By David Agren - Tuesday, January 8, 2013 - 0 Comments
A community that left Manitoba a century ago is eyeing Russia
Peter Friesen talks as if he’s seen the promised land. A Mennonite farmer and father of 13 in Mexico’s northern Chihuahua state, his blue eyes brighten as he paints a picture of a place with pleasant people, raging rivers and vast tracts of virgin land ideal for agriculture. “We saw really good land with lots of water,” Friesen recalled, while seated in the booth of a Mennonite pizzeria that sells pies smothered with the prized local product, a tangy cheese known as queso menonita.
Friesen isn’t talking about paradise. He’s talking about Russia, where his Mennonite ancestors once worked the land before departing for the Canadian Prairies and then the high plains of northern Mexico. Friesen and 10 Mennonites recently travelled to Russia to explore a possible relocation from Chihuahua to the prairie of Tatarstan—900 km east of Moscow and similar to Manitoba with its cold winters, hot summers and flat prairie. The possible relocation is not a nostalgic return to his roots, but rather a resolution for the most pressing problems Mexican Mennonites face: shortages of land and water. “We could cultivate 10 times more than we have here,” says Enrique Voth Penner, who also went to Russia. Continue…
By Colby Cosh - Thursday, June 10, 2010 at 10:20 AM - 2 Comments
The Hutterites of the Canadian and American West dress plainly and resist modern media such as television and the Internet.
Adherents to the same Anabaptist tradition as the Amish and the Mennonites, the Hutterites of the Canadian and American West dress plainly and resist modern media such as television and the Internet. But on the farm they are aggressive adopters of advanced technology, ranging from geothermal energy to robot milking machines. The scale of Hutterite colonies often allows them to invest in equipment of which their neighbours can only dream.