GFM Network News


Getting serious about local food

Philly Markowitz is fired up about supporting local farmers in an effort to build up rural communities throughout Ontario’s Grey County

Reading Time: 8 minutes Generations of rugged farmers have worked this rugged landscape. They’ve run cattle, they’ve pastured sheep, they’ve planted crops. None of it has been easy. South of Georgian Bay, the county’s highlands are notoriously cold, the ground rolls unpredictably in all directions, and the soil is just plain tough. If Grey County was an old building, […] Read more

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Is direct-farm marketing an opportunity for larger farms?

Reading Time: 4 minutes The growing gap between consumer demand and the ability of the farm business community to meet that demand presents a dangerous vacuum for small farmers, believes Charlie Touchette, executive director of the North American Farmers’ Direct Marketing Association. It could, he says, become a vacuum that gets filled by corporate entities rather than local producers. […] Read more


Jennifer and Andrew Lovell.

Orchard’s business success inspired by Disney

Andrew and Jennifer Lovell turned this small U-pick into a thriving farm market and entertainment destination, using the magic of Disney’s marketing psychology

Reading Time: 9 minutes Although neither of them had been raised on a farm, Andrew and Jennifer Lovell bought the shares of a farm corporation four years ago. The farm was a small orchard near Keswick Ridge, a half-hour west of Fredericton, N.B., and when they took over, it was only 37 acres of apple trees, a quarter acre […] Read more

Tom Button

Editor’s Note: Deciding you want a better future

Reading Time: 2 minutes Farming is evolving faster than any of us realize, with farmers solidly in charge. To see how, just read the stories our latest issue and apply their messages to an entire industry. A few weeks ago, our broader Country Guide team hired a bus and invited the agency people who make the ads, write the […] Read more


Is local food good for farmers?

Is local food good for farmers?

Canada’s social sciences council is investing $2.4 million in local food research. Here’s what they hope to learn

Reading Time: 4 minutes Alison Blay-Palmer has been studying and promoting local food systems for nearly 20 years, and her enthusiasm for the topic is greater than ever. Blay-Palmer is director of the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., where she explores the big questions around sustainability. Those big questions include social justice, […] Read more

Woman in supermarket shopping groceries

Win the right battle – for the sake of food

Not only is the food we eat bad for us, but the practices that produced it are unsound too. Or so goes the message that too many consumers get too often from our mainstream media

Reading Time: 5 minutes The science is clear. “If you look at Western Canada and you look at a four-year crop rotation that starts anchored by a pulse crop at the front end, I believe that’s one of the most sustainable farming systems in the world,” says John Oliver, president of Maple Leaf Bio-Concepts. Many of the loudest, harshest […] Read more


two men in a vegetable warehouse

Young and old defining food distribution success

Separated by 52 years, Rudy Knitel and Corne Mans find how to succeed at food distribution

Reading Time: 5 minutes As good as you or better,” says Rudy Knitel when I ask him what he was looking for when he went in search of a business partner. A sense of humour apparently helps. Aged 74, Knitel did find his business partner, though. He’s Corne Mans, aged 22. A 52-year age difference might seem like a […] Read more

dairy cattle

Will value adding on the farm work for you?

This first in our four-part series on value adding for farmers starts with the most important question of all

Reading Time: 5 minutes So you think you have a great idea for a value-added business on your farm. Before you even begin to evaluate your idea to see if it will fly, however, it’s a good idea to ask the even more basic question: Is this kind of business venture a good fit for you and your family? […] Read more


dee Hobsbawn-Smith

Prairie writer has close relationship with food, farming

dee Hobsbawn-Smith is winning international literary awards for her portrayal of Alberta farmers

Reading Time: 6 minutes A friend flipped me an email about a reading in Toronto by Prairie writer dee Hobsbawn-Smith from her book, Foodshed. Her book is about Alberta food and farmers, making this an unusual event in urban Ontario. It turns out, this isn’t the only way that it’s unusual. The event is described as an informal potluck […] Read more

Brad Long

The Long way: Food, plus the facts

Toronto chef serves great food, with a side of information so customers learn how lucky they are to have Canada’s farmers working for them

Reading Time: 4 minutes “Someone is getting screwed,” declares chef Brad Long. We’ve only just sat down at Long’s restaurant, Café Belong, and the conversation is already intense. I immediately like Long, who smiles and gesticulates as he talks a mile a minute, punctuating his thoughts with the odd F-bomb. It takes focus to keep up. Even when he […] Read more