Fergus has a shocking experience in the barnyard

Our puppy was in the barnyard sampling disgusting delicacies and developed a digestive issue. I was up several times a night, changing puppy pads

Fergus has a shocking experience in the barnyardWhen our puppy Fergus first arrived on the farm, he was quite overwhelmed. All the sights, sounds and smells filled his senses and he spent hours sitting on the front porch, surveying his new kingdom. Occasionally, he would summon the nerve to hop down the big set of stairs that his little legs could barely…

Our farm a magnet for weary city people

People come to smell the honeysuckle, to hear the geese honking their way up the creek, to feed a cow an apple, and to nourish their souls with friends

Our farm a magnet for weary city peopleThe farm is a retreat for city people. It’s a place to try out your new rubber boots, go for a hike in the forest and get back to nature by feeding a cow an apple. At our farm on any given Sunday, you can fill your belly with home-cooked food, and nourish your soul…

Canada at age 150 still has some maturing to do

While it’s okay to be a proud Canadian, we need to understand our past, including our misunderstanding of First Nations people

Canada at age 150 still has some maturing to doI’m a proud Canadian. I’ve represented my homeland in 10 countries in Europe, two in Asia and the entire eastern seaboard of Australia. I’ve been law-abiding, easygoing and polite, as our Canadian reputation outlines. Canadians are well accepted wherever we travel in the world, and I’ve been treated well. I have, however, been put on…

The lazy, hazy – and regenerating – days of summer

Our summers were a collage of friends, exploration, interaction, self-discovery. We were doing everything. Our kids deserve the same

The lazy, hazy – and regenerating – days of summerMillions of Canadian children are no doubt thrilled as summer holidays begin this week, after months of classrooms, tests and teachers. Most of us remember the long and lazy days of summer – an entire two months of winding down after a structured 10 months of schooling. For many of us raising kids today, summer…

While the Farmer is away, the livestock will play

The animals know they can usually find me at the kitchen sink. So they position themselves across from the kitchen window and stare in order to get my attention

While the Farmer is away, the livestock will playAnimals have a number of ways to communicate with us. On our farm, if no level of barking, whinnying, clucking, braying or mooing will get them the attention they seek, the animals will come looking for us. They know they can usually find me at the kitchen sink. So they position themselves directly across from…

Rural resilience: how the green movement on the farm can help us all

If we protect the food supply, maintain clean water, reduce runoff, and make a nicer looking landscape, we’ll all benefit

Rural resilience: how the green movement on the farm can help us allJust when you thought it was safe to read a book, I found myself reading one documenting new combinations of things to be scared about. Simultaneous climate change and peak oil are the worries in Planning for Rural Resilience: Coping With Climate Change and Energy Futures, edited by Wayne J. Caldwell. More severe weather events…

The bear will have a tall skinny Americano to go please …

As urban sprawl intensifies, we shouldn’t be too surprised when displaced wildlife decides to take a tour through town on their way to a new place of residence

The bear will have a tall skinny Americano to go please …Residents of my small town had mixed feelings when they learned a few years ago that a complex of big-box stores would be developed at the edge of town. Small business owners worried that customers would be lured away from their shops and their businesses would fail. Others argued that by having more local choices, residents…

Taking stock down on the farm

In the wake of drought: struggling to raise calves, dreaming of a simple horse-boarding operations and preparing for the onslaught of ankle-pecking chickens

Taking stock down on the farmLast year, sun worshippers were pleased to see no sign of rain for weeks on end in eastern Ontario. Spring faded into summer without the seasonal showers and intermittent storms we’re accustomed to. After a few weeks without rain, however, farmers began to worry. When we reached drought conditions, those in the business of agriculture…

And so begins the reign of Fergus the Red

Our puppy follows closely in the big, scary outdoors. And he thinks he’s hurting his squeaky chew toys and whimpers

And so begins the reign of Fergus the RedThe Farmer and I have entered another phase of life. In our 10th year of marriage, as he settles into his 60s and I finish off my 40s, we are once again parents of a newborn. We recently picked up an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy. After weeks of deliberation, we decided his name is Fergus.…

Here’s to you, Mom

Probably the best gift you can give Mom is your time and attention. She doesn’t need you to buy into the commercialism of the event and spend a lot of money

Here’s to you, MomBeing a mom is one of the best jobs on Earth. It’s very rewarding. It’s also completely thankless sometimes, if that makes any sense. Mom doesn’t usually get a thank you when she wakes up in the middle of the night to change diapers and provide food for her new babe. She will likely get…