Aztext Press

Life Off-the-Grid

An Interview with Cam in Harrowsmith Country Life Magazine

By Michelle Mather

**If you have arrived here looking for information about Harrowsmith Country Life Magazine, please see below….

Have you had a chance to pick up the latest issue of Harrowsmith Country Life Magazine yet? The April 2010 issue includes an interview with Cam. The article is entitled “Survival Guide to the Future” and is a Q&A between Cam and Tom Cruikshank, the editor of the magazine.

Cam and I have been readers of Harrowsmith Country Life magazine for many, many years. In fact I remember reading my father’s copies of the original Harrowsmith magazine when I was just a teenager! It first began publishing in 1976 and was one of the original “back to the land” publications full of stories of people returning to their country roots and sharing the knowledge and skills that they were acquiring.

When we first looked at this house in 1998 we returned home to Burlington to consider purchasing it. Cam went to our box of old Harrowsmith magazines and discovered one from June of 1993 in which the previous owners of this house, Jean Stawarz and Gary Farmer had been interviewed about the solar electric system that they had installed in this house! Cam had remembered reading about it! Here is the cover of that magazine (complete with Cam’s note to himself to “Keep article…”);

Then in October, 2000 Cam wrote an article for Harrowsmith Country Life entitled “Our Solar Saga.” Here’s the cover of that issue and the two page article;

The article in the current magazine is a three page Q&A that Tom and Cam did over the phone last fall just after “Thriving During Challenging Times” was published. In the article, Tom mentions Jeff Rubin’s book “Why Your World is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller” which also discusses themes like peak oil and climate change. Cam points out that there are many of these books available, and he used many of them as resources. “Thriving During Challenging Times” is different in that it not only discusses these converging challenges that we all face, but Cam provides the steps that people can take to prepare for these events. Cam’s suggestions will not only make you more resilient to the coming shocks to our energy, food and financial systems, but the path he suggests will lower your carbon footprint too!

Here is the cover of the current issue and the first page of the Q&A. We have had a lot of positive feedback from everyone who has read the article. Be sure to pick up a copy today!

* * * * * * *

** I have been noticing that a lot of people have been searching for “Harrowsmith Country Life” and it made me wonder what was up. Turns out that they have gone out of business. The following article from The Globe and Mail confirms this;

There’s also this;

Be sure to check out our books and DVDs. We specialize in topics related to sustainability; renewable energy, organic gardening, homesteading, biodiesel, etc. If you liked Harrowsmith Country Life magazine, you’ll find lots to interest you! Go to



  1. Katie

    I much prefer the new Harrowsmith article; no pictures of me in dorky sunglasses! And it’s a good interview too 🙂

  2. Ian Milne

    I have read Harrowsmith ever since I read the13th and 15th issues (which I still have) – I believe in1976.
    I moved out of Vancouver to a small acerage in Mission shortly afterwards and have never looked back. James Lawrence should be declared a national hero for starting a magazine that has changed so many people for the better, has reinforced country living and Im sure if more of us walked (and lived) this path – society would have far fewer problems.
    I drive an older diesel pick up,heat our house with an equally old woodstove,love my garden and would certianly live a far more restrictive life if forced to live back in the city.
    From the West Coast of Vancouver island to the Eastern shores of Labrodor I am proud to be one of the readers of this so very exellent Canadian magazine.

  3. Harrowsmith origins

  4. HarrowSmith Country Life was a great magazine. I referred many friends and family to receive it over the years.
    I am very disappointed that we were not refunded our subscription money; I had a three year subscription plus I had given a 3 year subscription to a friend as a birthday gift.
    We at least should have been contacted to say the magazine was in trouble. Who took over the remaining funds, etc.?

    • aztextpress

      Yes, it is very sad to see Harrowsmith Country Life go after such a long run. No idea about the funds but if you read The Globe & Mail article you would have seen this line “Last year the bimonthly received $334,231 from the new Canada Periodical Fund administered by Canadian Heritage.” Our little publishing business soldiers on without any government money…..

  5. Amanda Bretthauer

    Sure would have been nice if they would have refunded people’s 2011 paid subscriptions before going out of business. Bought a year long subscription for my mother for Christmas at the end of 2010….they gladly took the money and then she never received one magazine and I never got a refund….and I can’t find anyway to reach Harrowsmith by phone, email, etc.!!!!

    • aztextpress

      Judging by the number of people who find this site while searching on “Harrowsmith Country Life magazine” you are not alone! What’s really infuriating is when you read one of the articles and discover how much gov’t money they rec’d in the year leading up to their closure! We all got ripped off!


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