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Monday, November 16, 2020

The pair of buff-coloured hens (we think they are Orpingtons) were purchased for their stunning good looks. The former owners assured me they were consistent layers but even after giving them a few weeks to adjust to the move, their egg-laying is ...

Monday, November 16, 2020

A common theme throughout my career as a farm journalist has been regret by farm leaders that farmers dilute their strength by not sticking together. Probably few people around today know that wasn't always true -- that 100 years ago Ontario's ...

Monday, November 16, 2020

Harvest is always a stressful time of year. As we rush to get the year's worth of work put in the bins safely, there is never a shortage of things that can go wrong. No matter how carefully I plan and try to anticipate and prepare.
We get tired.

Monday, November 16, 2020

There have been concerted efforts, courageous even, to provide a unified voice for Canada's farming community over the years.
They've never worked. The community, despite being a shadow of its former self in terms of numbers, may be more diverse today...

Monday, November 16, 2020

"That must be Cliff now," said George Mackenzie as he sat at one end of a fold-up picnic table in Dave Winston's machinery shed.
"Sounds awfully loud, even for that old beater of a truck of his," Dave observed.
"It's not," George said, sticking ...

Monday, November 16, 2020

Do you hate wearing a mask? Yeah, me too.
I've got a few cute ones, but every time I put one on, I feel terrible. It's not just because I feel suffocated and I can smell what I ate for lunch (not always a bad thing!), but to me it's a symbol of these...

Thursday, October 15, 2020

When describing place, place theorists Jeff Malpas and Edward Casey say we live in place and can only live in place. Our "place" doesn't just have a coordinate system. Rather, our place is made by bounded, flexible, constantly changing relationships...

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Thanksgiving is perhaps the one time of the year when Canadians take a break from the constant drive for more possessions, more comfort and more wealth to appreciate instead what we already have. Then we go right back into the two months, leading ...

Thursday, October 15, 2020

When we look back at where we were a year ago, it would be difficult to find a person who would have accurately predicted where we would be today. After the first wave of disbelief that many of us felt in March as our kids came home from locked...

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Pinkie has called, an angry edge in her tone, to inquire about canning jars. Did I have any.
"I wanted to can a few jars of my pears, so I popped down my local hardware store and the grocer then drove to...

Thursday, October 15, 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...

Thursday, October 15, 2020

In the biography of Rachel Carson, by Linda Lear, it is so apparent that Carson recognized science as a process. She had to forgo a Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University because of poverty and family tragedies. Nevertheless, from the 1930s to the 1960s...

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...

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