My articles focus mainly on nature, the environment, agriculture and horticulture. Below are some of my favourites.
Craft cider makes a splashFrom the article:
"I think a lot of small farmers are feeling like value-add is the only way to make a go of it because the margins on raw food are so slender."
West Nile VirusFrom the article:
"As diseases go, West Nile Virus is still considered to be a relative newcomer to Canada despite first being identified in the West Nile district of Uganda in 1957."
How earthworms are changing our forestsFrom the article:
"When we think of invasive species, rarely do earthworms come to mind. And yet earthworms are foreign invaders that were first introduced to this country by European settlers hundreds of years ago."
One for the BirdsFrom the article:
"Now in its 119th year, the National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count – administered in this country by Bird Studies Canada - stands tall as North America’s longest running citizen science program."
British Columbia is in for a Fiery FutureFrom the article:
"Following back-to-back devastating wildfire seasons in 2017 and 2018, many British Columbians have started to ask an important question: Is this the beginning of a future filled with fire and smoke?"
Permaculture comes of ageFrom the article:
"When contemplating agricultural practices in Canada today, it’s hard not to notice that permaculture, once the black sheep of alternative farming methods, has begun making inroads on small farms in this country after decades of barely registering on farmers’ radars."
Our Forests Are On The MoveFrom the article:
"When we think of species migrating, our minds conjure up images of birds flying south or herds of elk moving from their winter ranges to the landscapes that will support them throughout the summer months. Rarely, however, do we think of trees relocating from regions where they have lived for hundreds or thousands of years to ones where they have never before been seen."
Ticked Off: The Unexpected Link Between Climate Change and Increased Rates of Lyme DiseaseFrom the article:
"If you live anywhere in Canada these days, there's little doubt you've been exposed to a barrage of media reports about how the ticks that carry Lyme disease are spreading northward through our country with breathtaking speed."
Many Eggs, Many Baskets: What is Being Learned from The Crop-Climate ProjectFrom the article:
"With widespread reports that climate change is influencing everything from bird migration routes to wildfire severity, it’s not surprising that Canadian researchers have started taking a hard look at how changing weather patterns will impact our ability to produce viable food crops."
Peonies: A Perennial FavouriteFrom the article:
"For many British Columbians, peonies conjure up memories of sunny afternoons spent in our grandmother’s gardens. It says a lot that peonies continue to maintain their appeal across multiple generations in an age when gardening fads seem to come and go with the seasons."
Tick TalkFrom the article:
"For Janet Sperling, an entomologist at the University of Alberta, one thing is certain: If you live in the Kootenays, you will get bitten by a tick."
Lyme Disease in Farm AnimalsFrom the article:
"While media reports tend to focus almost exclusively on human cases of Lyme disease, it’s important for farmers to understand that the illness can also impact more than 300 species of animals, including some that are commonly found on small farms. This includes: cattle, chickens, dogs, goats, horses, pigs and sheep."
Their Operation Mushroomed! From Growing for Themselves This Couple Developed a Vigorous Home BusinessFrom the article:
"The key to success is that all of the components utilized in the early stages ... must be completely sterile in order to avoid contamination, which could spell disaster."
Wild About BeesFrom the article:
"When Canadians think of bees, it’s typically the much-loved honeybee that springs to mind. And while there’s no question that honeybees play an important role in our culture, they are just one of more than 800 species of bees found in this country, a figure that often takes people by surprise."
For Bird's Sake: The National Audubon Society's 2018-2019 Christmas Bird Count is North America's Longest Running Citizen Science ProjectFrom the article:
"Each year between December 14 and January 5, participants gather on a date determined by local organizers to count every bird they see and hear within their designated section of the 24-kilometre diametre circle earmarked for local birders to survey."
The Upside of WildfiresFrom the article:
"We have a tendency to see forest fires in a negative light when they threaten our property or our safety but, from an ecological perspective, wildfires can be potent forces of renewal and regeneration."
Growing NativeFrom the article:
"When using native plants in gardens, we use ecological principles, which is very different from how most people tend to garden."
The Magic of MushroomsFrom the article:
"In recent years, these fabulous fungi have been enjoying an explosion of interest unlike anything that has been seen before. There's no mystery as to why."
Citizen ScienceFrom the article:
"The definition of citizen science can be a bit flexible, but generally it refers to community members collecting data that professional scientists can then use in their research."
Farming with Heavy HorsesFrom the article:
"With their broad chests, heavy necks, and impressive stamina, these Percherons are built for work."
The Lure of Farming with HorsesFrom the article:
"Haying is in full swing and yet the first thing I notice when I pull into the long dirt lane leading up to Stewart Fawdrey's modest farmhouse is just how peaceful it is."
Grafting RosesFrom the article:
"There are several reasons to try your hand at grafting a rose -- one is just to be able to say you did it yourself."
My Life with LymeFrom the article:
"What makes Lyme so difficult to diagnose is that its symptoms are highly variable and mimic those of other diseases."
The Notorious Bark BeetleFrom the article:
"It's hard to live on a rural property in Western Canada these days and not be aware of the mountain pine beetle epidemic that's decimating pine populations throughout British Columbia and parts of Alberta."
Growing Cool Season CropsFrom the article:
"If there is one question that winter-weary gardeners ask more than any other, it's how soon is too soon to start planting vegetables in the garden?"
Saving SeedsFrom the article:
"Saving seeds isn't difficult. It's simply a matter of learning the fundamentals and modifying your gardening habits to ensure that the seeds you harvest this year will result in satisfactory crops next year."
Indispensible HerbsFrom the article:
"Over the centuries, herbs have been used for everything from perking up food and subduing common ailments to dyeing fabrics, supplying fragrance to potpourris, and, thankfully, freshening breath."
Seeds of SpringFrom the article:
"If you've never contemplated growing your own plants from seeds, this may just be the year to catch the bug."
Water-wise GardeningFrom the article:
"The truth is that xeriscaping has as much to do with how you garden as it does with which plants you choose to grow."
Autumn TreasuresFrom the article:
"Autumn is also an excellent time to plant trees, shrubs, and many perennials. Some would even argue that it's the best time of year for this."