Onion Skins and Peach Fuzz: Memories of Ontario Farmerettes
by Shirleyan English and Bonnie Sitter
Hear more about our book on a recent interview on CBC here: “The best summer of our lives”. A number of other articles and interviews related to this new book may be found here: on the Ontario Farmerettes page.
TO ORDER: Contact Bonnie Sitter by email or by phone 519 235 1909. Certified cheques or money orders accepted. Bonnie also accepts bank e-transfers. Sorry, no credit cards. Mail to Bonnie Sitter Box 353, Exeter, Ontario N0M 1S6. You may also contact Shirleyan English by email dandsenglish[at]bell[dot]net or by phone 519 672 1575.
All previously-scheduled presentations and book-signing events have been cancelled. Please stay safe everyone, and look after each other!
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Huron Heritage Fund in the publication of this book
Our book is also available for purchase at the following locations:
Ace Miller’s Country Store in Exeter The Village Bookshop in Bayfield
Made in Huron located in Clinton Kingsville-Gosfield Heritage Society in Kingsville
The Cowbell in Blyth Essex and Community Research Society in Essex
Maple and Moose in Blyth Coldstream Library in Coldstream
Blyth Theatre Box Office in Blyth Indigo Books in London
The Book Peddler in Goderich Attic Books in London
FIncher’s Book Store in Goderich Coles Books in London
North Huron Publishing, The Rural Voice Office in Blyth
REVIEW – Paul Ciufo
“Onion Skins and Peach Fuzz: Memories of Ontario Farmerettes” provides a delightful glimpse into the experiences of young women who participated in a government-sponsored program to help with the war effort. Facing a labour shortage on farms, the government urged young women to “lend a hand”. Motivated by patriotism or a thirst for adventure, women plunged in despite being from urban areas and having little or no farming experience. Many ended up having the summer of their lives. The collected essays recount fond memories forged by the women while working hard and playing hard. After grueling days picking cherries or weeding onions, they hitchhiked to dances, went on hay rides, roller skated, or swam in Lake Huron. For some this first trip away from home sparked a passion for rural life and led to them building their lives in small communities. Some set out to contribute to the war effort and ended up meeting their husbands. Others had eye-opening experiences like working in the fields beside German Prisoners of War. Kudos to Bonnie Sitter and Shirleyan English for presenting and preserving this interesting and heart-warming slice of rural history.
Paul Ciufo is a noted Canadian playwright and librettist. His play “Reverend Jonah” was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Awards and his play “Narcisse” garnered a Governor General’s History Award. Ciufo wrote the libretto for the critically acclaimed opera “The Llandovery Castle”, and his radio drama “On Convoy” was produced and broadcast by CBC Radio.