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Monday, September 21, 2020

The two monarch caterpillars we brought indoors hung in a J shape before bursting into a lovely green chrysalis with gold accents. Prior to this event, the caterpillars were in a jar, munching milkweed leaves, dropping ...

Monday, September 21, 2020

As I read the farm papers that land regularly in our mail box, it strikes me that the biggest change I see in farming these days from when I started covering farm news is knowledge of, and care for, the soil.
I grew up in the beginnings...

Monday, September 21, 2020

Terry Fox has been a hero for most of my life. He started his Marathon of Hope in April 1980. I remember seeing him on the news and watching as attention grew to him and what he was. I never got to see him in person, and that way of raising money...

Monday, September 21, 2020

"When someone offers you something, take it and say thanks. That's what my father told me, Pinkie."
"Did he offer advice often?"
"Hardly ever. I think with this particular example, one of only a handful...

Monday, September 21, 2020

"I tell ya, it's worse than Home and Garden TV," Cliff Murray was telling the guys one morning when they took advantage of a warm day for a coffee session on Mabel's patio.
"I mean when my wife sees a perfect house on HGTV, she knows it's been set-up...

Monday, August 17, 2020

"We miss your rare smile these days," Dave Winston told Molly Whiteside who was wearing a mask as she brought the guys their breakfasts on the outdoor patio at Mabel's Grill one recent, steamy, hot day.
"You aren't missing much!" Molly's mutter...

Monday, August 17, 2020

"Earth has plenty for every man's needs but not every man's greed." Gandhi
My first memory of gardening was of helping my mother put seeds into the ground.
A straight furrow had been created. My job was to place the beans and peas ...

Monday, August 17, 2020

As we gear up to harvest wheat, I remembered that it is about three years since I received communication from a young Australian woman named Katrina Sasse. She is a 2017 Nuffield Scholar and her topic is "Raising Women to Farm, A study of daughter ....

Monday, August 17, 2020

COVID-19 is just the latest in a long line of plagues to invade our world and change lives forever.
I was thinking of that the other day as I walked up the lane from getting the mail and looked toward the fenceline at the back of the farm...

Monday, August 17, 2020

Why is it that you don't understand the full wonder of something until you tangibly experience it yourself?
We all did the bee project in school, didn't we? We made the diagrams, identified the different kinds of bees and listed some cool facts:

Back in the day I used to party a bit with the Franken boys. Man, they made me laugh. With a drink in their hands, a twinkle in their eyes and a general joie de vivre, they dished out rural Ontario colloquialisms at a dizzying rate.
I wish I had ...

Because deadlines need to be so early in order to get this magazine assembled and printed -- not to mention distributed with pandemic-inspired on-line shopping making every week like the week before Christmas for Canada Post...

The year 2020 will go down in most of our memories as being one of confusion, turmoil, and for some, disaster. There have been lots of online jokes about the stream of major events and disruptions that have a good chance of changing things...

Mariel, dark eyes smiling, would watch our two children from her bathroom window that overlooked our small yard and garden.
They were pink-cheeked youngsters then, playing among the morning glories growing up strings over the back porch, one...

"You look rough," George Mackenzie said to Dave Winston the other morning as they sat at the picnic table that's been moved to the parking lot at Mabel's Grill and has the company of four others now that Mabel's allowed to have patio service...

I like looking at the beautiful people. The movie stars in their finery at their Met Galas and Academy Awards -- it's quite a show.
How curious it has been during this pandemic to see photos of the famous ones with wild, greying hair. To see them...

Amid so much physical, emotional and economic pain, the COVID-19 pandemic may have done society a small service in readjusting our attitudes about what, and who, is important in our world.
Who, until the crisis hit, thought of people...

In our new normal, there are a lot of things that aren't the same as they were a few short weeks ago. There are also things that have changed less than we might imagine, but have been made more clear to us. One of these is the precariousness...

It was many years ago, during my travels as a reporter for the now defunct Voice of the Farmer newspaper chain, that I stumbled upon an unusual recipe.
In those days, one of my assignments was to take photographs of old homes...

"I guess I can't stop you," Mabel told George Mackenzie when he asked if they could use the new picnic table on the grass just beside the parking lot at Mabel's Grill after he bought take-out coffee for the guys the other morning.
"I set it up...

Virtually overlooked among the attention-getting promises of last fall's election (and seldom heard from since) was a promise by the Prime Minister that Canada would plant two billion trees in the next decade as a way of countering climate change...

Winter in Huron County - the snow is swirling and the winds are blowing, with a bit of freezing rain thrown in for good measure every once in a while. Lots of people swear by heading south, getting a bit of sun and a vitamin D boost and shedding...

I hadn't heard of Fannie Merritt Farmer until I picked up a copy her cookbook -- one of millions printed -- at Presbyterian Church a couple years ago during Dresden's town-wide yard sale.
I remember the two women at the time, chuckling...

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