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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Sure, I ll have another cup, said Cliff Murray when Molly Whiteside came around offering to refill his cup for the third time the other morning at Mabel s Grill.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Considering the recent election of a new (well, old) government, I thought I d use this page (mwahaha!) to write about a time long-ago when Ontario voted for a party of farmers.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Research chicken tractors and you ll find a myriad of designs and contraptions which transport chickens across a grassy field to devour fresh greens and protein-rich insects.

Monday, June 25, 2018

As I drove to Toronto one recent Sunday morning I found myself as frustrated as if I d been caught in a traffic jam on the city s edge. But it wasn t other drivers who raised my blood pressure. It was what I was listening to on the radio.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Back in the winter, I wrote a column about rural poverty, living wage, and some United Way research about life in Huron and Perth Counties. I don t usually get feedback from the columns that I write but that one did inspire a couple of people to make...

Monday, June 25, 2018

Jack and Eddy have been sitting in silence for some time, poles extended over the deepest pool in this stretch of the stream or crick as Eddy would say sacrificial dew worms suspended in the violet darkness.

Monday, June 25, 2018

You know what I hate most about summer? George McKenzie was grumbling the other day. Family reunions!

Monday, June 25, 2018

I have always been skeptical, I have to admit, of aid organizations promising to deliver goats, chickens or pigs to people who forego Christmas presents.

Monday, June 25, 2018

A recent conversation with my neighbour demonstrated how farmers can view the relationship between agriculture and nature in different ways. We encountered each other along a fence line between our farms. My neighbour asked if I d like my side of the...

Monday, June 25, 2018

Cliff Murray had arrived early so when Dave Winston and George McKenzie arrived he was reading one of the Toronto newspapers that Mabel keeps around for the Grill s customers.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Fast Eddy lives on a clay hill in a fieldstone house.
You get there along a half mile lane that cuts through a field planted to corn and leads to a plank bridge crossing a narrow stream. From there, the lane deteriorates into a rutted track...

Monday, June 25, 2018

Last year, I read in a farming publication about an old saying that over their career, farmers get only 40 chances to get planting right. Of course, that is a very arbitrary number it depends on when you start, when you finish, and if you get...

Monday, June 25, 2018

As I drive along the concession roads with the glory of spring on the land, I m struck again and again with how well-kept nearly all the farm homesteads are. It s a far cry from farms when I was growing up.

Monday, June 25, 2018

It was hard to see the little, pale, brownish brain heads popping out between the clutter of spring growth and fall s faded leaves on the forest floor.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

The word he used was defeated.
Len was at the Stratford Dairy XPO eating his pancake breakfast. He was a dairy farmer who had travelled from Wisconsin with a friend to take in the show.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Trees are the answer. No matter the question. That was the title of my talk for the Ontario Woodlot Association s conference in Shakespeare in April. It was such an honour to be there a great day with lots of information and tools for anyone with trees on

Thursday, May 3, 2018

I wish Facebook had never been invented! fumed Cliff Murray the other morning as he sat down for a session at Mabel s Grill.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

It was in the Detroit airport in the 1990s, heading for a southerly destination, that I first noticed it. A lot of smartly-dressed people talking as they walked. They look self-absorbed, intentionally so, it seemed. That s when I decided I d never own one

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Communicate is defined by the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, Second Edition, as transmit or pass on information by speaking, writing, or other means . Such a simple definition for something that often turns out to be so complicated!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

I haven t watched many James Bond movies lately but back when I did, a favourite plot line was about 007 saving the world from some megalomaniacal billionaire who wanted to run the world. Back then it seemed as far-fetched a fantasy as Bond s magical...

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

We share knowing glances and nods of understanding. No matter where I go in the world, there is a sense of kinship among the producers of food.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

I remember with fondness my few months of interaction with the indigenous community of Northwestern Alberta in the mid-1980s, many of whom are members of the Dene Tha First Nation.
It s not that they were leading untroubled lives...

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Marketing grain effectively is a big piece of the farm profitability puzzle. When we had sows, we fed all of the corn that we grew. Since that ended, we have gone through a continuous learning process about how to capture the most money from all the plann

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture s Producing Prosperity in Ontario policy, designed to draw the attention of the three main political parties in June s provincial election to the needs and potential of rural communities, is also a refreshing recognit

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