GFM Network News


(Jennifer Blair photo)

Hemp industry looking forward despite hurdles

Industry 'on the edge of turning'

MarketsFarm — The number of hemp acres grown in Canada, of which more than 80 per cent are on the Prairies, have ebbed and flowed over the past few years. In 2018, 41,200 acres were planted, according to Statistics Canada, but the total more than doubled the next year to 91,100. In 2020, that number […] Read more

People queue up outside a public supermarket’s doors in Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela, in April 2015. (iStock/Getty Images)

World Food Programme starts distributing food in Venezuela

Reuters — The U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) said Wednesday it had begun distributing school meals to children in Venezuela, where some seven million people require humanitarian assistance after years of economic collapse in the once-prosperous OPEC nation. The WFP’s first take-home rations were distributed for children under six years old at some 277 schools […] Read more


My husband Dave has lost count of the number of ways we eat chicken, but his favourite is still fried chicken, which I make once or twice a year.

A chicken in every pot

First We Eat: Every summer I pick up our year’s supply of butchered chickens from our local farmer

I buy my chickens from a local farmer. She sells me eggs too — blue, brown and white ovals so beautiful they can’t help but taste better than commercial eggs. Each winter, my farmer sends me a note when she is ready to order her chicks, and I guess how many birds I think we […] Read more

I for one am thoroughly sick of screens, and those viewing snacks have caught up with me. The recipe below for these whole wheat crackers may be just the thing you’re looking for.

Pass the crackers please

First We Eat: Many of us may be snacking too much as we watch too much TV. Try this healthier choice instead

Don’t you wish you could have your buddies over? Miss those chances to get together and just hang out? Me too. I miss parties. I miss hanging out. I miss visits. I miss shared meals. Who knows when we’ll be able to celebrate like that again as we move into our second year of COVID lockdown.  […] Read more


Video screengrab featuring an office at the JBS beef plant at Brooks, Alta. (JBS video via YouTube)

JBS Canada plant up and running after cyberattack

Brooks beef plant has 'resumed production'

Meat packer JBS’s major beef slaughter plant in Alberta went back to work Tuesday following a cyberattack reported to have downed several of the company’s operations in North America and Australia. JBS USA, the unit overseeing the Brazilian firm’s Canadian operations, and JBS-owned chicken unit Pilgrim’s Pride both reported “significant progress in resolving the cyberattack […] Read more

Making corned beef is a weeklong process with the bulk of time spent brining.

Kindness and corned beef

First We Eat: When neighbours shared a butchered steer I wanted to share back as thanks for their generosity

My neighbour Sharon gave me half a beef brisket last week. She and her husband had taken a steer to the small local abattoir for slaughter, and were generous in sharing after the animal had been butchered. I decided that whatever I made, they’d receive some back for their kindness. Brisket, as you know, is […] Read more


Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland appears at a news conference in Ottawa on Sept. 24, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Blair Gable)

Agriculture, agrifood wish lists pile up ahead of long-delayed budget

Freeland's budget due out Monday afternoon

Agriculture and agrifood sector stakeholders will learn Monday which of their requests make their way out of the pile and into a long-awaited federal budget. Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s 2021 budget is scheduled to be released Monday in the House of Commons, at about 4 p.m. ET. Canadians didn’t get a 2020 budget: it […] Read more

I can’t resist eating pasta whenever I immerse myself in “The Godfather,” and carbonara is one of my favourites.

Food and ‘family’

First We Eat: Just like in one of my favourite movies — food plays an important role

Like most of us, Dave and I have been binge watching movies. High among my all-time favourites is “The Godfather” I, II and III. I particularly admire the attention that director Francis Ford Coppola pays to food, making it integral to many pivotal “family” scenes. We enter the tragedy at Connie Corleone’s wedding, rich with […] Read more



On days like that, the big kitchen is not warm unless I keep the fire bustling in the wood stove and have pots on all four burners of the gas stove, located at opposing ends of the kitchen.

Hot soup for a cold day

First We Eat: Try variations of this basic recipe to help get through the frigid weather

Before the polar vortex returned and the morning thermometer read -40 C, I spent some time splitting birch for the wood stove in the kitchen. We live in a house that’s over 100 years old, and my mom thinks that it was originally assembled from two grain bins bolted together; three steps lead down from […] Read more