Juniper berries — tasty addition to venison stew

Prairie Palate: These are perfect added to any stew made with wild ingredients but also go well with beef

One crisp winter day I set out to pick juniper berries at a local park. I planned to make bigos, an old Polish stew, for a dinner party that week, for which juniper berries are a traditional ingredient. Being both frugal and old-fashioned, I decided to forage the junipers in the wild, or at least […] Read more

Incident becomes teaching tool for farm/workplace safety

After more than 42 surgeries Curtis Weber now lives life as a double amputee

On July 29, 1999, Curtis Weber had the world by the tail. At 17 years old, just out of high school, he’d signed to play junior hockey with the Drayton Valley Thunder. It was a sunny Friday, the August long weekend and a northern lake fishing trip was coming up. But before the sun would […] Read more

Got winter blues? Try sprouting some greens

Sprouts are delicious and packed with nutrition and only take a few days to grow

My green thumb gets a little twitchy in wintertime and there’s only one cure. I start a little garden on the windowsill, planting to plate in just five days. Yes, I am speaking of sprouts. Delicious, nutritious and green. It is well documented that sprouts are more nutritious than the seeds themselves and, in some […] Read more

Planning for a new season of what to plant and grow

Winter evenings are spent going over catalogues and making those decisions

Farmers have a hard time with winter. A part of us just wants to be in the dirt. Basically farmers want to farm, and this starts very young in some people. In an effort to keep our two-year-old grandson from “farming” in our houseplants this winter we did a small experiment with a house farm. […] Read more

Why create a ‘firewall’ against divorce?

First of all you need to recognize who and what you want to keep out

His face was weathered and worn as he approached me with wrinkled brows. “You talked about the fear of spousal breakup,” and I’m curious, how do I create a firewall to protect my farm?” (Note: he said “my farm,” not OUR farm). The firewall word picture fits our computer’s security, but I wonder if the […] Read more

Man Suffering From Back Pain Whilst Gardening

Low back pain common in farmers

High incidences due to the mix of manual labour and seated positions in most ag jobs

Low back pain — one of the world’s most prevalent musculoskeletal complaints. A study done in 2010 estimated that 21.7 billion people are affected globally per year from some form of low back pain, usually attributed to a work-related cause. The highest relative risk factor, according to the study, was agriculture-related work. Not surprising, given […] Read more

The mysterious potato

Once thought of as toxic, it's now the most consumed vegetable in North America

One summer day I was picking potato bugs in my little patch of community garden when a young mother came along with a babe in a stroller and another on the way. She asked what I was doing and a conversation ensued: Her: “Where do you get the potatoes?” Me: “I got these potatoes from […] Read more

Managing brothers who behave badly on the farm

“I can’t believe that we have farmed together for over 25 years, and the fights between these two brothers farming just don’t stop!” says the exasperated farm woman who has had enough. This winter may be a good time to reflect on how you want things to be different at your farm. I think Dr. […] Read more

Successful woman handing out Canadian dollars. Female entrepreneur doing business in Canada. Giving or donating money. Female success in a multicultural society

Ready to share your wealth with employees?

An Employee Share Ownership Plan may be a good option for your farm

If you’ve had a tough year with poor crops and low prices and are feeling financially short, regardless of how it turned out, you’ll likely always need labour support to get the job done. One of the biggest fears of founders that I coach is the fact that they may lose loyal, hard-working employees after […] Read more

My struggles as a farmwife

I wouldn’t change my life for anything but I didn’t truly know what I was getting into

In marriage we leave our parents and become one with our spouse. As women, we more often than not take their last names and join their families — especially so in the farming communities. In my case, I left behind a life in the city of Edmonton that I really loved, a job in the […] Read more