Harrowsmith Country Life
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2009)|
Cover of Harrowsmith Country Life (June 2008)
|Founder||James M. Lawrence|
Harrowsmith Country Life was a lifestyle magazine geared to countryside or rural living. Originally just called Harrowsmith, it was founded as a back-to-the-land and environmental magazine in the small (Pop. 256) village of Camden East (Ontario, Canada) in 1976 by James M. Lawrence. Within two years, the magazine had over 100,000 subscribers and eventually became Canada's 8th largest magazine and the country's leading magazine read outside of Canada.
In 1988, Lawrence sold Harrowsmith to Canadian media giant, Telemedia, where it remained until 1996. Telemedia launched an American edition, and the words "Country Life" were tacked onto Harrowsmith's title. The American edition reached a paid circulation of 225,000 but was folded as Telemedia began to exit the publishing business, eventually killing or selling all of their properties, including the U.S. and Canadian award-winning titles, New England Monthly and Equinox.
Harrowsmith TV exists as re-runs and Harrowsmith books are no longer published. Some titles, such as the Harrowsmith 3-Volume Cookbook, are available through Amazon and Firefly Books. Telemedia no longer exists, its assets sold, many to Transcontinental Media in 2000.
Editor Tom Cruickshank came on board in 1996, after Telemedia sold Harrowsmith Country Life, and its sister publication Equinox, to its current owner Malcolm Publishing, a small Montreal company. Equinox ceased publishing in 2000, its mailing list sold to arch-rival Canadian Geographic, while Harrowsmith went on to celebrate 30 years of publishing in 2006.
In 2011, the magazine had only published one issue in March and in August 2011 it was announced that Harrowsmith Country Life would cease publication just short of its 35th anniversary issue. It failed to notify subscribers that the magazine would cease publication and those subscribers who had paid for their magazines in advance did not have their money refunded. All attempts by former customers to contact the company were ignored.
In the fall of 2012, after obtaining permission to use the Harrowsmith name, some former employees revived sister publication Harrowsmith's Truly Canadian Almanac (for the year 2013). This was under a new publisher: Moongate Publishing out of Toronto. (The 2012 almanac which would have come out Fall of 2011, was never published as Malcolm Publishing folded). The 2013 edition was received positively and sold well. One reader commented: "…so happy to have something…anything Harrowsmith in my dirty finger-nailed hands again". In Spring 2013, a second almanac was added to the roster: Harrowsmith's Gardening Digest. Plans for 2015 include the addition of two more titles for a total of 4 almanacs per year: Harrowsmith's Gardening Digest, Harrowsmith's My Kind of Town, Harrowsmith's Homes and the annual Harrowsmith's Almanac for 2015. The Gardening Digest and Annual Almanac will be available in print and digital editions, while My Kind of Town and Homes will be digital only (at this point). For the 2015 annual edition (published September 2014), the title has been shortened to Harrowsmith's Almanac, to allow for more cut lines on the cover. Publisher Yolanda Thornton heads up Moongate Publishing. Maurice Crossfield is editor. Harrowsmith's Almanac is the only almanac that is written in Canada by Canadians, for Canadians. Other editions with Canada on the cover are actually American.
- "Harrowsmith Country Life cuts staff, ceases publication". The Globe and Mail. 2011-08-09.