Sneak Peek 8: Eva Rehak
Age at this writing: 34
Continuing on from the east coast of Canada, my 8th “Sneak Peek” into the “new faces” of Canadian farmwives comes from New Brunswick.
Eva Rehak is a woman who made contact with me after one of my call-outs on social media requesting participant volunteers from Eastern Canada. She farms in New Brunswick and was eager to share her story.
Eva lives in Saint-Maurice, a small Hamlet about 35 minutes North of Moncton with her partner Alain and their three children. They, along with a third business partner run a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm. Eva and Alain are going into their 8th season growing vegetables.
When I asked Eva: “What does the term ‘farmwife’ mean to you, and do you consider yourself to be one?” her answer was less than traditional.
A: “First I do not consider myself a farmwife at all and never will. I am a Farmer and proud to be one! I find that «farmwife» is an old term and there may have been more women who used to only fit in that role. Here in Atlantic Canada women make up 57.6% of new farmers, and I don’t believe that any of them would identify themselves as a farmwife but rather a farmer. This year, our two employees are also women, so we will be majority on the farm.
That being said, there are still some women today that have an outside job and have married into a farm life and do not take on many farm duties.”
Q: What was your background prior to marrying your husband?
A: “I come from a Czechoslovakian background, born in France and moved to Mississauga, Ontario at age 6 where I grew up. In Mississauga there isn’t much gardening/farming around – I mainly worked in the restaurant industry – and neither of my parents come from a farming background. To say the least it is not something I saw myself doing when I got older. I studied Animal Behavior before attending Collège d’Alfred, which is near Ottawa, where I met Alain. In my first year at Collège d’Alfred I was taking a one year course for becoming a vet receptionist. After I finished my year, I stayed and took the Agriculture Technician program. We started going out in my second year at the College.”
Q: Briefly describe your family farm business and it’s key players. If you have a business or career “off the farm”? Tell me about that, too.
A: “Myself and my partner, Alain run a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm with a third partner. We also have two employees helping us this summer. On a little over 2 acres of gardens and 3 greenhouses, we grow around 50 vegetables, some fruit and herbs. Our CSA is 20 weeks over the summer and we also go to the Dieppe farmer’s market and sell through the Coin Bio/Organic Corner cooperative that we have created 6 years ago with 3 other farms.”
Q: What do you consider your primary role?
A: “As a mother of 3 young children, I have always been the main caretaker. But I also manage the crop calendar, mailing the newsletter during the CSA season, as well as I help with field work – mainly transplanting, weeding and harvesting. I would say that I do half of the paper work and half the field work.”
Read the REST of Eva’s interview along with those of 20+ other women later this winter when Farmwives 2 launches! These women dug deep answering more than 20 questions from me about their lives on Canadian family farms about what they love most, what worries them and their views on the term “farmwife”.
The new book is due out EARLY 2018. You can buy Billi’s first book here.
The author Billi J Miller lives with her husband and 2 daughters on a 106-year old mixed cattle & grain farm on the border of Alberta and Saskatchewan in the Canadian Prairies. She is an award-winning farm photographer, freelance writer & author who has no plans to stop telling the stories of inspiring Canadians. She’s on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and you can find more of her work here.