GFM Network News


Young Terry Maendel, the author’s nephew, continues a long tradition of pitching in at the colony garden.

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

Let the game begin!  

Annual hockey game becoming a tradition

The rivalry continues for its fifth year between a female team from MacGregor and Baker Hutterite Colony

The town of MacGregor is becoming known for its celebrations during Louis Riel weekend. A variety of activities takes place, including a pancake breakfast, a bannock bake, and several sports: two-person curling; minor hockey and senior hockey; cross-country skiing, with equipment available; and, this year, a short demonstration by the Carberry Syncro Skating Team. One


Brennan School students from Elm Creek Colony gained greater insight into agriculture by participating in Agriculture in the Classroom programs last year.

Not just for city kids

Rural students at one Hutterite school enjoyed Agriculture in the Classroom activities last year

There’s little doubt Hutterites have a long agrarian history. Some time after settling in Raditschev, in northern Russia in 1770, they were taught to farm by Johann Cornies – whose role was similar to that of agriculture minister – by placing Hutterite young people on Mennonite farms. The Mennonites had arrived in southern Russia decades

A group of Hutterite women returns from the fields at sunset.

A long and interesting history for Hutterites in Manitoba

Few realize the challenges faced by early Anabaptist groups like Hutterites 
and Mennonites which brought them to North America

The late Selma Maendel was recently the first Hutterite inducted into the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame for her many long-standing contributions to agriculture in the province. Among other things she was a popular columnist for this publication, developed the Field History Manager software to computerize field record-keeping and worked with the medical industry to

Jerry Maendel has been in charge of Fairholme Colony’s turkey flock since 1975.

Talking turkey comes easy for the manager at Fairholme Colony

Over 40 years the time to raise a turkey has dropped from 23 weeks to 14 weeks

April 15 marked Jerry Maendel’s 40th anniversary as Andiker Mensch, turkey manager at Fairholme Colony. Jerry — my dad — says he remembers the day, April 15, 1975, when farm manager Ernie Maendel informed him that he would no longer be travelling to Fairholme’s farm near Pilot Mound, to help with the building, but would


Hutterite women gather to make graua knedel mit schmagus (grey dumplings with white sauce also known as washing-machine dumplings).

Secrets of a Hutterite Kitchen

Recipe Swap: Author Mary-Ann Kirkby takes us with her into the kitchens and dining rooms of colonies across Western Canada

Intercom systems may have replaced the large cast-iron bells that once sat atop the community kitchens on Hutterite colonies, but the tradition of “first call” remains. Fifteen minutes before everyone else is summoned to the dining room, elderly colony members, new mothers and caregivers of the sick are invited to eat. First call is one

Montana hog plant envisioned near border

Montana pork producers are taking a wait-and-see approach in regard to a new pork-processing plant at Shelby that could draw large numbers of Canadian hogs. Governor Brian Schweitzer announced in February that Chinese investors were interested in developing a facility capable of processing 800,000 pigs. But additional details are scarce. “At this point there’s no

Hog Industry Supporters Take To The Streets

Supporters of the pork industry and businesses that rely on it came together at the Dutch Meat Market in Winnipeg to launch the next phase of their battle against the province s moratorium on hog-barn development. In the past, we ve seen the Manitoba Pork Council stand out on their own to talk about these


Waiting For The Water

Tables set for the next meal, clean tea towels hung neatly on drying racks and the scent of baking bread was a scene of peace and normalcy inside the James’ Valley Hutterite Colony’s kitchen last week – in marked contrast to the tension and urgency prevailing outside. Located right in the midst of the La

Hytek Rebrands Itself As HyLife

Manitoba’s second-largest hogprocessing plant is about to get a whole lot bigger. A major expansion planned for Springhill Farms in Neepawa will increase its slaughter capacity 5,500 hogs a day, or 1.4 million hogs a year. The expansion is scheduled to take effect April 2012. Springhill currently slaughters 3,650 hogs daily. The plant will also