GFM Network News


Ben Hartman and Rachel Hershberger grow vegetables on just over half an acre near Goshen, Indiana.

Ruthlessly cutting waste can allow small farms to prosper

A mindset originally developed in the rice fields of Japan still translates to the modern North American farm

Ruthless cutting of waste in all its forms has long allowed farmers — from 1600s Japan to reconstruction-era Alabama — to make a living on tiny plots of land. It’s how today’s small-scale farmers can do the same, says farmer and author Ben Hartman. “Turning waste into useful channels should be the slogan of every

The first crop of AppHarvest’s beefsteak tomatoes grows at its flagship farm in Morehead, Kentucky in an undated photograph.

Investors seed indoor farms as pandemic disrupts food supplies

Some see it as an environmental panacea, others as a disaster in the making

Reuters – Investors used to brush off Amin Jadavji’s pitch to buy Elevate Farms’ vertical growing technology and produce stacks of leafy greens indoors with artificial light. “They would say, ‘This is great, but it sounds like a science experiment,’” said Jadavji, CEO of Toronto-based Elevate. Now, indoor farms are positioning themselves as one of


Onions are sold at a market at Dharavi, one of Asia’s largest slums, in Mumbai, India on April 7, 2020. (File photo: Reuters/Francis Mascarenhas)

High food prices hurting India’s poor

Inflation pain expected to persist for months yet

New Delhi | Reuters — India’s retail inflation may stay elevated for at least three more months after hitting a six-year high in October, as excess rain has damaged standing crops and seedlings, while edible oils that the country imports have become expensive. The high prices are a particular cause of concern for India’s hundreds

Before the pandemic hit, the food industry’s labour shortages were barely on the public’s radar.

Editorial: Our food security is vulnerable

A common theme that emerges when talking to food-industry observers about the ongoing pandemic is that while Canada’s agriculture and food systems are highly efficient and productive, they lack resilience. Six months into a pandemic that shows no signs of being over any time soon, cracks that were virtually invisible before are now becoming impossible

Los Angeles County firefighters patrol the front fire lines Friday night from the Bobcat Fire near Juniper Hills, California on Sept. 18, 2020.

Comment: As California burns, so does our winter lettuce

Canada has always relied on imported fresh fruits and vegetables in the winter months

California is on fire. Although most of the fire-affected territory has nothing to do with agriculture, the smoke is so intense that it could damage many crops. As the fall approaches, the California fires could affect our food supply in Canada for the coming months. Like the labour issues affecting farmers this summer domestically, this


(File photo by Greg Berg)

Newfoundland farmers may shoot problem moose at night

Province to provide permits to qualified farmers

Moose causing crop damage on farms in Newfoundland and Labrador may now be shot by farmers at night under a new special permit system. Farmers dealing with “problem moose” can now apply for permits for night shooting, via provincial agriculture development officers in their areas, the provincial fisheries and land resources department said Thursday. The

Justin Girard

Year in Review: Local food producers struggle ahead

Lack of supply chains, business risk management programs, and clear regulations are keeping local food from reaching its full potential in Manitoba, say producers, experts

Manitoba has a way to go before it’s a friendly place for small food and drink producers, several articles demonstrated throughout the year. Be it crippling regulations, lack of risk management programs for small farmers, or simply lack of local supply chains, several factors say Manitoba’s local food system has yet to fully mature. “It

(SerresLefort.ca)

Major Quebec hothouse grower seeks creditor protection

One of Quebec’s best known greenhouse propagators, who in recent years launched an aggressive expansion into organic vegetables, is seeking creditor protection. Les Serres Lefort, which operates almost 50 acres of greenhouse facilities at Sainte-Clotilde in Quebec’s Monteregie, announced Sept. 10 it had filed a notice of intention on Sept. 6 to file a proposal


Justin Girard shows how 100 km/h winds bent the metal frame of a hoop house, destroying the structure.

Catastrophic crop loss highlights need for small-farm insurance

Four years after the Small Scale Farm Manitoba report, crop insurance for small-scale food producers doesn’t seem to be on the province’s radar

It was shaping up to be a banner year for Justin Girard. Hearts and Roots, which Girard runs with wife Britt Embry, is a certified organic farm that sells veggies through farmers’ markets, wholesale and Instagram-worthy subscription boxes. But on July 14, instead of shots of glistening greens or farm dog Merle, Hearts and Roots

We urban gardeners envy the space available to rural gardeners for growing lots of vegetables.

Planning and planting the veggie garden

Whether it’s a large patch or a smaller one, there’s a few things that will help to make it a success

Growing your own vegetables is a great way to connect with nature and to gain a supply of good-quality food, and for those who prefer organic, growing your own veggies ensures control over what techniques (and chemicals) are used. There is great satisfaction in being able to grow some of your own food and I