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Gwen Tuinman

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history

How to Make Butter in a Churn

In the novel I’m currently writing, one character— a farm wife living in the early 1900s—operates a home dairy and sells butter to local families. I recently discovered an inspiring historical document about a farming couple in the butter business—Samuel and Jane Spares from Northfield, Hants County, Nova Scotia.

Between 1885 and 1890, the Spares sold $770.00 of produce generated by their farm. Three quarters of those funds were generated by livestock products, but the remainder was owing to butter, oats, hay and wool. “The 350 lbs. of butter sold (an average of 58 lbs per year) was the most important of these products. Churned in the kitchen by Jane Spares and her daughters, home-produced butter remained an important element of this farm’s commercial output until the establishment of a dairy factory in the district after the turn of the century.”

With an interest in butter-making, I set out to learn the process used by our early families.

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Nahneebahweequay (1824-1865)–A Champion for Indigenous Land Rights

Nahneebahweequay—a woman of courage and tenacity—was born in 1824 to the Mississaugas of the Anishinaabe First Nation. Her name means upright woman. She became an activist for Indigenous land rights with her feet planted firmly in both her native heritage and the English world in which she was known as Catherine Sutton. Her fight for justice led her to meet with Queen Victoria at Buckingham Palace.

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Women’s Farming Activist: Georgina Binnie-Clark (1871-1947)

In the early 1900s, Georgina Binnie-Clark lobbied for women farmers’ equal right to claim government land grants and she educated new generations of women agriculturalists. Her story is particularly interesting in light of the present-day women’s farming movement and also because she campaigned for justice during an era that disapproved of outspoken women.

Continue reading “Women’s Farming Activist: Georgina Binnie-Clark (1871-1947)”

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