Blogging has been on my “to do” list for about 8 years. Now it’s happening! Welcome and thanks for reading.
In this blog, we will explore food and farming with honesty, levity and a little love along the way.
Let me start at the beginning . . .
Before Kevin, kids and farming, I was a 19 year old student attending University of Saskatchewan in the College of Commerce. I dreamed of the big city, bright lights and a “big wheel” advertising agency job like on TV.
Having grown up in small town Saskatchewan, I did actually say to my friends at one point “I’ll never marry a farmer”. In second year university, my best friend set me up with a young dairy farmer from Osler, named Kevin, who was surprisingly handsome, witty, caring, intelligent and ridiculously hard working. Really? From Osler? Who would have thought? Love comes where and when you least expect it.
Upon our engagement, Kevin’s dad gave me solid advice, saying “You’re not just marrying Kevin, you’re not only marrying the farmer, you’re marrying the farm.”, but my brain swirled with romantic love. Over the years, I’ve learned much about what that means.
Love & Life
For the first few years, I worked off-farm in agricultural sales and marketing while Kevin farmed with his parents. We envisioned owning a farm, one that could sustain itself economically without my off-farm income to support our farming habit. We dreamed of raising our children on the farm where we could be together, and they could romp in nature and grow their imaginations.
Practically speaking, we planned to take over the farm from mom and dad, buy them out and ensure their retirement. To accomplish that, our existing dairy and grain farm needed to grow to pay two families’ incomes. In ag-speak, we needed to diversify our income and/or increase our acreage to achieve operational economies of scale.
With our first child on the way, my nesting instincts strong, and under a little pressure to get our life launched, Kevin approached a neighbour who had a nearby quarter section for sale. In passing, half jokingly, Kevin asked if the remainder of his farm was for sale. Our neighbour said “yes”. We never did buy the advertised quarter section. Instead, we purchased his farmyard, equipped with a poultry barn and small butcher shop. This became Pine View Farms.
[As an aside, this farm was founded by Kevin’s Great Grandfather, Jacob Boldt, who followed opportunity and settled here in 1901 with his 18 children. We have continued the tradition of growing food for our family, but failed at procreating 18 kids! He immigrated from Mountain Lake, Minnesota, in search of spacious land where he could provide for his large family. He was a risk taker and a visionary. I believe those traits were passed on to Kevin. ]
Not only had we purchased a family home, we created a business in which Kevin and I could work together. Our business plan combined our existing grain and cattle farm with a chicken farm and butcher shop. We had never raised chickens before nor butchered on any scale. “How hard can this be?”, we asked ourselves. Looking back, our business plan was virtually non-existent and our projections shaky at best. If we knew then what we know now, we might not have taken the leap. But commitment, determination and a little fear takes one a long way!
I said I would never marry a farmer. I never imagined that my marketing career would look like this — that I would call myself a farmer. I never conceived that life would be so “brutiful” — brutal and beautiful all at the same time. I’ve learned “Never say never.”
And the remainder is . . . serendipitous or destiny? Stay posted.