Magazine Articles

Writing articles is a labour of love for me. Doing the research, interviewing people, and writing to inspire keeps me motivated. Two of my most recent articles for Snowshoe Magazine:

I contribute regularly to Rural Delivery, an Atlantic Canadian publication based out of Liverpool, Nova Scotia. Here are a couple of examples of my most recent articles:

An excerpt from Crispy Business, vol. 39 #3, September 2014–

Freeze dried food might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to home preserving, but now even civilians can make their  own space rations. Thanks in part to doomsday preppers and survivalist types, the homesteader can purchase his very own freeze dryer to preserve the harvest. According to manufacturers, freeze dried foods retain their colour, flavour, and nutrients, and have a shelf life of up to 25 years. This could come in handy for bumper crops of fresh veggies and fruit. The food is frozen at -40 to -50 degrees Celsius, warmed slightly to release the moisture, and then all oxygen is removed from the drying chamber. The finished product is sealed in vacuum packed bags. At prices ranging from $3900-9000, you’ll want to shop around for one suitable for your family’s needs. The finished product would certainly be appreciated during an extended power outage. While everyone else’s precious produce is thawing in the freezer, your stash will be protected from spoilage in any weather.”

An excerpt from Making Farming Work, vol. 39 #5, November 2014–

The newer generation of farmers are not inhibited by convention. They’re willing to work outside of traditional techniques, products, and marketing methods. Direct marketing via the farm gate, farmer’s markets, and CSA’s is the way of the future. Social media plays a major role for many of the market farmers. Phil Savage says branding is important, and so is social media, “We use it to keep customers interested.” For many farmers, like Bunnett, marketing can be a challenge, “I’m a farmer not a marketer. Farmers don’t generally make good marketers.” But the wholesale market is a difficult one to navigate, so, in order to make a living, farmers must learn to put on their direct marketer’s hat.  

Jones and Dyck considered their personalities when deciding their marketing strategy, “The thought of making up beautiful bunches of kale only to have CSA customers hate it would’ve broke our hearts”.  The couple decided a farmer’s market, a couple of restaurants and small stores are their best markets.  They attract like minded people, and are able to develop face to face relationships with their customers. Jones keeps abreast of what’s new with social media, and the Broadfork Farm website offers a food club that acts like a gift certificate for their clients. Keeping up with the latest food trends and thinking outside the traditional veggie basket are important elements in the life of the small-scale farmer.

Really good planning, being disciplined in what you’re doing, having your ideals, but not being idealistic, are vital ingredients for the success of small-scale farmers. But, as Jones says, defining success in your own terms is essential. Small-scale farming is not for the faint of heart, nor the weak of mind or body. It’s a lifestyle choice that pays off in more ways than monetary. And many farmers are making a decent living, raising their families, and contributing to local economies.” “