Latest articles


An heirloom harvest spurs memories

Some of my fondest memories as a young woman are of helping my Aunt Kate Basel and Uncle Josh Vetter in the colony garden

As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.” — Genesis 8:22 On a Hutterite colony, typically one couple is in charge of the vegetable garden. They’re the ones who decide what will be planted, when the garden needs weeding or produce is […] Read more


Maple syrup ritual spurs childhood memories

When my sister makes maple syrup every spring, she also recreates treasured memories from my childhood

Every spring a corner of our backyard is transformed into a scene that could be from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books. Two columns of bricks create a makeshift stove, over which giant rectangular pans sit atop a steel table-like structure. Barrels of scrap hardwood, collected throughout winter at our carpenter shop especially for this, […] Read more



group of schoolchildren recycling

Earth Day should be celebrated every day

A Manitoba Hutterite Colony takes on the challenge of ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’

“I think I’ll be counting bags in my sleep tonight,” a seventh-grader chuckled. A group of us were on the floor in my classroom, around a mountain of plastic bags we were counting for the Bag Up Manitoba program. Since getting involved in this program some years ago, the most our school ever collected was […] Read more


Thy Neighbour As Thyself

The disturbing news that our provincial government had decided to breach the Hoop ‘n’ Holler bend in order to take pressure off the weakening Assiniboine River dikes raised mixed feelings. “Why do we have to be the scapegoats?” one area resident protested. Another wondered, “How can they decide to sacrifice my land to spare others’ […] Read more




Potato Harvest On The Colony

Trucks are waiting! Everybody welcome. Thank you!” The crisp message rings from the public address system, inviting colony members to a shift of picking weeds and lumps of dirt out of newly harvested potatoes travelling by conveyor into the shed. “This is a recorded announcement!” one of the young women deadpans. Grabbing gloves and a […] Read more



Hearts And Hands For A Common Cause

Lorena wrote a letter outlining the project to other colonies, asking for donated homemade items. The call to my sister Lorena from Dora Maendel at Fairholme Colony came last spring. “I hope you’re wearing your Good Samaritan hat today, because I have a job for you!” Andrea Firth, the conference co-ordinator with Hospice & Palliative […] Read more