Skip to main content

Tag: Heritage Acres

Front page of July 3, 2024, issue of Shootin' the Breeze – two young girls in Canada Day photo booth at Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village in Pincher Creek

Shootin’ the Breeze – July 3, 2024

Discover what’s happening in Pincher Creek and Crowsnest Pass including Canada Day photos, local council concerns and community projects.

This week’s headlines:

Celebrating Canada Day in style

Pincher Creek town council raises concerns over provincial legislation

Pincher Creek Emergency Services receives vehicle donation from Plains Midstream

Key takeaways from the 2024 Alberta Energy Outlook

A conversation with new NDP leader Naheed Nenshi about rural interests

My Little Corner – Catching up with Jess

Breeze Mailbox – Crowsnest resident wants cyclists to be more courteous

Summer bike safety with local fire chief

Crownsest Pass to see trail improvements this summer

Fawn season is here in Pincher Creek: town issues safety advisory

Embrace volunteerism this summer

Crowsnest Conservation completes Bee Aware project

Heritage Acres needs helping hands

Peter Van Bussel urges fellow grads to stay authentic and unique

Silver Reins 4-H Club hosts 31st annual achievement day

Celebrating the spirit of community: the significance of powwows

Tips for keeping off-road vehicles safe this summer

Frontier Canadian Recollections – Chronicles of Pincher Creek area’s gas industry Part 1

Obituary: James Tillack

Plus local events, contests, concerts, community notices, job opportunities, service directory, Coffee Break puzzles and general information for Pincher Creek, Crowsnest Pass and Piikani Nation.

Anna Welsch, president of the Oldman River Antique Equipment and Threshing Club, prepares for another year of growing food at Heritage Acres to support the community and bring people together through volunteering.

Heritage Acres Victory Garden grows hope for another year

On March 5, 2020, Anna Welsch woke up at 4:35 a.m. to her house burning down. In a time also defined by Covid lockdowns, layoffs and mass uncertainty, hope could be hard to come by. Seeing the struggles of others, while trying to manage her own, Welsch had an idea — victory gardens. 

Victory gardens were a wartime initiative that encouraged Canadian families to use green space to grow hearty food to send to troops overseas and to support their own homes during tumultuous economies. 

Welsch, now president of the Oldman River Antique Equipment and Threshing Club, which operates Heritage Acres Farm Museum, decided to bring this concept to the community, establishing a garden on a portion of the land in the agricultural museum in the MD of Pincher Creek.

Ad for Shadowbar Shepherds Training in Pincher Creek

Similar to the wartime mentality, the idea was “How can we help ourselves?” as the community faced job losses and grocery insecurity during the pandemic.

“We have found that the community has been super receptive of it,” Welsch says.

Volunteers would help grow food, and it would be donated to the local food bank, Napi Friendship Centre and the women’s shelter, where the food would directly help the community.


Also read | Pincher Creek volunteer restoring vandalized plaques


In 2020, the garden produced 1,000 pounds of potatoes and 300 pounds of carrots. Through 2020, 2021 and 2022, the garden produced well over 2,500 pounds of potatoes and 600 pounds of carrots.

This success came with the help of a strong group of core volunteers, according to Welsch. It was the perfect pandemic social activity — outside, six feet apart, planting and weeding to feed the community. 

“It could be a safe space for people’s mental health,” Welsch says. “You come play in the garden, play in the dirt, you can distance yourself safely at the time and still have a conversation.”

The garden encountered some challenges and did not produce in 2023. In 2024, the clay loam soil was too packed down and needed mulching. 

Heritage Acres made a request to MD council to provide assistance, which was granted and is now underway. 

“Our ultimate aim is to produce food,” Welsch says. “Agriculture centres around feeding the world.”

As part of an agricultural museum, this garden also created the opportunity to use historic equipment, like the early 1900s digger that’s used to plant, and teach the community more about food production. 

In the future, Welsch would like to expand to include rhubarb and fruit trees in the garden. 

Heritage Acres is always looking for more volunteers to help weed, plant and maintain the garden. If you are interested in getting involved, email

Shiny green and yellow John Deere tractor with steel wheels

Celebrate 100 years of John Deere Model D at Heritage Acres

Heritage Acres Farm Museum is celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the John Deere Model D tractor at its Annual Show this weekend. The Model D, released in 1923, was the first piece of machinery to be built under the John Deere name. 

The museum is the home to around 10 Model Ds and Ken Harness, president of the Oldman River Antique Equipment and Threshing Club, has one of his own. 

“In 1939, my dad bought this tractor brand new and it’s been in the family ever since,” Ken said, tapping the hood. 


Man in sleeveless plaid shirt, jeans and a hat stands beside an old, green John Deere tractor
Ken Harness poses with his family tractor, a 1939 John Deere Model D, near the sawmill at Heritage Acres Farm Museum. Don’t judge a tractor by its paint job, because this beauty still runs like it’s 1960. Photo by Jillanna Hammond



In 1836, before the time of the tractor,  a humble blacksmith from Vermont named John Deere fabricated a hardy steel plow that made it easier for farmers to manoeuvre soil. A year later he started up his own business, Deere and Company, building plows for farmers near and far.

By 1892 another inventor, John Froelich, built the first gasoline-powered tractor, starting up the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company. In 1918 Deere and Company bought the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company, and tinkered with Waterloo Boy designs until 1923.

Introduced  in 1923 and produced until 1953, the John Deere Model D tractor was a revolutionary machine in the agriculture industry. Based on the Waterloo Boy models, the Model D was a versatile, reliable and affordable two-cylinder row-crop tractor. It became one of the most successful tractors of its era, providing a foundation for the future triumphs of John Deere as a leader in agricultural equipment manufacturing. 

During its 30-year circuit, the Model D received numerous updates and improvements, with variations in features to suit different farming needs.

The development of tractors caused a shift from livestock-based power to mechanical, allowing farmers to increase their efficiency and productivity while reducing the need for manual labour. The John Deere Model D was a groundbreaking tractor in its time and remains an iconic piece of history at Heritage Acres Farm Museum.

Don’t miss your chance to check out these legendary tractors during this weekend’s Annual Show. Event information is available here.