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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Fond Memories of Life on a Canadian Farm [Guest Post]

I Am Canadian Feature for July The Koala Bear Writer

Journeys of The Zoo's "I Am Canadian"
Guest Post Feature for July is...

Bonnie from The Koala Bear Writer

Not only is Bonnie Guest Posting here today but this time, we're throwing in a twist because I'm Guest Posting over at Bonnie's Today also!

Two for the price of one.

Once you're done reading Bonnie's post about fond memories on the farm, pop over to her blog and read about my Top Ten Questions to Ask a Woman Pregnant with Triplets. Without further ado, here is Bonnie.


I grew up on an acreage ten minutes outside a small town half an hour away from a big city. My great-grandpa had homesteaded a farm in southern Alberta that my grandpa continued to work until passing it on to my uncle. Although my dad chose the career of an engineer in an office, he had a farmer's heart and we "homesteaded" our acreage, growing a huge garden as well as fruit trees and raising our own livestock.

We started with chickens when I was six or seven. After all, Dad said, no one can fall in love with chickens. The picture of me—a smiling, dark-eyed, dark-haired little girl watching a box full of fuzzy yellow chicks run around—might challenge that idea. We later heard many stories of chickens dying of old age. Ours didn't suffer that fate; Dad was a farmer.  He warned us that these chickens were meant to feed us and by the end of the summer, we were tired of daily chores and happy to say goodbye to our chickens.

After a few years of raising chickens, we advanced to sheep. A local farmer who raised sheep for wool had several orphan lambs. Dad said we could help. I still remember riding home in our eight-passenger Chevy van, all three of us kids holding a lamb on our laps. I named my lamb Nibbles and my brother named his lamb Cookie and the third lamb died before the end of the week. We'd lose many lambs over the next few years—they got sick easily, despite our best efforts to take care of them.

Stock Picture of Canadian Geese
By the time I was in my early teens, we were raising chickens, turkeys, a few ducks, sheep, the occasional calf, and one Canada goose. The goose came to us as a little gosling someone found wandering on the road.

Photo taken by John in Portland

They knew we had animals, and so they dropped her off, though we didn’t know what she was until she began to feather out. We wondered what we'd do with a Canada goose—I didn’t have a plane like Fly Away Home to teach her to fly—but she figured that out on her own and took off one fine fall day.

Summers when I was growing up were filled with our animals and the garden and picking apples and playing baseball with friends and swimming at the lake. Now, as I look back at it, I smile to think of the things I took for granted. The price of rhubarb and raspberries in the stores shocks me now because we had more than we could ever eat ourselves. We walked down to the pond whenever we wanted to go skating in the winter, instead of having to check times to drop in at the local arena. I learned to ride my bike on a gravel driveway and ate carrots straight out of the garden and built log forts in the trees at the back of our property and caught frogs in the pond behind our house.

When I think of Canada, that’s what I think of. The wide-open spaces I grew up in, playing hockey and baseball and tag with the neighbour kids, eating food we grew on our own land. I'’ve moved away, lived in other towns and cities, and I still say I’m a small-town girl. I want my daughters to pick saskatoons off the bush and run barefoot in the grass and maybe even find an egg still warm from the chicken that laid it. So, Happy Canada Day to this country I love.

Picture of Bonnie WayBonnie is mom to three beautiful little girls and wife to a law student. She's currently attempting to research and write a historical fiction novel.When she's not blogging or playing with her girls, she enjoys rock climbing, scrapbooking, and baking. Connect with Bonnie on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.

Thank you sharing your story Bonnie!

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Month: Company
May 2013Mama Bear Haven
April 2013YYZ Bambina
March 2013Ottawa Valley Fiber Arts
February 2013Gone With The Family
January 2013Treasures from the Ark
December 2012Sadieloohoo
November 2012Life After My Kids
October 2012MommiesFirst
September 2012Current Works of Glass

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  1. What a beautiful post! I wish my childhood memories were this great and I really want to provide my kids with lots of room to roam and the experience of growing their own food. Thanks for the reminder of why I also love Canada!

  2. So well written. I felt as if I were there myself. Your childhood sounds so lovely. I've always wished to live on a farm.

    1. Thanks! I'm glad I could make you feel like you were on a farm, if only for a bit. :)

  3. I never grew up on a farm, I was always "in town" for the most part. That being said, I always loved visiting my friends who had farms. So much to do!

    1. That's the next best thing - have a friend who has a farm to play on! (Or maybe it's better - you get the fun without the chores!) We had some great neighbours who watched our animals for us whenever we went on holidays (and that was a lot of work!). :)

  4. we live in the country. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world

    1. I live in the city because we're going to the school, but some day I want to get back to the country. :)

  5. We live in the country as well and love it. Space makes me calm. I love vacationing and visiting the cities but much prefer country life.

    Great post!

    1. I agree about the space. I love visiting my in-laws (who have a quarter section) and just wandering around their yard listening to the quiet (or the birds or the frogs).

  6. Happy Canada Day!! One of these days life is going to slow down so I can become more involved in your blog! I love that you focus on Canada and Canadian things...but I've already told you that!

    I also wanted to let you know that we're having a Canadian Blogger Link Up...I hope you'll join us:

    I know you have your own Canadian Blogger link of these days I'll have the chance to visit every single person who links up with you.

    Hope you're have a great weekend!

    Happy Canada Day!

  7. What a great post! I'm a city girl but all my cousins are country kids and I loved going to visit them even if just for the chance to run through the Orchards, across the fields, down to the creek. I think that sense of freedom was something they took for granted not having grown up in a big city where you are restricted to your back yard for fear of stranger danger.

  8. Thanks for sharing your beautiful memories! I've never lived on a farm, so it's lovely to hear about your childhood on one!


  9. What a wonderful way to have grown up! I enjoyed reading a snippet of your youth`I bet you've got awesome stories!