Fun on the Farm

8 August 2017

Fun on the Farm: True Tales of Farm Life!
Compiled and edited by Deana J. Driver
Reviewed by Michelle Shaw
$17.95 ISBN 978-192757030-2

I knew Fun on the Farm: True Tales of Farm Life was a winner when the opening story, Harvest Bonding, written from the perspective of a newlywed city girl who has married a farmer, had me giggling from the start. As Jean Fahlman wryly points out, “When soulmates enter the harvest field, the marriage may be entering the twilight zone, but newly married farmers and wives don’t realize that at first”.

Harvest Bonding is the first story in this collection of humorous, true accounts of farm life in Saskatchewan, compiled and edited by Regina-based Deana Driver.

The book is filled with tales of mishaps, adventures and childhood memories from riding “Bessie, our two-hundred pound pig”, jam-can curling and playing street hockey with a potato as a puck, chasing wandering cows, hens that lay Easter eggs and even an amusing incident from the filming of the James Herriot movie All Creatures Great and Small. That one I have to admit was set in Yorkshire, not Saskatchewan, although there is of course a Saskatchewan connection!

Many of the stories involve farming practises that I suspect will boggle the mind of many people today (especially teenagers!). There’s a tale of a farmer banking manure against the walls of the family’s drafty farmhouse on the open prairie to protect it from the “bone-chilling” winds of winter, and of plucking 30 dead geese of their feathers to make new flannel-covered feather ticks as a Christmas surprise. There are also a number of stories involving outhouses…!

The stories and poems are written by numerous authors including well-known Saskatchewan writers such as Mary Harelkin Bishop, Ed Olfert and Marion Mutala and are set right across Saskatchewan from Meadow Lake to Gravelbourg.

Each account is short and ideal for reading on the go. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this little treasure of Saskatchewan memories.

The book is dedicated to Deana’s husband and publishing partner Al Driver who first had the idea for the book. Al passed away in January 2016.


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