Harrowsmith Radio Podcast

Harrowsmith Radio features great Canadian stories and helpful information to its listeners. Listen in to Canadians living sustainably. Subscribe on all of your favourite podcast listeners!

The Rhythms of Nature and the Buzz of Bees (May 14, 2020)

This episode takes us down on the farms – first to a sheep farm near Perth where we learn about the capricious rhythms of Mother Nature from a farmer and cello instructor. Next, to Dr. Dolittle of a farm – Caberneigh Farms – jubilant with animals and abuzz with newly hived bees lost in their own dances and rhythms. All in all, a timely podcast that gets us back to our roots.

By the way, if you want to read Harrowsmith Magazine instead of listen to it you can subscribe to the print version online at harrowsmithmag.com and you can find Harrowsmith Magazine on selected newsstands across Canada. But for now, settle in for the next half hour of Harrowsmith Radio.

Sarah Loten

When we last spoke with Sarah Loten of Drover’s Way Farm in Lanark country, she was lamenting the love hate relationship with water that both drowned her tractor and gave life to her crops and livestock. This time out I speak with the veteran farmer and cellist about a elegy to nature’s pace, cadence and rhythm she wrote for Harrowsmith. The poetic piece beautifully captures the close, experience-wrought relationship farmers have with the some capricious beat and syncopation of the seasons. It’s a bond, a enslavement and an understanding those of us in urban centres have all but lost. But, for farmers like Sarah, who rush to take advantage of a six hour planting window, or lament the dying of even the smallest shaving of light in the fall, the intimate dance with Mother Nature has to be minded with each and every passing measure.

Nicole Robertson

Nicole Robertson loves animals. Well, that’s like saying Wimpy is partial to hamburgers, really. She’s got goats and horses and, well, a whole menagerie at Caberneigh Farm in Uxbridge. A couple of years ago she added bees to her collection and they have been paying her back in spades. Here’s our conversation that will be sweet comfort to anyone thinking about getting hives, the good kind.

End Notes
Want more Harrowsmith? No problem. Visit our website. And, you can read Vanessa’s story on ticks in the Spring issue of Harrowsmith Magazine. It’s on selected newsstands across Canada or you can order subscriptions online at harrowsmithmag.com.

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, davidarchibald.com.

Remembering Wingfield Farm and Trees for Heroes (April 8, 2020)

The Rundown

This episode is about plays, a fictional farm, heroes and highways. I start off by chatting with Dan Needles, a mainstay for Harrowsmith readers and the author of the WIngfield Farm mediaverse. We touch on turnip-mashing drudges, the parallels between Walt and Dan and how Needles is taking to the boards himself these days. Next up, Mike Hurley tells us about the ambitious charity, the Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign, that aims to plant a tree for every man and woman who’s served in Canada’s armed forces. So, one way or another, we’re getting back to roots.

End Notes
Want more Harrowsmith? No problem. Visit our website. And, you can read Vanessa’s story on ticks in the Spring issue of Harrowsmith Magazine. It’s on selected newsstands across Canada or you can order subscriptions online at harrowsmithmag.com.

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, davidarchibald.com.

Of Blooms and Bees (February 11, 2020)

The Rundown

In this episode we combine two natural, literally natural partners, blooms and bees. First up I chat with Terry Caddo, the executive director of Canada Blooms, a venerable gardening show that will soon be celebrating 25 years of gardening glory. Next up, we decode honey jar labels.

For almost a quarter century the Canada Blooms show in Toronto has brought gardens, gardening wisdom and gardening supplies and suppliers under one roof for a giant garden celebration. The next one, the 24th, is just a few weeks away as I record this. I talked with the show’s executive director, Terry Caddo about the changing demographic the show attracts and why its a literally, perennial favourite.

Buying something as natural as honey should be an easy consumer choice. But, these days, honey labelling makes that choice more complex. Does “Canada’s Favourite”, mean it’s Canadian honey? Does “Canada #1”? And what does “Graded in Canada” mean? To help sort it out I spoke with Guy Chartier of Bee Maid Honey.  

