• About Farm School

    "There are obviously two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live."
    James Adams, from his essay "To 'Be' or to 'Do': A Note on American Education", 1929

    We're a Canadian family of five, farming and home schooling. I'm nowhere near as regular a blogger as I used to be.

    The kids are 16/Grade 11, 14/Grade 9, and 13/Grade 8.

    Contact me at becky.farmschool@gmail.com

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    "If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
    William Morris, from his lecture "The Beauty of Life"

    "The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts. Monuments fall, nations perish, civilizations grow old and die out; and, after an era of darkness, new races build others. But in the world of books are volumes that have seen this happen again and again, and yet live on, still young, still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling men’s hearts of the hearts of men centuries dead."
    Clarence Day

    "Anyone who has a library and a garden wants for nothing."
    Cicero

    "Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend."
    Sir Francis Bacon, "Essays"

    "The chief aim of education is to show you, after you make a livelihood, how to enjoy living; and you can live longest and best and most rewardingly by attaining and preserving the happiness of learning."
    Gilbert Highet, "The Immortal Profession: The Joys of Teaching and Learning"

    "Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment."
    Walter Wriston

    "I'd like to give you a piece of my mind."
    "Oh, I couldn't take the last piece."
    Ginger Rogers to Frances Mercer in "Vivacious Lady" (1938)

    "No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem."
    Booker T. Washington

    "Please accept my resignation. I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member."
    Attributed to Groucho Marx in "The Groucho Letters" by Arthur Sheekman

    "If you can't say something good about someone, sit right here by me."
    Alice Roosevelt Longworth

    "If we bring a little joy into your humdrum lives, we feel all our hard work ain't been in vain for nothin'."
    Jean Hagen as "Lina Lamont" in "Singin' in the Rain" (1952)
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Help for the poor piping plovers

We heard on the news the other week that nests of piping plover eggs along the shores of Lake Diefenbaker in Saskatchewan are being moved to higher ground, since a surge in water levels began threatening the birds. The rain that flooded High River, Calgary, and Medicine Hat in the last week is having an effect across the border as well. I’ll see if I can link this article at CBC, but in case that doesn’t work, here are some of the interesting bits:

A dramatic rise in river levels is threatening an endangered species of bird that nests on the shores of Lake Diefenbaker in Saskatchewan. There are an estimated 115 piping plover nests buried in the sand at the Saskatoon-area lake, but more than half of them could be wiped out by rising water levels in the days ahead, said Glen McMaster of the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority. ‘This water is going to be rising so quickly that many of these nests will be flooded,’ said McMaster, an ecologist with the watershed authority’s habitat protection branch.

The problem stems from the recent torrential rainfalls in Alberta, which are pushing water along the South Saskatchewan River into the lake. Earlier this week, forecasters predicted that lake levels could rise as much as three metres by the end of June. Eight to 10 people are racing against time trying to move as many of the nests as they can, but it’s delicate work, McMaster said. The nests, shallow bowls a centimetre or two deep, must be carefully transferred to dishes and then moved away from the shore a few metres at a time, he said. If they’re moved too far, too quickly, the mothers won’t be able to find them.

Piping plovers were nearly hunted to extinction at the end of the 19th century and have been on endangered species lists worldwide for many years. Saskatchewan is home to about six per cent of the global population.

The sad part, McMaster said, is that it had looked earlier like it was going to be a record year for nests and adults on the lake. The people at work now hope to save about 50 nests – each typically with four eggs – but the rest could be lost. “It’s frustrating,” he said. “We’re trying to minimize the damage at this point.”

And in case you’re wondering about Lake Diefenbaker, it’s named after Canada’s 13th Prime Minister, the charismatic John Diefenbaker. Here’s a nifty and thoroughly unofficial website all about this great Canadian.

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