Alice (Peterson) Nielsen
Life and Work
In 1947, the Alix local of the United Farm Women of Alberta (UFWA) wanted to work with youth in its community. Alice Nielsen suggested they teach gardening.
Alice and the other UFWA women bought seeds: pumpkins, beets and corn and flowers like marigolds and batchelor buttons. They gave the seeds to school children with instructions for planting.
Through the growing season, Alice visited more than 50 gardens planted by children. She saw baby brothers pulling up carrots, rabbits and dogs digging up rows and entire pouches of seeds poured into one hole. But some succeeded despite weeds and other hazards. Those with the best gardens were named Flower Girls and Vegetable Boys, attendants to the Agricultural Fair's Harvest Queen.
Alice also helped establish the Alix Horticultural Society. In her youth, Alice was actively involved in a variety of sports such as baseball, basketball and riding horses. In 1928, she married Monto Nielsen.
She farmed with her husband at Stanton and raised three children. After Monto's death in 1963, she owned and operated a successful bakery. In her later years, Alice painted with oils and taught others to paint. She helped establish Alix's Wagon Wheel Museum with her good friend Alice Whitfield. Alice also gathered many stories for the local histories Pioneers and Progress and Gleanings After Pioneers and Progress.
Memories of Alice Nielson by Alice Whitfield
The children's gardening project helped many young people enjoy the nature of things, the planting of seeds and seeing them through to maturity ... when she returned to Alix after working at Michener Centre, she tickled our noses with the smell of fresh bread from her bakery.
She was an artist and enjoyed showing others how to use the paints. Her work on Pioneers and Progress was remarkable and horses were her pride and joy.