Wednesday, January 02, 2013

New Year on the farm

Another year is upon us. As I get older, the time just slips by faster and faster.

I lovingly remember, not all that long ago, Christmases as a kid on my Parent's and Grandparent's farms. A touch of sadness with fond remembrance of times past and people missed. Christmas Eve was almost always spent at Nana and Papa's with Aunt and Uncle and Cousins up from Calgary. Then we'd drive the two miles home before Santa was due. I remember watching the sky with anticipation, but perhaps more than that it was just simply beautiful. Winter skies in the country, away from the light-pollution of a million road lamps, are amazing. To this day, my favorite holiday activity is a quiet, lonely walk at night.

Mom and Dad made sure that Christmas Day was always the highlight of the year in our house. We were lucky, I realize now.

Mounds of gifts surrounded the tree in the morning and the pain of having to wait until everyone else in the house awoke was excruciating. Often, I would be up in the middle of the night and sneak down the stairs to the living room where I would turn on the tree lights and catch my breath at the sight of brightly coloured parcels and bulging stockings that weren't there when I went to bed. With my blanket on the couch I'd fall asleep again. Eventually, the house would creep to life with brother and sister first, then Mom and Dad. Punishable with death was the act of opening a present before adults were awake and coffee'd up...again an excruciating wait.

After the presents were unwrapped, Mom would almost always make waffles and bacon. For whatever reason, this was the only time she made waffles. Or at least that's what it seems in my memory. That must have been the world's oldest, most pristine waffle maker. Wondering now, if it is still in use? I'll have to check. 

Nowadays however, this time of year is a time of planning and hope.We are creating wonderful memories for our kids here on our farm. Our Son, like clockwork almost every winter night, puts on his coat and boots and heads outside. No doubt, one day in his forties, he will write an article very similar to this one.

The farm will undergo more changes in 2013. We are planning more landscaping and building improvements. More garden. More animals. More fencing and work for sure. Like a piece of artwork, our farm is slowly taking shape and is becoming what we want of it...a self-sustainable oasis of environmental stewardship, love and happiness. We're getting there.

Right now, my thoughts are with our customers and their families too. I hope that all of you know how much we appreciate your support. Without your help in spreading the word about our farm and products we would be elsewhere in our lives for sure. I smile when I think about our regulars at Strathcona Market and I am really looking forward to being there again in a couple days. Cindy and I were talking this morning of different ways that we can share our farm with more people in the near future. But in the meantime, here's hoping that all of you enjoy a wonderful 2013! 

John Schneider


  1. Happy New to you and Cindy and your children :) Thank you for your hard work and dedication to organic farming. Without YOUR family, we would not be enjoying local organic grains as a staple in our diet.

  2. as one of your 'regulars' i can only say thanks to you!

    will see you on saturday - must replenish my old fashioned oats supply
    -i'm in serious GFG withdrawl!

    happiest of new years to you, cindy and all those who help you bring your amazing food to market!

    su :)

  3. Thank you for the wishes of a Happy New Year...same back to both of you! It is going to be a tremendous year!