Latest articles

Exercises to help prevent shoulder tension

Pain between the shoulder blades is a common complaint from farmers

Farmers often come to me complaining of pain and fatigue between the shoulder blades. This is an especially important area for humans as the shoulders are the core of our arms, in a sense. It’s not surprising that they are a common area of complaint, just as the low back is a common area of complaint when our […] Read more


Let us eat cake

First We Eat: Try this cake recipe at your next celebration — sure to be a crowd-pleaser

Cake is an important part of my family’s birthday rituals. When I was a kid, Mom made birthday cakes that contained coins wrapped in wax paper — for her five kids, but also for my dad, but always chocolate for him, and no coins. I began to bake as a youngster, and in later years, as a chef, restaurateur and […] Read more



Calibrate yourself for seeding, create positive responses

Be aware of how you’re reacting to the farm team when under pressure

Getting machines ready for seeding launches farmers out of bed in anticipation of a new season. “How are you calibrating yourself for seeding stresses?” As we age, are we open to change behaviours and do a “reset of our default habits” to create a more positive culture on our farm team? Peter Drucker said “culture […] Read more


Try this caesar salad dressing recipe

First We Eat: Not just for salad it’s also great spooned over a variety of foods like grilled or roasted veggies

We arrived for a preliminary visit at the farm in June 2010, a month ahead of our move-in date. Over-anxious? Eager? Yes, both, but mostly we came early to help my aging parents move out — into a bungalow in a nearby town — and to paint the old farmhouse we were moving into. I […] Read more




Dare to lead and love your farm family

If you can understand the farm team’s thoughts and emotions you’ll have greater success figuring out issues and creating solutions

I am a big fan of Brene Brown’s work and encourage you to check out her insights. Recently I surveyed her newest book Dare To Lead (Random House 2018). When I read books I write notes at the back and then translate ideas gleaned for working with farm family communication. Brown is working to create […] Read more



What to use for salad greens while waiting for local produce

First We Eat: In winter, turn to sturdier greens for warm salads and veggie dishes

In winter, when arugula and other salad greens travel thousands of miles, have been contaminated with E. coli or are too costly, I turn to sturdier greens for warm salads and robust vegetable dishes. Mustard greens, or flowering gai lan, a Chinese form of broccoli, are assertive and blend well with strong tastes. When I […] Read more


Singing Gardener: Meet Jim Anderson from Alberta

Learn about his farm and his cattle nose pump business

Previous Singing Gardener columns have often included what’s going on in someone’s garden. Well today, a story begins shortly that comes straight from the farm where we find Jim Anderson of Rimbey, Alberta. It results from my article about dowsing, divining and witching for water. Matter of fact, the subject of witching attracted a number of responses, so more on that […] Read more



Four tongues on your farm

What you say can affect people more than anything else you do

When I ask a farm family what their main desire for coaching is, the typical reply is “Better communication.” Reading Proverbs daily gives me reminders that what we say probably affects more people than any other action we take. Proverbs describes four common speech patterns: 1. Controlled tongue. 2. Caring tongue. 3. Conniving tongue. 4. […] Read more


Singing Gardener: Get acquainted with peonies that have people names

Plus, more info about the hackberry tree

During my primary grade school years, teachers focused a lot on memorizing — especially poetry. One poem in particular that still vividly speaks to me, even to this day is “Trees,” by Joyce Kilmer. His dramatic poem whose words appear next,  may also speak to others out there among our family of Grainews readers. I think that I shall never […] Read more