Farming and Homesteading
Until 1900 the Canadian West had remained largely under-populated, and so the federal government began an intensive settlement program offering cheap land and social and religious freedom. At the turn of the century, a homesteading entry cost $10 for a 160 acre piece of land, and title to that property could be obtained after three years - provided that settlers lived on the land at least six months out of each of their first three years in Canada, that they cultivated at least 40 acres of land on their homestead, and built a house on their property. If the initial 160 acres was not sufficient, adjoining quarters could be purchased at a rate of $3/acre.
Most homes were crudely constructed out of self-cut logs. Grain farming quickly became the foundation of the new settlers to western Canada, but not without difficulties. Settlers had to clear the land in order to begin sowing their crops, in many cases using only awkwardly fashioned implements and what little they had brought with them from their homelands. While the first farming implements were simple, they helped early farmers to establish their new homesteads and support their families. Here we would like to share with you the story of what it was like for the early settlers to begin a new homestead in the province: how homesteads were established, what sorts of implements they used and grains they sowed, as well as the struggles they faced and what life in rural Alberta was like for them.