GFM Network News


Resting spots for young and old, along the Silver Bend Trail, cast splendid views of natural habitat.

Silver Bend Hiking Trail restored

Views of the Assiniboine Valley in Miniota area breathtaking

An important link to the history of the Miniota area, closed due to flooding four years ago, has been reclaimed. In no small part that’s thanks to the Birtle Miniota & District Development Corporation (BMDDC) and supporters. The Silver Bend Revitalization project was spearheaded by Jenny Kuemper, under the direction of the BMDDC. The organization

Part of Manitoba’s Climate and Green Plan, the $102-million Conservation Trust will fund activities that create, conserve, or enhance natural infrastructure in Manitoba.

A watershed moment — province funds Conservation Trust

When fully capitalized, the fund is expected to generate about $5 million a year for projects and environmental goods and services

The ink is now dry on Manitoba’s new Conservation Trust agreement, and groups looking to it to support new programs with it should submit letters of intent by January 15. The province signed its agreement December 11, putting in an initial $28-million contribution this month, towards making the $102-million trust it announced in last spring’s


Does the nature around us predict winter weather?

Folklore suggests the skies, plants and animals in our area hint at the longer-term forecast

Way back when I first met with John Morriss to discuss writing a weekly weather column, we talked about different topics that might be appropriate. One of those ideas was to discuss various weather folklore. I have touched on this topic now and then over the years, but I must admit it turned out to

Local farmers, nutritionists, researchers and industry representatives tackle the GMO debate at the Brandon screening of “Food Evolution” April 10.

Documentary takes off the gloves on GMO debate

GMOs have been a lightning rod for controversy, but documentary 
‘Food Evolution’ argues that science has been the underdog in the debate

Agriculture recently had a red-carpet moment, with twin screening of the documentary “Food Evolution” in Brandon and Winnipeg. Organized by the Manitoba Canola Growers, Canola Eat Well, the Manitoba Farm Writers and Broadcasters Association, Canadian Agri-Marketing Association and Assiniboine Community College, screening and panel discussion on April 10 aimed to educate the public about the

Low, high or in the middle, soil pH affects your farm

Acidic or alkaline soils can have a big effect on soil nutrition, but while farmers with acidic soil 
can turn to lime, fixing alkaline soils may be more of a challenge

Alkaline soils are a common problem in Manitoba, but farmers may not have an easy fix. Amir Farooq, crop specialist with Manitoba Agriculture and one of the speakers at a soil fertility update in Brandon Jan. 30-31, argued that high pH soils would need a prohibitively expensive amount of elemental sulphur to lower levels. The


A healthy soil that’s high in carbon can make your farm a more efficient user of nutrients.

Carbon key to building resilience on farms

Building soil carbon supports soil biota 
and makes for a healthier farming system


Farmers often see themselves as feeding the world, but farmers attending the Organic Connections conference here recently were told the first step towards that goal is feeding the “starving and homeless” micro-organisms in their soil. “Your job is to feed them and maintain their habitat,” Kristine Nichols, the chief scientist with the Rodale Institute told

A milk and ochre paint mixture used 49,000 years ago at Sibudu, South Africa. Researchers used chemical analysis to determine the origins of paint flakes found on ancient stones.

Milk, paint, wild beasts and an ancient African mystery

People were making paint long before previously thought

Around 49,000 years ago, someone in what is today South Africa mixed milk with ochre to produce a paint mixture. What the paint was used for remains unknown. But what is startling is that it was made earlier than the first previously known use of the paint — 47,000 years earlier. The mixture was preserved

The SMAP satellite will use active and passive radioactive waves to measure soil moisture.

Not your average soil moisture-measuring project

A satellite that measures soil moisture expected to launch in January

If you Google “SMAP” two things will come up — a Japanese boy band from the ’90s and a NASA satellite project that will attempt to measure soil moisture on a global scale. The latter is the subject of new soil research from the University of Manitoba. The satellite, set to launch on January 29,


Manitoba soils help NASA’s new gadgets take flight

From June 7 to July 17, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will fly two piloted aircraft several times a week over an area of mixed agricultural and forested land from Portage la Prairie to Carman in south-central Manitoba. These aircraft will carry instruments similar to those onboard a satellite that NASA will

A gift of love

My sister-in-law has multiple health problems and needs a cane to walk safely. She’s been given walking sticks, hiking sticks and a normal cane. The problem is, however, that she has nothing in her collection that is pretty — you know — to dress up and go out. I remedied that with a pretty floral