GFM Network News

These are stressful times

Fit to Farm: Dealing with stress can cause many people to regularly experience anxiety and pain

We live in a stressful world. It’s no surprise that many of us are dealing with high levels of anxiety, stress and pain on a regular basis. Often we are unaware of how much just our “normal” days affect our primal nervous systems — to the point where we consider the side-effects of our lifestyles […] Read more

Ham with Black Mission Fig Glaze (see recipe below).

Pork is king around the world

First We Eat: It’s eaten in a wider variety of styles and shapes than any other meat

Pork has influence far beyond the table. Words invoking pork have made their way into everyday life, from football’s autumn pigskin classic at your favourite stadium to pork-barrelling politicians looking for re-election. Of course, electors will be choosing a pig in a poke, and then must make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. Even […] Read more


If a situation is becoming stuck, 
try asking the other person how they 
would like to
move forward.

A new frame to see transition possibility and movement

Here’s some language tools to use to help persuade and influence others

If you’re fighting storms or sorting cows, grab five minutes to soak this story in. You cannot neglect tending to the needs of your cows. Let’s talk about embracing the same urgency with your farm transition conversations. My speaker friend Shelle Rose Charvet, author of Words that Change Minds, has tools for better language that […] Read more

Edible holiday gifts from your kitchen

First We Eat: These can be simple to make but your time and effort will be greatly appreciated

Last fall, when we bought a lamb for the freezer from a local shepherd, he tucked some extra livers into our box. “You’re a chef,” he said, “I know you’ll know what to do with them and they won’t go to waste.” He was right. Our gift bags to our friends last year included ramekins […] Read more


The perfect gift may be a heartfelt letter to a family member expressing your appreciation.

The gift of healing stories in agriculture

This gift will not cost you any money — only your time and attention

Pierrette believes as I do that positive feedback and pointing out good actions is important to creating a healthier culture in our farm teams. Pouzer and Koutes authored Encouraging the Heart of Your Business that echoes the same theme. As Christmas celebrations approach I’d like to challenge you to take a risk this year in […] Read more

Squash, Pear and Parsnip Soup with Maple Croutons.

When it’s too cold to go outside make soup instead

First We Eat: Some say this comfort food has the power to do everything from curing the sniffles to mending a broken heart

When my sweetie caught a cold recently, he asked me to stop in at our favourite Chinese restaurant and bring home some hot and sour soup. “Are you kidding me?” I said. “No way. I’ll make you some.” Next time you slurp some of this Szechuan soup at your fave joint, look at it closely. […] Read more


Losing brain function is a loss so there will be much grief to go through.

Froese: Dealing with the denial of dementia

This is very difficult for a spouse who sees decline and the partner won’t accept their loss of abilities

BDO’s Maggie Van Camp, leader of agricultural development, sees the key foreboding issue for agriculture as farm succession. She asks, “Who is going to farm in future generations… and how the heck are we going to transfer the management and ownership of those farms? Never before have the older generation lived this long; Never before […] Read more

Wondering if your pain could be related to stress? Try the steps below for seven days.

Can stress cause pain?

Fit to Farm: Whether it’s the stress of everyday living or an unexpected stressor there is usually an effect

I cannot count how many times a client has walked in my door telling me that they have aches and pains, and they’re SURE that it’s related to stress elsewhere in their lives. Often they say this in somewhat of a dismissive tone, acknowledging that stress is (sometimes) an unavoidable factor in life and that […] Read more


My Chili Cha Cha in a jar.

Preserving pickles and relishes

First We Eat: Making your own means personalized flavours from ingredients you can trust

Whenever one of my sons visits, he invariably rummages through the fridge, hunting for a jar of beet pickles or dills. When he finds it, he devours half of its contents. It’s been that way for years; I am the Condiment Queen. My pantry — and my sons — are full of preserves. They are […] Read more

Giving up the garden

First We Eat: After a lifetime of successful gardening Mom is now giving it up as it becomes difficult to manage

This spring, I stood in Mom’s backyard with a wheelbarrow and a shovel, digging out all the soil in her raised beds. “Take it all,” she said when I slowed down. “I’m done with it.” “Not even a potful of lettuces?” I asked, thinking of the preceding summer, when she’d grown more lettuces than she […] Read more