End Notes
Want more Harrowsmith? No problem. Visit our website. And, you can read Vanessa’s story on ticks in the Spring issue of Harrowsmith Magazine. It’s on selected newsstands across Canada or you can order subscriptions online at harrowsmithmag.com.

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, davidarchibald.com.

Dr. David Suzuki and the Christmas Walking of the Goats (December 16, 2019)

The Rundown

A while back I got to meet one of my heroes, Dr. David Suzuki. He had just published Letters to my Grandchildren, a heartfelt retrospective of his life, learnings and legacy. I got to sit down with him in the David Suzuki Foundation offices to chat about that life. Next, a visit with a different family and a very different life. I chat with Danielle French, the owner of South Pond Farms in the Kawarthas. We talk family, food and the walking of the goats.

End Notes
Want more Harrowsmith? No problem. Visit our website. And, you can read Vanessa’s story on ticks in the Spring issue of Harrowsmith Magazine. It’s on selected newsstands across Canada or you can order subscriptions online at harrowsmithmag.com.

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, davidarchibald.com.

Winterizing and Big Bags of Bird Seed (December 9, 2019)

The Rundown

This episode features a return visit from Harrowsmith’s resident handyman from Manitoulin Island, Steve Maxwell. This time out Steve offers some good, and timely advice about how to keep your house warm in the winter.

You can learn more about Steve and his tips at https://baileylineroad.com

Next up, another timely topic, bird seed. I visit with Barry Bogel, who runs a bulk seed business on equipment his grandfather would recognize. Ten pounds bags of seeds? That’s for punters.

Barry Bogel’s grandfather bought a farm in Flamborough, Ontario in 1874. Back then he raised bees. These days Barry grows plants for seed. Bird seed, mostly. He runs the operation out of a barn filled with ancient but admirable equipment some of which his grandfather would recognize. Join me on a soundscape tour of Bogel Seeds, where a fifty pound bag of sunflower seeds is small potatoes and the grain silos and feeder tubes loom like benign giants.

End Notes
Want more Harrowsmith? No problem. Visit our website. And, you can read Vanessa’s story on ticks in the Spring issue of Harrowsmith Magazine. It’s on selected newsstands across Canada or you can order subscriptions online at harrowsmithmag.com.

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, davidarchibald.com.

City Gardens and Christmas Leftovers (December 1, 2019)

The Rundown

This episode begins with a chat with guerrilla gardener, gardening planner and writer Lorraine Johnson about the bounty that can be had from gardens in every nook, cranny and backyard in our cities. Next up, a seasonal exercise in making good use of holiday leftovers. Harrowsmith food writer Signe Langford, you might remember her from the exploding chestnuts, salvages carcasses, toasts stuffing and murders for a curry.

You can learn more about Lorraine’s writings at http://www.douglas-mcintyre.com/author/lorraine-johnson-2

End Notes
Want more Harrowsmith? No problem. Visit our website. And, you can read Vanessa’s story on ticks in the Spring issue of Harrowsmith Magazine. It’s on selected newsstands across Canada or you can order subscriptions online at harrowsmithmag.com.

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, davidarchibald.com.

Living Off the Grid and Coffee Alternatives (November 27, 2019)

The Rundown

We start this episode talking about living off the grid using solar, wind, batteries and a generator with Canada’s handyman and Harrowsmith contributor, Steve Maxwell. Then, on a lighter note, but with no less energy, I speak with Signe Langford, Harrowsmith’s food editor about alternatives to hot chocolate on cold winter evenings, on the grid, or off.

You can learn more about Steve Maxwell at https://baileylineroad.com/

Signe Langford’s writings can be found at https://www.signelangford.com

End Notes
Want more Harrowsmith? No problem. Visit our website. And, you can read Vanessa’s story on ticks in the Spring issue of Harrowsmith Magazine. It’s on selected newsstands across Canada or you can order subscriptions online at harrowsmithmag.com.

