The Weather Wizard and the Jungle Farm Queen

The Weather Wizard and the Jungle Farm Queen

Virtual umbrella with Harrowsmith’s go-to weatherman & on how entrepreneurship and innovation have kept her farm alive

The Rundown

In this episode, we spend a little time under a virtual umbrella with Harrowsmith’s go-to weatherman, Mark Sirois. Mark’s been doing long-range forecasting for the Harrowsmith Almanac and extreme weather prediction for Southern Quebec for years. Now a modern home weather station has empowered him to think big and broad. Next up Alberta farmer Leona Staples on how entrepreneurship and innovation have kept her farm alive and adapting for generations.

Mark Sirois and Predicting Weather

By day Mark Sirois is a Quebec-based senior manager for IBM Canada. But his five-to-nine side hustle is predicting extreme weather for Southern Quebec. And, he also does long-range forecasting for all of Canada for the Harrowsmith Almanac. The self-taught meteorologist started prognosticating when he was a teenager with just a weather radio and an atlas. But, as he explains in this interview, the advent of high-tech, no-moving-parts weather stations has completely changed the game for him and he’s ready to up his game.

Leona Staples and Jungle Farm

Leona Staples’ great grandfather, Jacob Daniel Quantz was a homesteader in late 1800 Alberta. Staples and her forebearers have kept that farm alive but in a form that Quantz would hardly recognize. A combination of Staples’ love of home economics education and entrepreneurship has allowed her to reimagine the Quantz farm into a Jungle Farm that’s become a family and school trip destination. I talked to her about how she managed that transformation.

End Notes

Want more Harrowsmith? No problem. Visit our website. Or you can check out Harrowsmith Magazine on selected newsstands across Canada or you can order subscriptions online at

By the way, the music in the podcast? It’s by good ol’ Canadian singer, composer, and friend of the ‘cast, David Archibald. You can find more of his music at his website,

Wayne MacPhail
Wayne MacPhail

Wayne is a digital strategist with extensive experience in traditional, online and communication strategy development. He has assisted clients like Random House (where he helped establish digital outreach programs), the Association of Science and Technology Centers, McMaster Family Medicine,, University of Toronto, Engineering reimagine their communications strategies for an emerging media landscape and new audiences. Wayne brings three decades of rich media content creation, a background in journalism and the ability to creatively understand brand and messaging and create new platforms and opportunities for Moongate’s clients. He has taught and developed online content creation and communications for a variety of colleges and universities in Ontario.

Posted on Friday, October 8th, 2021
Filed under Podcast

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