Katherine, an energetic, enthusiastic young girl, has written a diary of a year on her family’s farm. She and her mother take turns reading the diary while we tour the farm through the seasons.
We begin with the horse, Tim, who’s much nicer than a tractor because he starts even in the cold Manitoba winters.
When the weather warms up, it’s lambing time. Katherine and her mom try to provide just the right amount of help and then, because it’s still chilly, the ewe and her twins are moved to the barn. A few days later we watch the lambs gambolling in the sunshine.
Later it’s time to make maple syrup the low-tech way. Soon we see the family in the garden and learn about building up the soil. We’re right there with them until 2AM when the piglets are being born and given a good start in life. The day-old chicks, Katherine’s own project, arrive. During sheep shearing, Katherine’s job is to carry the wool away from the shearing area. She collects eggs, washes the cow’s udder before milking, mucks out the pig pen with her mom, plays with the kittens, brings snacks to her dad in the field, and leads the flock of ducks and chickens to their supper.
Of course, farms have crops as well. We learn about grasses and clover, how the baler works, what a bale-stacker is, and how hay is cured. During harvest time we learn about combines, but right now the garden needs care and Tim, the horse, helps. Then it is time to pick saskatoons, to harvest barley, and to pick tomatoes, corn and apples.
Soon the days grow cooler and the pigs, chickens, and ducklings are ready for market. A border collie pup learns to herd the ducks, the pigs are sold as breeding stock in at a local auction, and Katherine goes back to school with her two sisters.
When winter comes, Tim pulls the sled to bring hay and straw to the cows. Late winter is when the calves are born and that, too, we get to watch.
Katherine’s friends may feel sorry for her because she has no TV, but Katherine says she’s very lucky to have so many things to do. She’s thankful to be living ‘down on the farm.’
Katherine’s Farm is not a DVD with any sort of agenda. It’s not flashy and has no special effects. Instead it simply tells about a prairie family on their traditional farm. It’s about real life, with real animals, real births, real machines, real crops, and real dirt. It’s about a real girl who’s helping on the farm. This is one of the best children’s films I’ve ever seen, and many adults will enjoy it as well.
I grew up on a Manitoba farm. When the barley came pouring out of the back of a truck just like my Dad’s, I could almost smell it. Katherine’s Farm brought me back to my childhood. On the other hand, it brings dreams to my children. Our family highly recommends Katherine’s Farm.
Note: Farm life involves birth and this DVD shows it without fanfare or squeamishness.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of Katherine’s Farm from Rural Route Videos in order to give you my honest opinion.