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, davidarchibald.com.

Women in Agriculture and a Royal Winter Fair (November 21, 2019)

The Rundown

In this episode we talk about the changing role of women in agriculture and the future of the largest agricultural fair in the world. I speak with Iris Meck, the force behind the Advancing Women in Agriculture conference.  And I chat with the CEO of the Royal Agriculture Winter Fair about  produce, horses and, yes, royals.

Women and Agriculture Conference

Since 2014 The Advancing Women in Agriculture has brought together women from across Canada to share, learn and grow and farmers, producers and entrepreneurs. Over the years it’s seen attendees and the agriculture sector itself change dramatically, and, for the better. Part of the change is due to the conference itself. I had a chance to speak with conference organizer, Iris Meck, about the morphing landscape and the challenges of leaning in in a sector that is still steeped in isolation.

Royal Winter Fair Intro

Just after the First World War a cluster of classically inspired buildings near the waterfront of Lake Ontario. The Royal Coliseum and ancillary buildings has, for 97 years now, housed the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, a celebration of the produce, livestock and skills that have brought food from farm to table for almost a century. I talk with Charlie Johnstone, the CEO of The Royal, about the celebration’s past and its upcoming royally important centennial.

End Notes
Want more Harrowsmith? No problem. Visit our website. And, you can read Vanessa’s story on ticks in the Spring issue of Harrowsmith Magazine. It’s on selected newsstands across Canada or you can order subscriptions online at harrowsmithmag.com.

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, davidarchibald.com.

Feeding Winter Birds and Crafting Homemade Cider (November 8, 2019)

Mark and Ben Cullen, a father and son dynamic duo of gardening expertise, have been guiding home-based horticulture fans for years, decades and now, generations. This time out they team up to guide you to getting the best birds in your backyard this winter. Along the way, they shatter a couple of myths, crack jokes and diss cracked corn.

Craig Daniels works at Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto as a a project manager and scientific writer and editor. So, it’s not surprising that he and his partner, Ben Pakuts took a scientific approach to making cider. They wrote abut the process in Harrowsmith Magazine and in the latest issue of the Harrowsmith Almanac. I spoke with Craig recently about fermentation, cider and the apple strewn path he eschewed a few years back.

End Notes
Want more Harrowsmith? No problem. Visit our website. And, you can read Vanessa’s story on ticks in the Spring issue of Harrowsmith Magazine. It’s on selected newsstands across Canada or you can order subscriptions online at harrowsmithmag.com.

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, davidarchibald.com.

Growing Up, and Growing Strong (July 1, 2019)

The Rundown

When Ken Dam was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma he started getting really serious about the food he was putting in his body. Ken’s fine now, but his quest to eat healthy propelled he and his wife Clare into an adventure of homesteading near Copetown, Ontario. It didn’t go as planned. But, the Dams are still at it, eight years later. They’ve learned a lot, learned what they don’t like and discovered what they’ve come to love. I spoke with Clare about their journey.

Aquaponics isn’t a new idea, but it’s one that improving technology has made more and more practical. The idea is simple, take the symboitic relationship between plants and animals on a farm, in soil, and bring it indoors. Now replace the soil with nutrient rich water, cows and pigs with fish and root vegetables with microgreens. That’s aquaponics. Catalina Margulis wrote about the process in Harrowsmith. We chatted about how going wet and vertical might be a life saver where local matters and space is at a premium.

End Notes
Want more Harrowsmith? No problem. Visit our website. And, you can read Vanessa’s story on ticks in the Spring issue of Harrowsmith Magazine. It’s on selected newsstands across Canada or you can order subscriptions online at harrowsmithmag.com.

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, davidarchibald.com.

A Garden of Varieties and the Water of Our Discontent (June 1, 2019)

This episode of Harrowsmith Radio is about extraordinary vegetables, wild weather and the water it brings with it.

