Before we left on our journey, we became members of Harvest Hosts, which is a really cool membership program for RVers. Farms, wineries, breweries, and businesses can list their properties on the website and then members can request to camp overnight on their properties. Camping is free but it is expected that you will purchase something from their business. We think this is an awesome idea (seriously, I need to think of something like this for a new business). We love getting a free place to camp and we are more than happy to support local farms. If you sign up, tell them Amy from Worldschool Adventures told you about it!
Our first night in Saskatchewan was spent at a Harvest Host property. We camped in the parking lot of the Western Development Museum in North Battleford. We probably would not have otherwise visited this museum as it was not on our radar, but because we camped there, we were happy to check it out. What an interesting museum. We learned a bunch of new things about the history of Saskatchewan…they were the first province to introduce medicare, the first province to have credit unions, and they invented Canola oil in Saskatchewan. The museum was huge, with the indoor displays giving a fantastic timeline of history and the outdoor museum built like a mini town where we could peek into old houses and shops and imagine life 100 years ago.
I had a connecting moment to my Grandfather when I read an excellent depiction on what it was like in Saskatchewan during the great depression. Saskatchewan was hit very hard in the depression. The display gave a heart-wrenching account of what life was like when there was literally no money, no jobs, and families went hungry. My grandfather grew up in the depression out here in the Canadian prairies. I remember how thrifty he was. How he would not through ANYTHING away. When he moved into an old-folks home and his children when to clean out his house they recycled thousands of plastic ice-cream containers, stacks of magazines, piles of newspapers, boxes of rags. He literally saved everything, nothing was ever wasted. I remember thinking how odd he was to have saved all this useless stuff, and now, looking back, I get a glimpse of understanding. He spent his childhood in a time where resourcefulness meant survival. We live in a time when we think nothing of throwing out spoiled leftovers.
Although we did not spend much time in Saskatchewan, I did really appreciate our time there. Seeing the endless fields of wheat, canola, beans, and other crops made me incredibly grateful for the hardworking farmers that tend Canada’s breadbasket. My great grandparents came from Ukraine and settled near the Alberta-Saskatchewan border. They worked hard to eek out a living in a harsh landscape while raising a brood of children. Driving through this flat land gave me a new appreciation for the hard work of our ancestors who came to Canada on a promise of a better life. I am so thankful that they did.