In February 1928, the first trainload of Mennonite farmers from the Prairies arrived in Yarrow, British Columbia, with prospects of farming the newly accessible land in the Fraser Valley. The introduction of raspberry and strawberry farming in the early 1930s increased the viability of these farms. The photo shows Len Doerksen (b. 1936) with his little brother Dan (b.
For John Mbae, a Canadian Foodgrains Bank conservation agriculture technical specialist based in Kenya, a visit to the Canadian Prairies was informative and inspiring.
Field day at the University of Manitoba's Carman research farm. (Photo courtesy of Natural Systems Agriculture, University of Manitoba)
Harvesting grain as part of a long-term organic crop rotation study at the University of Manitoba's Glenlea research farm. (Photo courtesy of Natural Systems Agriculture, University of Manitoba)
Agriculture is changing. Perhaps it always has been. Markets realign. Tastes shift. Ideas evolve. Climatic conditions rearrange.
Mennonites are part of the change—as farmers, thinkers and eaters.
Fortune and misfortune can look the same in a world of incomprehensible inequality. Each year, many thousands of Jamaicans apply for coveted temporary jobs on Canadian farms. The lucky applicants will work mostly on fruit farms and greenhouse operations under the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP). They can stay for up to eight months, but their families must stay at home.
A filmmaker is teaming up with a historian to document how Mennonite farmers relate to the land in seven different communities around the globe.