A visit to our family farm was prompted by an invitation to celebrate the Hastings Farm Centenary. My son Brad, his wife Sarah, Cathy and our grandchildren Olive and Hamish packed up and left Saskatoon on our way to Lloyd. My sister Nola and her husband Doug drove down from Edmonton to share in the celebrations. History, memories, hugs and smiles filled our day as we drove into our old farm site, now owned by Val Leroy and her husband. They had generously allowed us to wander over the farm site while they were out of town. Soon after our first steps on the soil of our youth, a tap was thrown open and floods of emotions, memories, and a spattering of joyful tears began to flow. Sharing this experience with our grandchildren, Olive and Hamish added a special joy to the day.
A picnic on the hill above our old farm house included food, drinks and smells of native prairie grasses and sage.
Olive and Hamish had fun petting Val’s ponies.
The sage was abundant and irresistible. My daughter in law, Sarah and my sister Nola were intent on experiencing “Sage Overload”
Nola, Sarah and Cathy with feet firmly planted on native prairie soil.
Brother in law Doug enjoying the wind and prairie smells.
Not sure who this handsome dude is wandering amongst the Sage.
Nola had obtained an old picture of our farmhouse built by my grandfather in 1918. I enlarged it and had it printed so it was wonderful to compare it to the house as it sits now. We are so pleased that Val and her husband have poured so much love into the old house to keep it alive. Here Hamish and Olive are holding the old picture.
After lunch and explorations we headed to another 1/2 section called “Tom’s Land”, once owned by my great uncle and subsequently donated to Farmland Legacies for sustainable use by future generations. The current renters, Janine and Marty Hatchard graciously allowed us to walk across their wheat field to explore where other ancestors had set up a farmstead in the early 1900’s. The soggy ground prevented us from accessing the old farm site so we settled for a romp in the wheat and some lessons on making wheat gum.
The Golden Valley Cemetery was included on this tour to pay respects to numerous family members buried there.
My son and grandchildren standing in front of my parents grave.
Hastings Farm Centenary
One of our closest neighbors growing up on our farm south of Lloydminster was the Hastings family. The year 2019 marks one hundred years of continuous farming for their family. Ken, Anne and their daughter Laura put on a fantastic celebration to honor their ancestors and pay respect to the people, plants and wildlife that have inhabited this part of world for millennia. The presence of George Hastings, Ken’s 90+ year old father was a truly special part of the celebration.
Our fun began with a hay ride on an old wagon that my cousin Michael and I had spent countless hours using to haul hay bales when we were teenagers. Ken Hastings calls this ride ‘The Parade of Champions’ where he has incorporated old farm machinery and paraphernalia from 5 local families.
Ken’s ‘Tractor Petting Zoo” was a great part of the tour and was make so special because the John Deere and the Minneapolis were the actual tractors involved in my early driving education.
Ken showing Hamish how to check the fuel level in the old tractor.
Olive on the John Deere.
Ken preparing to start up the old John Deere and let us take it for a spin.
Olive told me she has never seen me with such a huge smile on my face as we climbed onto the old John Deere and my grandchildren got to drive the tractor in a hay field.
An old car provided great joy and imagination for our grandchildren.
The evening ended with the sharing of food and friendship when the Hastings opened their hearts and an immaculately cleaned out workshop to the invited guests. Ken, Anne and Laura had spent endless hours making displays and collecting photographs arranged in decades to honour the history of their farm.
Ken did a marvelous job of honouring his ancestors, neighbours, family members, farm workers and friends who all had a hand in creating a legacy.
A big thank you to Ken, Anne and Laura for including us in this magnificent celebration of 100 hundred years of farming.