A Farm in the Family


A Farm in the Family is a collection of stories that pays tribute to hundreds of years of farming in Ontario, and to the varied cross-section of people who are proud to call themselves farmers today.

Set against the political, cultural and economic forces that shaped Ontario, the stories are engaging accounts of family history passed orally from generation to generation or preserved in family diaries. To these very personal remembrances the authors have added fascinating background material for the general reader who might never have heard of Simmental cattle or the 4-H Club.

Many city-dwellers can say that there used to be farms in their families. Anyone who has ever owned and cared for an animal, or nursed a backyard vegetable garden through the disasters which unfailingly visit each growing season, will find much to admire in the portraits of these farm families. As our burgeoning cities swallow fertile soil that has fed us for generations, it is important and even comforting to know that this vital, rigorous way of life still attracts people who are willing to risk everything, work astoundingly hard and take their rewards from the land.

The authors’ enthusiasm for historical subjects shines through in this, their second book about Ontario farms. Their first book Inheritance, (1979) celebrated the century-old farms of Ontario. The Ladells have pursued their interest in agricultural history for many years, and bring to their writing both education and experience. They have extensive experience in archival and historical research.

About the Author

John and Monica Ladell

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014

John and Monica Ladell

After studying land-use planning at the University of Toronto in the 1970s, Dr. Ladell turned to consulting work and writing. His publications include numerous technical papers as well as magazine articles on colonial and medical history and a range of popular subjects. He is co-author, with his wife, Monica, of two books on the agricultural history of Ontario. The Ladells, who have two children, live in Scarborough.