First up, we head to the east coast, the outskirts of Halifax, Nova Scotia, to be exact. There we meet Niki Jabbour. Niki’s a bestselling gardening writer and author of Veggie Garden Remix. She’s discovered hundreds of vegetables beyond the rank and file tomatoes, lettuces and squash and other produce you might have already tucked into the soil of your garden. Ground cherries and snake gourds for everyone!

Next, we head to Perth County and chat with sheep farmer Sarah Loten. She’s had to cope with the  wild, wet weather that has been playing merry hell with a sheep farm. 

End Notes
Want more Harrowsmith? No problem. Visit our website. And, you can read Vanessa’s story on ticks in the Spring issue of Harrowsmith Magazine. It’s on selected newsstands across Canada or you can order subscriptions online at harrowsmithmag.com.

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, davidarchibald.com.

Truffle Farming in Ontario and a Tick Invasion (May 1, 2019)

Adam Koziol – Earthgen International

Adam Koziol used to be an ad man in Toronto. Then he and a friend got a crazy idea of growing mahogany trees with superpowers roots in the Caribbean. Over the years that idea morphed into something even more fantastic, growing truffles from the roots of hazelnut and oak trees in Ontario. Working with Spanish scientists Adam has inoculated young trees with the stuff that truffles are made from. He’s sold those trees to over thirty growers in Ontario who now are counting down the years to a possible truffle windfall. I visited Adam on his farm, and the headquarters for Earthgen International, near Dunville, Ontario to talk about his fantastic fungus factory.

Kathleen Gailas

I speak with Kathleen Galias is a pharmacist who, with her husband, Patrick Hazen, have started Open Hazelnut Farm in Guelph. They’re just shy of four years away from a potential truffle crop.  

Extra

Learn more about Earthgen 

Learn more about Kathleen Galias and Patrick Hazen

Market Predictions About Truffles

Truffle Recipes

Vanessa Farnsworth – Science Journalist

Vanessa Farnsworth had her life laid low by Lyme disease, so she knows its toll on health, happiness and relationships. She also knows how ticks have been moving into Canada as unwanted invaders. She wrote about that in the Spring issue of Harrowsmith Magazine. I chatted with her about ticks and the complicated role climate change might play in their spread.

End Notes
Want more Harrowsmith? No problem. Visit our website. And, you can read Vanessa’s story on ticks in the Spring issue of Harrowsmith Magazine. It’s on selected newsstands across Canada or you can order subscriptions online at harrowsmithmag.com.

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, davidarchibald.com.

Gardens That Heal (April 1, 2019)

This episode of Harrowsmith Radio is all about the gardens and their value to our minds, bodies, spirits and communities.

First up, I speak with Mitchell Hewson, a veteran horticultural therapist who use the growth, resilience and hope of renewal gardens offer as a balm on the troubled minds and bodies of those in need of rebirth. Next, I catch up with Heather Phaneuf, who fills us in on how to start a community garden in a lot near you.

Mitchell Hewson

Horitcultural Therapy is used as a treatment tool to develop a relationship with clients to improve their cognitive, social, behavioural and spiritual well being. At institutions like the Homewood Health Centre in Guelph, Ontario, it encourage clients to engage in the natural world. Mitchell Hewson started the horticultural therapy program at Homewood. Now retired, he continues to teach his discipline online to students around the world. He encourages his students to help their clients think about new ways of life and self-care, offer them rehabilitation and acquire new skills, a sense of dignity and hope. I spoke with him about his lifelong passion for using plants to health the deepest wounds.   

Heather Phaneuf

But, sometimes gardens can not only heal individuals, they can also improve the health of a whole community. Harrowsmith magazine contributor Heather Phaneuf discovered that as you researched community gardens for the Spring issue of the magazine. She offers some advice about how and why you should start a community garden. And, how you can be a good garden citizen should you plant your seeds in shared soil.                  

