Young Agrarians invited young farmers to write Letters to an Elder Farmer. As young farmers, we walk in the footsteps of those that have come before us caring for the land and cultivating a community that values organic and ecological farming. You may have noticed too, that young farmers have also been blazing new trails to adapt to our changing society and changing planet. We hope, like the book Letters to a Young Farmers, that the stories in these … Continue reading Letters to an Elder Farmer

Letters to an Elder Farmer: Britt Embry

Posted by Dana Penrice on April 05, 2018

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“May those who are hungry be fed.” – Tess Taylor, Work & Days Dear elder farmer, My partner, Justin, and I farm five acres of organic fruits, vegetables and herbs in southwestern Manitoba on the La Salle river — a slow-moving river that widens and narrows throughout mostly agricultural land before emptying into the famed Red River in Saint Norbert. Our land is good, but not ideal for vegetables. When Justin went to discuss how to amend our soil with a soil scientist, his advice was: “Consider moving.” (Were this a letter to an older soil scientist, my first point … Continue reading Letters to an Elder Farmer: Britt Embry

Letters to an Elder Farmer: Ian Griebel

Posted by Dana Penrice on April 05, 2018

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Dear Elder Farmer, When raised the question what we as youth or new farmers need from our elders—the experienced, the weathered—the answer is complex in details, but simple in theory. My name is Ian Griebel. I was born and raised on a small farm outside of Castor, Alta. But like most of the young people today, once high school was finished, I left the nest and flew to an urban centre, where I developed my skills at carpentry, learned of night clubs, traffic, and the constant hustle of a busy city. When the that became too much, when the constant buzz … Continue reading Letters to an Elder Farmer: Ian Griebel

Letters to An Elder Farmer: Lisa Lundgard

Posted by Dana Penrice on April 05, 2018

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Dear elder farmer, My friend gave me a hat which simply says: “FARMHER.” The feminist in me goes wild every time I wear it. When most people hear the word farmer, they picture an older man wearing a plaid shirt and a hat, and driving a combine. But, insert an h into the word farmer and a different image comes to mind. This letter is meant for all those older generation FARMHERS out there, both the ones who hide behind their husband’s farmer status, and the ones who have worked hard and earned a living as a solo farm woman. … Continue reading Letters to An Elder Farmer: Lisa Lundgard

Letters to An Elder Farmer: Takota Coen

Posted by Dana Penrice on April 05, 2018

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The Thistle and the Forest Dear Elder Agrarian, Ten years ago this spring, the neighbours cleared some land. What was once a vibrant forest of beautiful complexity gave way to a barren soil and smoking piles. I played in these woods as a child and was struck by the sudden change. While some saw progress, I saw a terrible loss. For reasons still unknown to me, the owners walked away almost as soon as the smoke cleared. For a decade I watched a transformation I will never forget. First came the weeds. By the end of that first summer, thistles … Continue reading Letters to An Elder Farmer: Takota Coen

Letters to An Elder Farmer: Keely Wohlgemuth

Posted by Dana Penrice on April 05, 2018

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Dear Elder Farmer, We see you work: Building callus upon callus on your tan hands while you prep the air seeder for spring. We see your worry: The wrinkled brow; the scratch of your head; the antacid pills; the scraps of paper with calculations and a plan to make ends meet. We see your frustration: Mumbled curse words and the forceful pounding of a hammer as you try to straighten a bent swather knife. We see you hurry: Meals forgotten; tools left out; the scamper up the ladder to close the grain bin before the rain. We see your exhaustion: … Continue reading Letters to An Elder Farmer: Keely Wohlgemuth