Horse drawn swather - picture from the private collection of Jim Bedson

Teacher Reflection

My Beginnings

Children playing around old car.  Private collection of Jim Bedson.Castor is a community with many seniors as well as young families. The students at Gus Wetter School begin visiting with seniors in Kindergarten and carry on throughout their elementary years, sharing songs, poems, skits, pets and laughs. The seniors seem to really enjoy their time with the children. A lot of these seniors and young families have deep roots in the Castor area. Everyone has an interesting story about his or her family. A lot of the early stories focus on feeding the family. Everyone used to grow a garden and raise chickens. One way to share these stories with a large audience is to work with Galileo to create a website containing the children’s interpretations of these wonderful stories.

Like any prairie town, Castor has a long winter. I like to spend my time planning for warmer days. Our classroom has big, sunny windows where we can enjoy lots of living things year round. We have tried to hatch chicken eggs each year without much success but this year we are determined to have a good hatch. We will ask a lot of our local experts and share what we learn. We are also going to attempt to gather some seeds saved by community members and see if we can have plants ready to set out in the spring.

The chickens and eggs are rare breeds from the University of Alberta Farm. These old breeds include Barred Plymouth Rock, Light Sussex, Rhode Island Red, Brown Leghorn, and White Leghorn. These are the breeds the pioneers used and the genetic basis of all other hybrids.

Heritage seeds are the old, original varieties such as Homesteader Peas and Netted Gem potatoes. Some people save flower seeds such as hollyhocks and larkspur. The students will document these activities in addition to the local stories in the form of interviews and reenactments.