Latest articles


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


business team celebrating

Don’t get thrown overboard, take ownership

Ignoring the voice of a man or woman does not build a culture of respect in an organization or company

I saved the little cartoon for decades: A woman sitting at a board table and the chairman says to her, “That is a great idea Mrs. Smith, perhaps one of the men here would like to suggest it.” Unfortunately, this is brutally reflective of boardroom reality — and supported by realms of reports and books […] Read more



Communities are strong when their citizens are empowered

A strong leader is not enough — everyone needs to be involved and informed for communities to thrive

Community development is more than economic or social projects. It is the empowerment of people so they have resilience when faced with change and challenge. After completing my courses on rural community development with the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) of the United Nations, I thought about what resilience might mean and how we can […] Read more


Fraser River in British Columbia.

What do you want your fresh water used for?

Each of us needs to think about the sustainability of the limited supply of this most precious resource

It all began with industrious engineers who understood hydrology and the importance of water. They built dams and created wetlands throughout Canada, and in doing so had a system in place for water preservation and purification. Then the felt hat became fashionable, and those engineers ended up as pelts on long canoes for shipment to […] Read more