"Tales of pioneer hardship and deprivation have been told many times. Yet still we remember in wonder, that people accomplished so much with so little; that men and women with simple tools, their bare hands, and their own inventiveness cleared the land, drained the swamps, made their own clothing and provided their own food. Through all these difficulties God was with them and they wanted their children educated intellectually and spritually." from Norfolk Street United Church history

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Empires of Food - The Annual University of Guelph Lecture at the Guelph Historical Society


on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.

at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 161 Norfolk St., Guelph

Evan Fraser currently holds the Canada Research Chair in Global Human Security in the department of geography at the University of Guelph. His work is on challenges to food security over the next two generations, during which time population growth and climate chan ge threaten to make food harder to produce and more expensive to buy.

He has worked extensively with climate modelers, economists, ecologists, anthropologists, and journalists to explore possible solutions to this global challenge.

He has written two popular books on food and sustainable agriculture including Empires of Food: Feast, Famine and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations and regularly talks to the media on these topics.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Wartime Farm - Monday Nights on TVO

Taking up the World War II era running of a farm for a full calendar year, using only historical tools and materials. The experiment will prove to be nothing short of a revolution in British farming - one more akin to Soviet-style collectivization than anything else. A fascinating blend of war history, survival creativity and endurance.

Episode 1 Watch Video

January 7, 2013

The team begin by reclaiming badlands to grow new crops. Peter works with a blacksmith to design a special ,mole plough, to help drain the waterlogged clay fields. Ruth and Alex get to grips with a troublesome wartime tractor - and must plough through the night to get the wheat crop sown in time. On top of farmers' herculean efforts to double food production, their detailed knowledge of the landscape also made them ideal recruits for one of the war's most secret organisations - the 'Auxiliary Units', a British resistance force trained to use guerrilla tactics against German invasion.

Episode 2

January 14, 2013

This week the team tackle the conditions faced by British farmers in 1940, when the full impact of rationing take hold and which also saw Britain face the onslaught of Nazi bombing in the Blitz. Ruth finds out how about the impact rationing had in the kitchen as food became strictly limited - and also explores the temptations of the Black Market. Alex and Peter are confronted with vastly reduced supplies of feed for the animals, so attempt a method encouraged by the government: making ,silage,. This involves not only finding alternatives sources of feed to store for winter, but also creating a container to store them in. And for this they find out how the Women's Land Army could be of help. Along they way, they also discover how racial prejudice reared its ugly head during Land Girl recruitment - only to be overcome by the actions of a local farmer.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Canadian County Atlas Digital Project

If you have ever wanted to roam through the history of Canada via a selection of excellent maps, this website will be just your cup of tea.

The maps here have been digitized by the folks at McGill University and they cover all of Ontario in 1880. There are a number of maps for each county, and visitors can use the drop-down menus to look for items of particular interest. The menus include Choose a County, Choose a Township, and Choose a Town.

By clicking on each map, visitors will be able to look at different township maps that will reveal property boundaries, improvements, and all types of other details.

Historians and geographers will find much to admire here and it's easy to see how this website could be used in the high school or college classroom to illustrate certain historical trends in terms of land development. [KMG]

Visit the site at: http://digital.library.mcgill.ca/countyatlas/searchmapframes.php

>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2013. http://scout.wisc.edu/

Canadian Government Commemorates Sir John A. Macdonald Bicentennial

KINGSTON, Ontario, January 11, 2013 /Canada NewsWire/ - Today, at the annual Sir John A. MacDonald Day ceremony in Kingston, The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, celebrated the life and accomplishments of Sir John A. MacDonald, Canada's first Prime Minister. Minister Moore also announced support for projects that will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Sir John A. Macdonald in 2015.

"Our Government is proud to invest in projects and commemorations, like the anniversary of Sir John A. Macdonald's birth, that contribute to our collective identity and define who we are as Canadians," said Minister Moore. "On the road to Canada's 150th birthday in 2017, let us celebrate all of the things that make Canada the united, strong, and free country we are today."

Support has been provided to the Sir John A. Bicentennial Commission for a range of activities to increase public awareness about Canada's first Prime Minister. Additionally, the Historica-Dominion Institute will receive support to create two new Heritage Minute videos featuring Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir George-√Čtienne Cartier. These investments will encourage all Canadians to reflect on Sir John A. Macdonald's life and accomplishments and to celebrate his significant contributions to Canadian history.

"The 200th anniversary of Sir John A. MacDonald's birth, in 2015, will be an opportunity for all Canadians to learn and to celebrate the important contributions Canada's first Prime Minister made to shape our great nation," added Minister Moore.

"We are so grateful to have the support of the Government of Canada as we move towards the bicentennial of Macdonald's birth," said Ryan Zade, Associate Director of the Sir John A. Bicentennial Commission. "With this support, we can work towards engaging all Canadians to help tell the story of Macdonald, which is the story of the place we all call home: Canada."

"Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir George-√Čtienne Cartier are two of the greatest Fathers of Confederation," said Anthony Wilson-Smith, Historica-Dominion Institute President. "We're proud and grateful that we'll be able to use our Heritage Minutes format to tell stories about their roles in the making of Canada."

The Government of Canada has provided over $500,000 to the Sir John A. Bicentennial Commission (2010-2012), and $360,000 to the Historica-Dominion Institute (2012-1214). The funding comes from the Commemorate Canada component of the Celebration and Commemoration Program. This program of the Department of Canadian Heritage supports initiatives of national significance that commemorate important aspects of Canada's history.