John and Wanda Ehrenholz immigrated to Canada from Germany in 1949 with their three oldest children (Ludwig, Helmut, and Ruth). For the first couple of years, the family lived with Wanda's relatives in the Vega area. In 1952, the family, now with five children (Walter and Ewald were born in Vega), moved to the Lawton community southwest of Barrhead. They homesteaded there and the three youngest children were born there (Margaret, Edwin, and Alice). In the early 1960's, John bought the adjacent quarter section to the west and built a new house there. When the house was nearly done, Wanda moved the family out of the cramped house on the homestead to the new house so that the boys could help John finish the house in the evenings. Later, John bought a third quarter section of land to the east of the homestead quarter.
As the children grew up, they began to move away and start families of their own. Ludwig and Helmut started their own farms in the Barrhead area, while Ruth and her husband set up a small farm a few miles from home. Walter and Ewald bought the farm from John in 1976. John and Wanda moved into town for their retirement, but returned to the farm often. After realizing that the farm would not support two families without significant expansion, Walter left and moved to Edmonton to become a truck driver. Rather than buying the east quarter back from Walter, Ewald found a better quarter of land to the south and bought that. Margaret, Edwin, and Alice all moved the furthest from home, but still reside in Alberta.
In 1991, Ewald married Janet Lee from Chilliwack, B.C. Their twin daughters, Janna and Valerie, were born a year later. The girls grew up learning basic farm chores.
Valerie took a special interest in farming at a young age and has stubbornly pursued her dream of taking over the family farm. With encouragement from various people to continue her education, Valerie completed a three-year Bachelor of Arts Degree, majoring in history, at the King's University College. Upon graduation, Valerie moved to Olds to pursue a diploma in Production Horticulture at Olds College. She later transferred to the Agricultural Management program, and in 2016 obtained her diploma in the production and marketing majors. Many of Valerie's farming adventures are documented in her blog.
Janna has had many grand adventures in Asia, Africa and across Canada and has, for now, settled in Calgary, Alberta to work with youth. She visits the farm as often as she can come home and is capable of helping out when she is needed in the fields. Janna frequently inspires her friends and families through her blog.
In 2017, Ewald turned the reins of the farm over to Valerie and she is now busy working to continue the Ehrenholz farming tradition with lots of help from her dad. She began selling farm-raised beef in 2017 and has been increasing those sales steadily. The farm also gained a market garden in 2021, which provides farm-fresh vegetables and fruit (some foraged from our pastures) to local consumers.
The old house has been converted to our calving barn.
Opa's old truck.