Old Order Mennonite farmer

A moment from yesterday

July 20, 2016 | Viewpoints | Volume 20 Issue 15
Laureen Harder-Gissing | Mennonite Archives of Ontario

An Old Order Mennonite farmer in Waterloo Region, Ont., works the fields by horsepower in 1950, much as his 19th-century counterparts would have done. We take the cycle of the seasons for granted, yet in 1816 Mennonite settlers in Upper Canada (now Ontario) experienced “the year without a summer.” When Mount Tambora in Indonesia erupted in 1815, average global temperatures decreased by up to 0.7 C. Waterloo Region experienced seven heavy frosts in June and July of the next year. A local historian wrote that “food for both man and beast was at starvation prices.” Two hundred years later, does our modern food supply chain have the capacity to adjust to such events?

For more historical photos in the Mennonite Archival Image Database, see archives.mhsc.ca.

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