End Notes
Want more Harrowsmith? No problem. Visit our website. And, you can read stories by Jane and Rob in the Winter issue of Harrowsmith Magazine. It’s on selected newsstands across Canada or you can order subscriptions online at harrowsmithmag.com.

 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, davidarchibald.com.

The Lemons Below, the Stars Above (March 1, 2019)

The Rundown
This episode of Harrowsmith Radio is about hydroponics, subtropical fruit in Canada and the stars in the winter sky. We begin on the opposite coast from last episode. Last time we visited a salt maker in Bonavista, Newfoundland. This time we travel to Salt Spring Island off the coast of British Columbia. There we find Jane Squier, who’s nurturing a citrus grove under glass (well, poly, really). Next we look up, way up, and ask Harrowsmith’s resident astronomer, Rob Dick why it is that the night sky in winter looks so clear? 

Jane Squier
Jane Squier has learned that when life hands you a greenhouse you make lemons, and limes and lettuce and basil and, well, all manner of hydroponic produce. Jane started hydroponic gardening in Calgary, back when hydroponics was just a wacky idea and an article in Harrowsmith, she used for inspiration to build a thriving greens business based on the Nutrient Film Technique (NFT for short). These days Jane has a 6,000 square foot green house on Salt Spring Island.

She’s just wrapped up her career as a purveyor of butter lettuce and basil and is using her ingenuity, some backyard swimming pools, a solar-powered anaerobic digester and a Inspector Gadget coat full of gizmos to grow 30 varieties of citrus, avocados, pineapple guava and more. You can learn more about Jane and her garden of earthy delights here.

Rob Dick
Rob is one of Canada’s foremost writers and educators on astronomical topics. He’s also passionate about reducing light pollution and promoting science literacy. He explains why the stars, planets and other celestial objects in the winter night seem so bright and clear.

You can learn more about Rob here.

End Notes
Want more Harrowsmith? No problem. Visit our website. And, you can read stories by Jane and Rob in the Winter issue of Harrowsmith Magazine. It’s on selected newsstands across Canada or you can order subscriptions online at harrowsmithmag.com.

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, davidarchibald.com.

Salt from the Rock and Ice for the Rink (January 22, 2019)

Some of you listening may not be that familiar with Harrowsmith. While this is a podcast, Harrowsmith began as a groundbreaking Canadian magazine. It came to life on the kitchen table of James Lawrence in Camden East, Ontario in 1976. Back then it didn’t seem likely that his vision of a national magazine on the virtues of getting back to the land would last. 

But before long Harrowsmith took off, quickly attracting legions of fans. Tapping into an urban desire to move to the country, the magazine also appealed to dyed-in-the wool ruralites. What Canada got was its magazine to promote green living and a country lifestyle. It also got the venerable Harrowsmith Almanac.

Over its 46-year history the Harrowsmith name became synonymous with Canadians living sustainably.

In this podcast we proudly continue the spirit of James Lawrence’s vision of sharing useful information for country dwellers and anyone seeking to tread a little more lightly upon the earth.

In this, our first episode of Harrowsmith Radio we go just about as far east in Canada as you can get: Bonavista, Newfoundland. There we’ll meet Peter Burt who, along with his partner Robin Crane, launched the Newfoundland Salt Company almost exactly a year ago. Peter, a former St. John’s chef now makes his salt from the pristine waters that flow between Bonavista and Trinity Bays.

Next, we’ll meet a true Canadian hometown winter hero, Michael Buma. Why a hero? Buma built ice rinks in the freezing cold and then wrote about it, and hockey. 

So, here we go, ice and salt, that’s a pretty good Canadian winter start for a podcast, don’t you think?

Want more Harrowsmith? No problem. Visit our website. And, you can read stories about Peter and Michael in the Winter issue of Harrowsmith Magazine. It’s on selected newsstands across Canada or you can order subscriptions online at harrowsmithmag.com.

 

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, davidarchibald.com.

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