Sentenced to Alkatraz

Written by: Linda Maendel on Sunday, November 11th, 2012

During their stay in the Dakotas, Americans barely noticed the Hutterites, that is, until World War I broke out in 1914. But then they were viewed as foreigners because they spoke German and refused to participate in the war. Nor did they contribute any money towards the financing of the war. Of course, this did not go over well with the English-speaking neighbors, who raided the colonies and stole livestock and supplies to help finance the war.

Since it was compulsory, Hutterites sent their young men to military camps, but they didn’t all....

Hutterisch – the Mother Tongue of Hutterites

Written by: Linda Maendel on Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Hutterites speak a Carintian German dialect, originating from the province of Carinthia in Austria, which we fondly call Hutterisch. This language is spoken on a daily basis. However, it’s unfortunately generously sprinkled with English words as well. Some of this cannot be altered as there are numerous things for which we have no Hutterisch word. These include, farm equipment, mechanical parts, cooking ingredients, medicines, and some kitchen utensils.


All Hutterites speak Hutterisch, although....

Bee-Hive Busyness

Written by: Linda Maendel on Saturday, September 8th, 2012

Potato Harvest

  “Trucks are waiting! Everybody welcome. Thank you!” The crisp message rings from the public address system, inviting colony members to a shift of picking weeds and lumps of dirt out of newly-harvested potatoes, traveling by conveyor into the shed.


 “This is a recorded announcement!” One young woman deadpans. Grabbing gloves and a jacket she heads for the potato shed.

Every autumn brings the exciting racket of tractors, trucks and potato diggers rattling and rumbling their way to t....

“Who Will Help Recycle this Bag?”

Written by: Linda Maendel on Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

In recent years gigantic grain bags have become a common sight on the prairies. Like giant white sausages, stretched out across fields, these bags are quick to set up when farmers run out of grain storage space. However, once the ‘grain sausages’ are emptied there are tons of plastic begging to be recycled.


Green Acres Hutterite Colony, near Bassano, Alberta answered this call. They operate a large scale recycling business, Crowfoot Plastics, the first of its kind in Alberta. I learned about ....

‘God Keep our Land Glorious and Free’

Written by: Linda Maendel on Sunday, May 13th, 2012

Canada, with its many immigrants is like a beautiful patchwork quilt. People from various countries have settled on our rich farmlands or in thriving towns and cities, proudly calling this home. This kaleidoscope of sights, sounds, tastes and customs gives our country a rich folkloric vista. Each ethnic group is like a quilt piece, adding its own unique colour or texture, and is stitched together with common respect, creating a spectacular whole.

I got a glimpse of this recently, when we celebrated ‘Sharing Our World’ in Portage La Prair....
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