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New Book ‘Up Before Five’ a humourous look at life on a family farm

Prince Edward County naturalist Terry Sprague with his new book, Up Before Five.

Prince Edward County naturalist Terry Sprague has written nature columns for area newspapers for more than 45 years. This past winter, however, he concentrated his efforts in a new direction – writing a book about his memories of the family farm on Big Island.
“Up Before Five – the Family Farm” is a 200-page look at growing up in era when every small farm on Big Island had a small herd of dairy cows, a few chickens and small fields.

“As farms became larger with more powerful machinery I felt it was important to preserve these memories of the disappearing smaller family farm,” said Sprague. “It was a time when neighbour helped neighbour and families toiled in the fields together, and actually sat down to a meal, together.”

The book preserves these memories, through recollections of his own life on the family farm on Big Island where he grew up. “Up Before Five” contains more than 60 black and white photographs, all taken during the 1950s and 1960s, and the text is generously sprinkled with humorous anecdotes.
Sprague says some of the humorous misadventures are definitely “tell it like it was” with no glossing over and no apologies.

Up Before Five is not his first book.
“I wrote a book in 1984 on birds that was more scientific in nature, but I always wanted to write something that readers could take to bed with them and enjoy a laugh or two before drifting off to sleep.”

Meet the author, share some memories and have him sign your copy on Saturday, Sept. 17th, at Books & Company in Picton, from 2-4 p.m. Joining him will be Sacha Warunkiw, of Milford, who designed the full colour cover.

More about Terry Sprague and his various interests at:

Young Terry with a Jersey.

Terry's dad baling hay.

Typical scene at a typical small farm on Big Island in the 1950s and 60s.

Filed Under: Arts & CultureLocal News

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  1. Thank you all for your kind comments about my latest book. Hope to see you at the book launch Saturday. Books and Company said it’s okay if you want to wear your rubber boots, but leave the pitch fork at the door!

  2. Renee says:

    Can’t wait to get a copy 🙂

  3. A story of farming life riddled with humour and characters from Prince Edward County. We tried to take our time, but we were glued to the book, and finished it, through much out-loud laughing and nodding of heads, over a few days. A wonderful read – witty with warm-hearted memories and an exceptional ability to describe events and people. Great job Terry! Please write another one!

  4. Sandy Morgan says:

    Terry! Can’t wait to read the book!!!!! Congratulations!!

  5. Ain’t it GREAT Terry, how long did it take? Well your baby is about to GO LIVE. Congrats and much success!

  6. Congratulations Terry, I look forward reading it too.

  7. Gabrielle Holowacz says:

    Congratulations on your new book, Terry! I am looking forward to reading it.

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