GFM Network News


That’s a good idea

We all do things we don’t consider particularly profound until someone says, “That’s a good idea.” Here’s one of those things. In fall I take about two gallons of ordinary gravel, pick out and discard any chunks larger than about half an inch and then run the balance through an ordinary pasta sieve to remove

New use for old granary

Grain storage on the Prairies is undergoing rapid change — no more wooden box granaries, just huge, metal silos. In consequence there are a lot of empty old-style granaries farmers are simply disposing of for firewood or burning on site and burying the nails. I converted two of them into huts — one bunkhouse and


Looking for a wood stove?

If you’re thinking of buying a used wood stove proceed with caution. You should first consult with your fire insurance people who will tell you about the technical requirements and installation, from chimney class to floor covering, placement distances and wall protection. While new installations are best done by professionals (they know fire regulations), simple

Really easy, really useful

Be safe not sorry Are you a quilter or maybe have someone in your life who quilts? Here’s the perfect way to store flat measuring tools. Cut a block of wood 14 inches long, 5 inches wide and 4 inches deep, then slice in a series of grooves lengthwise spaced approximately 5/8 of an inch

Feed Birds, Discourage Squirrels

FREELANCE CONTRIBUTOR Those of us who enjoy feeding birds are always open to new ideas on feeding stations if they are effective especially against squirrels. While squirrels are entertaining they can be a nuisance, as they are astonishingly acrobatic and will catapult themselves onto feeders in locations one might think impossible, and keep the birds


Time To Caulk Cracks

Now s the time to caulk cracks around wooden windows to prevent moisture from entering and starting the process of rotting. Once begun, rot will accelerate, damaging both casing and window. Caulking guns are awkward to handle and extrusion can be hit and miss due to uneven pressure, causing unsightly smears and uneven lines. There

Construct A Pen For Small Animals

I constructed a cage for our granddaughter’s guinea pigs and found it to be an easy and inexpensive project as many of the materials had been recycled. With four unused window screens (16-1/2×26 inches), some one-inch chicken wire, 1×4 boards, a few staples and wood screws, I created a 67x28x25-inch cage. Building instructions are easy

Let’s Play Ball

Those of us who grew up playing schoolyard baseball have fond memories of the game. With visiting grandchildren now interested in playing, I needed a backstop that was easy to erect and dismantle. I used an 8×10-foot canvas as background with one eight-foot end attached to a bar approximately six feet from the ground, the


Selectively Feeding The Birds

I am among the many Prairie folks who enjoy feeding winter birds, and it provides a bit of cabin fever relief during the long, cold months. A favourite is the chickadee. Even on the coldest of mornings chickadees faithfully arrive at the feeders, and their cheerful “Hi sweetie” calls brighten the day. One species that

In Praise Of Skunks

Small-animal pets, particularly cats and dogs, are a staple of most farms and acreages and properly so. A life unshared, even with animals, can be bleak. For years I enjoyed the companionship of fine cats and dogs as they contributed immensely to the day-to-day pleasure of living, but as some like to say – “not