This past Thursday evening, my family and I reluctantly said goodbye to three of our seasonal migrant workers before they headed to Toronto Pearson Airport to catch a flight to go home to Mexico. I say reluctantly because as happy as we are for these men that they are able to return home and see … More The reality of saying goodbye to seasonal migrant workers
As of late, I would argue that the concept of ‘farm to table’ meals has gained tremendous popularity. Perhaps this stems from a desire from the general public to have a better understanding of how and where food is produced and prepared, and if so, I think an increase in this meal concept is a … More Looking for a unique dinner experience? Check out Thrive Norfolk
The agricultural industry is a tough one. Farming consists of a significant amount of time, work and effort, and is unfortunately often times at the mercy of Mother Nature. This year has been exceptionally tough for members of the ag industry. Between COVID-19 and the setbacks and complications caused by it and a tremendously dry … More Have you thanked a farmer recently?
For those of us who reside in Canada, gardening becomes a central component of spring and summer activities once the weather warms up. Many people plant gardens in hopes of being able to abstain from having to purchase certain vegetables and instead providing for themselves, and honestly, gardening is an all-around great practice to engage … More Have you heard of winter gardening?
In the agricultural industry, temporary foreign workers are crucial. Their help is essential in producing a variety of crops here in Ontario, but furthermore across North America. Our migrant workers begin to arrive in April and continue to come in segments into July. Some leave in October, others in November and even December depending on … More Appreciating temporary foreign workers more than ever
Here in Ontario, the month of May typically means the arrival of fresh, local asparagus. It’s something I always look forward to as asparagus is one of my favourite veggies, and I imagine a lot of other folks can relate. The asparagus season is a brief one, and even more so this year. The frost … More Get your asparagus on
I mentioned in a post a little while ago that a lot of us are finding ourselves having to contribute a little more than usual to certain things in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. Perhaps these contributions are voluntary, or maybe they’re mandatory, but either way, a lot of us have had to pick … More Gaining knowledge on the farm
The thought of working alongside family members is, for some people, terrifying. I’ve spoken with numerous individuals who positively refute the concept of working with family, their reluctance to do so typically being a result of their fear of clashing with their loved ones. If I’m being realistic, working with your family can get a … More The reality of working with family
For many farmers across Ontario, Autumn signifies a time during which things on the farm begin to slow down, depending on the crops being grown. And, for those farmers who are beginning to reduce their workload with the approaching colder weather, they’re likely getting ready to bid farewell to their employed migrant workers if they … More A tribute to migrant workers
October means go-time for any farmer who produces ginseng, which is exactly what my family and I have been doing for this past little while. Ginseng harvest typically happens in October, and for anyone who is unaware of what this type of harvest consists of, it involves digging up the root of the plant. A … More Finding treasures on the farm
A couple of evenings ago, the Brant County Federation of Agriculture held its annual meeting at my family’s farm. It was a pretty neat experience considering it was the first agricultural meeting I’ve ever attended, and I was able to meet some new people involved in the industry that I hadn’t been familiar with prior. … More Are you an agvocate?
To be passionate about something is, in my opinion, a privilege not all of us are privy to. Having the opportunity to find something that brings us true joy isn’t something we’re all fortunate enough to experience, but it really is an incredible concept. I’ve been thinking a lot about my own passions as of … More Exploring your passion
Summertime in Ontario signifies the joyful start of fresh, seasonal produce. Whether it be asparagus, strawberries, plums or sweet corn, having access to locally grown items can be a gamechanger, both in terms of taste and overall quality. And while you may be under the impression you’re buying as much local product as possible, it … More Are you buying as local as you could be?
Maintaining a healthy balance between work and our personal lives can be incredibly difficult at times. Depending on the circumstance, perhaps we find it almost impossible to establish a separation between the two, contributing to feelings of stress and frustration in the process. Depending on your line of work, and even your upbringing, you may … More Designating a work/life balance
Eggs are pretty fantastic when you think about it. Not only are they delicious and simple to prepare, but they further contain a multitude of nutrients that benefit the human body. And, they’re a whole lot more, according to ThinkEgg’s website. Eggs actually contain the highest quality protein you can buy, and egg yolks happen … More Let’s talk about eggs
It seems to me that as of late, farmers have been the subject of unnecessary criticism and scrutiny. And, the longer I think about it, the more it becomes apparent that farmers have somewhat always been targeted for the profession they chose, one that we as a society depend upon tremendously. Recently, farmers and members … More Why are we villainizing farmers?
In working at Bonnieheath Estate, a lavender farm and winery, I’ve come to develop a relatively firm understanding of lavender. Prior to starting this job, I had some knowledge of this magical plant, but now that my knowledge has expanded, I thought I would offer a little lavender 101, if you will, in hopes of … More Lavender 101
I stumbled across an article recently from The Toronto Star that struck a nerve. I encourage you to take a look at the article, and further to hear me out. I’m not going to give a complete summation of the articles’ context, but, in short, it discusses yet another instance of foreign temporary workers being … More Advocating for foreign temporary farm workers
Canadian Agriculture Day was on Feb. 12, and although a few days have passed since this tremendous social media initiative occurred, I still wanted to draw attention to it as it is such an important day of celebration in our country. Before I delve into the topic any further, I wanted to mention ag Twitter. … More Celebrating #CdnAgDay
Growing up in the presence of migrant workers has truly opened my eyes to how important they are to Canada’s agricultural industry. My dad and uncle, who operate and manage the family farming business together, have been employing migrant workers for as long as I can remember. Together, they bring up 20 guys annually, and … More Appreciating migrant farm workers
There is a chance you glimpsed at the title of this post and thought to yourself, “what in the actual hell? How could anyone respect something that has such a negative connotation affiliated with it?” And these thoughts are warranted, assuming you’re not familiar with the rich heritage tobacco has in the province of Ontario. … More Respect for tobacco
I often tell people who are not involved with the ag industry that it’s one that stands on its own. It’s completely unique and dynamic in its own, independent way. It’s difficult to explain the sense of interconnectedness that exists between ag folk, but I’ll give it my best shot. I have lived on our … More Interconnectedness in the ag community
I was fortunate enough to attend this year’s Canadian Outdoor Farm Show (COFS) for my job. I had never been to the show prior to this year as it occurs during the busy season on our own farm, but after hearing about it for years, I was looking forward to seeing what it’s all about … More The Canadian Outdoor Farm Show
My sister shared the following photo on Facebook a few days ago, and the contents of this image really got me thinking. Posted by the National Farmers Union, this image is a disturbing reminder to consumers of just how imbalanced the profit farmers earn for the goods they produce is. Granted, the National Farmers Union … More What Do Farmers Really Make?
An article by Irina Ivanova titled “Farmers are Killing Themselves In Staggering Numbers” caught my attention the other day when it appeared in my Facebook newsfeed, unfortunately for the wrong reasons. I was aware that mental illness and suicide is prevalent in the farming community, but this article allowed me to recognize just how severe … More Suicide Amongst Farmers
For many people, getting stuck behind a tractor on a busy road is their worst nightmare. The tractor is often times pulling a piece of equipment, therefore it makes it difficult to pass because they take up a majority of both lanes. As much as I acknowledge the frustration that is affiliated with getting caught … More Respecting Agricultural Equipment on Roadways
So often I encounter individuals who are extremely uninformed about agricultural practices in Canada, specifically Ontario. I do not mean this as an insult; rather, as an observation. I have been passionate about agriculture and farming for as long as I can remember. Being born and raised, and further working on my family farm has taught … More Misperceptions About Canadian Agriculture