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Clever innovators have found new ways to bring us a cleaner plate

There are a host of flours made with unusual ingredients and they can also be used to make edible cutlery

I was thinking of my friend Ashley Fraser and the time I spent on his farm. The Australian innovator grew a variety of specialized seed crops for certified seed and birdseed, with the screenings going to the feed bunk ration. It was a waste-free way of looking at seed production and usage. In his climate […] Read more

A small conflict offers some larger lessons on finding solutions

The story of Sarah and Tom shows how easy it is for battle lines to be drawn and how they can be avoided

Sarah was mad at Tom for spending money on a new gun. She has been trying to manage on a tight budget for years and the kids needed new school boots with a long, wet spring just around the corner. Tom argued the money came from the portion of the budget they could both dip […] Read more

Girl sitting against tree, blowing dandelion seeds

These are the five freedoms I believe every child deserves

As we nurture our children, we need to think about creating an environment in which they can thrive

I have been immersed in imagery lately while going to presentations on the animals and the people of this world. There have been beautiful photos of hope and human engagement as well as tragic visuals of war, rape, hunger, abandonment, and homelessness. I have enjoyed striking images of wild animals, endangered creatures, and lost habitat. […] Read more

Soil background

There are many ways to view — and treat — soil

Healthy soil is a precious resource and we need to think more about that as we plan for our future

It is hard to imagine there is so little soil when we stand and look out at our vast landscapes where the ground lays in wait for the warmth of spring and the touch of the farmer’s hand. The shrinking global land base that is arable seems a country mile away and another farmer’s problem. […] Read more

Encouraging seed diversity is essential for the future

We should mourn the loss of diversity in older crop varieties and the concentration of seed ownership

One of the wonders of travel and of food is the vast varieties of plants that beautify our world. Many have medicinal and nutritional qualities and have been used for food or healing for thousands of years. Others are new hybrids that beautify the plate and add colour to our meal. They all have ancient […] Read more

Farming is not a one-size-fits-all business

There is room for organic, conventional, and GM technology because each of them offers different benefits

I continue to witness arguments over different methods of farming. But considering the variety of farms around the world, and that most of them are very small compared to the Canadian average, combative conversation is really rather unwarranted and, in many cases, an uneducated dialogue. When one disparages farms that are organic or ones that […] Read more

Hand over wheat field in early summer evening.

Give yourself the gifts that make life so much better

These eight gifts can’t be bought, but are more precious than anything offered in any store

Encouragement is a much appreciated gift, and I have the pleasure of sharing this with young men and women around the world. From the farm in South Africa to the apple grove in Holland; from the backyard farm in the Philippines to the grain farm in Saskatchewan; and all places in between, there are passionate […] Read more

An act of kindness fills the human spirit and ripples outward

They often come out of nowhere and when they are most needed — and their power to uplift is deep and strong

It was the usual day. Get up early, study the markets, check on the cattle, fix fence, make a sandwich, and then go out and do it all again. Going to town or taking time to do things in the home were privileges, stretched out on the horizon and always seemingly days or months away. […] Read more

Starving Hunger Symbol. Black African boy holding rice as a malnutrition symbol. It is important to get food and life-saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable people and countries. Stop hunger in the world!

Food insecurity is not just a Third World problem

The situation in a country like Sudan is much more dire, but there are parallels to our own country

The United Nations has developed 17 sustainable development goals. The second one is “zero hunger.” This includes a mandate to end not only hunger but poverty everywhere and to achieve food security, improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. I would like to focus on food security in this column. Food security was defined at the […] Read more