GFM Network News


Honeybees’ attraction to fungicide ‘unsettling’

London | Thomson Reuters Foundation — Honeybees are attracted to a fungicide used in agriculture with “unsettling implications” for global food production, a U.S. scientist said on Tuesday. Tests carried out by a team from the University of Illinois showed bees preferred to collect sugar syrup laced with the fungicide chlorothalonil over sugar syrup alone.

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


Syrup-titiously delicious

Maple syrup is good for our precarious planet’s forests too

Some grumble when the snow arrives, but not members of the Pumpkin Creek Ski Club at Roseisle. They rejoice, naturally. They also start leaving treats on members’ doorsteps — cans of pure maple syrup, sold as club fundraisers. Those cute little cans signal the start of ski season, and time to enjoy hearty breakfasts of

Jakobi Maendel, five, loves to help gather the sap. 


Maple syrup ritual spurs childhood memories

When my sister makes maple syrup every spring, she also recreates treasured memories from my childhood

Every spring a corner of our backyard is transformed into a scene that could be from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books. Two columns of bricks create a makeshift stove, over which giant rectangular pans sit atop a steel table-like structure. Barrels of scrap hardwood, collected throughout winter at our carpenter shop especially for this,

Pancake puzzler: Maple syrup heist baffles Quebec

Thieves in Quebec may have pulled off the sweetest heist of all time, siphoning off a reservoir of maple syrup from a warehouse and cleverly covering up their caper to evade detection, an industry group said Aug. 31. The warehouse in rural Quebec held more than $30 million worth of maple syrup, a whopping 10


Half-step for Product of Canada labels

Agriculture Canada is stepping up its promotion of a Canada Brand program to help identify Canadian food products for consumers at home and abroad. The government is supporting pilot projects in a select group of stores across the country with Canadian products marked with a special red maple leaf label. But the program only works

Facing Up To Climate Change

Avery Simundsson of Arborg was first runner-up in the senior division of the Canadian Young Speakers for Agriculture held at the recent Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Simundsson, 21, is an engineering student at the University of Manitoba. The following is an excerpt from her speech on the topic of “What is the biggest challenge in

Move Over Maple, Birch Syrup Gets A Plug

Rocky Lake Birchworks Ltd., a family business owned by Al and Johanna McLauchlan and their sons in The Pas has received $13,189 from the federal and provincial governments to assist with market development. The McLauchlan family taps approximately 700 birch trees near their home north of The Pas. They harvested about 700 litres of birch


Boreal Booster Juice

Birch sap is a natural product of the boreal forest; Birch sap was originally consumed as a refreshing, healthy drink by Aboriginal people; Boiling the sap reduces the product to the consistency of thickened syrup. It takes approximately 100 to 150 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of syrup; Birch sap/syrup can be used

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.