GFM Network News


Al and Johanna McLauchlan operate a family-owned business north of The Pas producing birch syrup and other value-added forest-derived products.

Northern business owners share startup story

Al and Johanna McLauchlan built a successful company tapping birch trees — and consumer interest in natural foods

It all began with a half a cup. That’s how much syrup Alan and Johanna McLauchlan produced back in 2004 when they tried tapping a few birch trees for the first time. It would ultimately lead the couple, who lives about an hour’s drive north of The Pas, to found their own company and produce

Schefflera Makes A Good Floor Plant

The schefflera plant, Schefflera arboricola, is often called the umbrella plant, and for good reason. The five to seven leaflets of which each long-stalked leaf is composed are elongated ovals and light olive green in colour. The leaves, with their long stalks, do indeed resemble umbrellas or parasols. A schefflera plant will produce several sturdy


Ficus — A Tree For The Indoors

The ficus tree is a mainstay of many interior landscapes, especially those in malls and larger public buildings where they are often positioned under skylights to ensure they receive enough sunlight. They can be used in houses where there is space to accommodate them. Ficus (fig) trees like bright light and when grown indoors will


Sugaring Season Begins

The biggest April Fool is anyone who thinks it’s still winter in Manitoba. Ignore the forecasters and naysayers. The sweetest season is upon us. This is tree-tapping time, when backyard hobbyists and small commercial maple syrup makers alike sally forth to collect the sap that begins sluicing through the limbs and trunks of Manitoba maple.


Advancing A Sugar Maple Tree For Manitoba

“We’re on the right track.” – CLAUDIO STASOLLA, PLANT SCIENCE PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA The tree producing Canada’s emblematic red maple leaf may one day find a home on not-so native land: Manitoba The natural range of the sugar maple, with its glorious fall colours and prolific volumes of spring sap, now extends only to