GFM Network News

“I chipped away at it for months,” says farmer-author Brent Preston.

Your story to tell

How many times have you said, “Somebody ought to write a book about this farm.” Here’s how to get started

Reading Time: 6 minutes Brent Preston had a story he wanted to share. In 2007, the Creemore, Ont. farmer and his wife, Gillian Flies, set to work and began building a thriving organic vegetable farm from the ground up. Preston wanted other would-be farmers to know it’s possible for a small, sustainable, organic farm to provide not only a […] Read more

Supportive communities. The key to resilience

There are recurring themes to resilience. We have 12 of them

Reading Time: 5 minutes Society likes to idealize the rugged individual who, against all odds, manages to overcome their difficult life circumstances and succeed in a big way. There is a problem with this narrative, though, says Dr. Michael Ungar, a family therapist and researcher at Dalhousie University. Personal resilience actually has a lot more to do with the […] Read more

“Bring joy and nourishment to the table,” Halliday says. That’s what makes your message to consumers memorable.

How to talk food in the city

When city consumers want to know how to communicate about food, they go to Voula Halliday

Reading Time: 5 minutes “At the core, you try to create something memorable and special. The possibilities are endless,” says Voula Halliday as we discuss food and events — and how using them together has so much impact when you’re trying to promote causes and make change. It’s a Tuesday morning, and Halliday apologizes as she tells me it […] Read more

Our physiology is still adapted to being in nature,” Williams writes.

Get your nature fix

And make sure the rest of the family does too. Just 15 minutes in nature can cut stress levels

Reading Time: 4 minutes Being surrounded by wide open spaces and nature is undoubtedly one of the benefits of a farming lifestyle. Unfortunately, as farms get bigger, busier and more high-tech, farmers may find they are spending less time enjoying nature. Even worse, as our children spend more time indoors or on screens, they are losing out on the […] Read more

Networking for introverts

It may always be tough for you to say the first hello, but with these tips and your natural listening skills, you can be a networking pro

Reading Time: 4 minutes Most of us have been there. You find yourself standing awkwardly at the refreshment table at a conference, nodding and smiling as people pass you by. You want to connect with them but you’re not quite sure how to do it. If you’re an introvert, which researchers say is about a third of us, then […] Read more

Friendships for your life

For more and more of us, loneliness is a serious health risk

Reading Time: 5 minutes In the farming community, being independent is a point of pride. However, too much independence is actually bad for your health if it leads to social isolation. The research is clear. Multiple studies over the past three decades have shown that loneliness kills. It’s as bad for your health as smoking, being obese, having high […] Read more

Lead change, don’t just manage it

Book review: Leading Change by John P. Kotter

Reading Time: 4 minutes Leading Change John P. Kotter Harvard Business Review Press, 2012 Two decades ago, Harvard professor John Kotter revolutionized how we should think about change, and in the first edition of Leading Change, he laid out an eight-step process for how to transform a business. Although he mainly targets large organizations, Kotter’s thinking seems equally pertinent […] Read more

Eight etiquette rules for the farm

Smooth manners are becoming at least as valuable on the farm as anywhere else

Reading Time: 5 minutes We all know the feeling, like when we’re at a meeting where we don’t know anyone and we’re feeling awkward about starting conversations. Or maybe we’re new on a board or a committee, and we aren’t sure how formal or informal it’s meant to be. Or when we’ve been invited to an event but we […] Read more

Lisa Guenther

Guide Life: About the neighbours

When Country Guide writer Lisa Guenther wrote her acclaimed new novel, Friendly Fire, she set the action in her own rural community. So we asked her to tell us, ‘How good an idea was that?’

Reading Time: 4 minutes There’s a bit of danger, or at least perceived danger, around setting a novel in the rural community that you live in. Especially when the blurb on the back of the book says something about “eviscerating small-town platitudes.” A writer I know asked me, “Aren’t you afraid they’ll run you out of town?” She was […] Read more

Why nice guys do finish first

'Give and Take' looks at why helping others creates success

Reading Time: 3 minutes Give and Take: Why helping others drives our success By Adam Grant, Penguin Publ. Adam Grant’s approach to business relationships seems counterintuitive, like it would make you a suicidal little fish in a tank of big, hungry fish, but Grant sets out in his business bestseller Give and Take to prove that good guys really do […] Read more