Latest articles


It’s Home Economics 101 — and a lesson for our time

It’s time to bring back those skills that made the kitchen tables the centre of our homes

I made a quick evening stop at the grocery store while near Edmonton. It was late and cold. Tired moms filled the aisles, getting their shopping done. Men filled baskets with food for the next day. Babies cried. Children were restless. This was not an ideal end to a long working day. I thought about […] Read more


Data is too important to be left in the hands of others

Canada relies on the U.S for critical agricultural data, and that leaves us extraordinarily vulnerable

Vulnerability is a word that I have taken to heart a lot in the past few years. We are vulnerable when we change, or seek change; vulnerable when we are left open to volatile weather or markets; and in agriculture, we are extraordinarily vulnerable when we are without data. The partial shutdown of the U.S. […] Read more



Woman touching tall grass

I have been blessed in the company of rural women

Rural women look to each other for help, inspiration, and empowerment

Perfect winter travelling weather on rural Alberta roads led me in November to the village of Plamondon. It might be a small place but her heart is huge, and it was a joy to laugh, cry, and simply ‘be with’ the more than 200 women in attendance. These days are gifts to me. To be […] Read more


When it comes to food waste, the system is broken

An astonishing amount of food spoils or is thrown out — it’s time to take action

Between my home and the Victoria airport is a big sign urging “Let’s reduce food waste.” If you are reading this column from your farm table, you may already be an expert at the preservation of food and the use of leftovers. Typically, we eat all we grow on the farm. In the store however, […] Read more



a young woman leaning against a gate on a farm

We need to do more to attract women to agriculture

To gain their skills and passion, agriculture needs to tear down the barriers that stand in their way

There is a gaping hole in agriculture that needs filling with young, vibrant souls. It is not only for farming, but for all linkages in the food chain. There are 60,000 to 124,000 jobs that need filling. We need women to farm, process, market, advance, innovate, research, manage and create in the food space. What […] Read more


Does your farm have a ‘safety helmet?’ It should

Taking a few simple steps can create an awareness of safety that is vital on every farm

Under a perfect fall sky, my grandson and I zigzagged the streets and zipped down back alleys of Montreal to the skate park. As I watched my grandson, his seven-year-old bravado struck me. It was a side of this sensitive boy that I had not seen so boldly displayed before. Confident and courageous, he jumped, […] Read more



There is common ground that bridges the urban-rural divide

A visit to a country fair — or the local elevator or feed store — is a chance for those conversations that bind us

“Oh, that is so cool,” the young woman exclaimed as she touched the cow on display at the local fair. Another man was blown away by the use of shampoo and conditioner on show cattle while yet another adult just kept saying, “Isn’t this amazing,” as she looked in the dewy eyes of a bovine […] Read more


Farmer examining young green corn maize crop plant in cultivated agricultural field

Building the foundation for a sensible food policy

We need to have strong and unbiased science to create approaches that are sensible and sustainable

Food prices are expected to stay low for the next decade or so, according to recent reports from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. That is good news to people who eat, which, of course, includes farmers. But it does remind us that farmers […] Read more



Writing the story of our lives — one line at a time

There are different ways to view our lives, and the story we create from experiences, emotions, trials, and joy

We are born with an amazing curiosity that is exemplified in the child’s constant quest for the answer to why. Why does the water run that way? Why do I need to wear shoes? Later in life the questions get deeper and more worrisome as they move away from a sense of wonderment to one […] Read more


Looking through airplane window in Beijing

A look into an entirely different world

The rapid rise of China colours our view of the country, but its citizens see it very differently

“It is so easy to be angry in Beijing,” she lamented when I asked her about her home. “It is so busy. You cannot understand.” It was one of those long flights that sometimes do not feel purposeful — until I met a woman I will call Ju. She was a recent university graduate who […] Read more