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


Joyce Neilson holding puppy. Private collection of Joyce Neilson.
Joyce Neilson as a child.
(See the interview of Joyce Neilson.)

Have you lived in or around Castor all your life or are you a newcomer to the area? Since its beginning, the town of Castor has been involved in the agriculture industry. Many changes have been made in farm production. Residents of our community have wonderful stories of their lives in rural Alberta. A lot of these stories revolve around feeding the family.

Most families grew a garden and raised animals for meat. Recently there has been an interest in old varieties of seed and rare or old breeds of animals. These are referred to as Heritage Seeds and Breeds. Gus Wetter Elementary is beginning a project that would see the students collecting information through interviews, research, photographs, sound recordings, and first-hand experiences that would be published on a website through the expertise of the people at Galileo.

Parents and other community residents are invited to share their experiences with the students who will make a choice between heritage seeds or rare chicken breeds, according to their interests. Students will also be encouraged to choose a method to present their information for publication on the website. Students may be involved in recording and editing an interview, documenting an activity such as hatching eggs or growing plants from heritage seed, or reenacting a story from our local agricultural history.

How could you help us? Make yourself available to our students for interviews or alert us to seniors you know with interesting stories about heritage seeds or chickens. Check out our project on the web or visit the school and let the students show and/or discuss their progress with you. We hope to play a part in preserving our local history. We invite you to help us.