Latest articles


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



Modern-day sausage making

First We Eat: This was once a good way for butchers to use up trimmings but now a good way for you to control ingredients

Sausages used to be the great unmentionable, made from things no one wanted to know about, never mind eat. But although they began as the thrifty butcher’s way of using up trimmings, sausages have gone uptown. Making your own sausages, like anything homemade, means the cook controls everything, from the selection of meats, salt and […] Read more


Here’s some tips to help prevent muscle tension

Fit to Farm: Farming includes long hours spent on equipment but pain and discomfort shouldn’t be a normal side-effect

Farming is an industry where scheduling is ruled by the seeds we sow, the animals we raise, and the people we feed. While many would expect that a certain level of fatigue and tension would accompany the busy seasons, there’s more to it than that. Tension that causes discomfort or pain and fatigue are signs […] Read more



Surprise! I’m coming back to the farm

What do you do when an adult son or daughter who has been away for years decides to return and farm with you?

“Elaine, we are not sure what to do, our son who never had time for the farm has just informed us that he is planning to come back to farm with us. Problem is, his brother who has farmed with us for 11 years is not happy about this.” As a farm family coach I […] Read more


Cooking on a winter-weather shoestring

First We Eat: Golden Vegetable Latkes

The view out my window is relentlessly white. Deep snow has collected across the yard, and the temperature is hovering around -30 C, as it has for the past week. The forecast for the coming week is no better. The roads are rotten. Winter weather means that this week’s cooking must be from the pantry, […] Read more



Stop bullying your parents!

As land values increase pressure may be put on to sell

There are some columns I wish I did not have to write. This is one of them. Through the past few years of land values jumping as much as 23 per cent in one year it is no surprise to farm families to see their balance sheets with larger numbers. It is shocking to those […] Read more


Singing Gardener: Draws for tomato seeds have taken place

Plus, what kind of weather should we expect after this cold winter?

Draws for the dozen packets of Cosmonaut Volkov heirloom tomato seeds took place on March 5. Winners can expect their seeds in the mail via Canada Post with names appearing in April 9 issue of Grainews. Endless thanks to each and all who participated. I’ll be checking the entries for comments and garden tips following the draws […] Read more