Letters from David Suzuki

David Suzuki (Photo Credit - Erin Prout)

“Come in!” Though I’ve never met David Suzuki before, his voice rings through the open door, sounding as familiar as my late grandfather’s. My guess is that many other 20- to 30-year-old Canadians would feel the same way. We grew up on Suzuki’s The Nature of Things. His voice and perspective …

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Is Canadian Policy Helping Women?

A group of women farmers gather in Ibumba, Kabale, southwestern Uganda (Photo Credit - Trina Moyles)

The global cry for gender equality has never been louder. Rural Indian women are fighting for farmland, Ugandan and Kenyan women are fighting draconian “anti-miniskirt” laws that criminalize their thighs, and Canadian First Nations and aboriginal womenare fighting for a national inquiry into the tragic deaths and disappearances of more …

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Permaculture or Spermaculture?

Confronting patriarchy in permaculture (Photo - TMoyles)

For Halena Seiferling, a master’s of policy studies student at Simon Fraser University, it’s a question generated not from facts or statistics, but from one of the most essential principles of permaculture: observation. “I started to wonder about some of the voices, typically male, that were leading the conversation about …

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Planting Edmonton on the Urban Agriculture Map

Travis Kennedy of Lactuca urban farm, cold frames extend urban farmer's growing season in Edmonton (Photo - TMoyles)

As May approaches, Edmonton’s community of gardeners, green thumbs and food enthusiasts aren’t the only ones planting and planning for the season: the city itself is getting one step closer to amending a bylaw that would make it easier for urban agriculture to take root and thrive. It could result …

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Las Guajiras de Cuba

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I’m soon en route to Cuba, the alligator shaped island only miles south of the Florida Keyes, the tiny island that could – viva! and couldn’t – coño! The place where mangos are considered tantalizing fruits and good looking guys and gals. Where art flows like water, most people are university educated, child health indicators are …

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Congolese Refugees in Nakivale Refugee Camp: “We Can Never Go Back”

More than 400,000 farmers have been displaced from the conflict in eastern DRC (Photo - TMoyles)

For over four years, *Hanna, a 33-year old eastern Congolese woman, and her family have been living in Nakivale Refugee Settlement, a UNHCR operated camp located in southern Uganda. She and her husband live in a semi-permanent house, grow maize and beans on small, scattered plots surrounding Nakivale, and are …

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Notes on ‘Writing What I Fear I Cannot Bear to Know’

Over the weekend, I participated in a writer’s workshop in Edmonton called ‘Researching Social Justice & Writing What I Fear I Cannot Bear to Know”. The workshop was organized by the good folks at the Centre for Global Citizenship (University of Alberta) and facilitated by two academic and creative powerhouses, …

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‘Tis the Season to Raise Chickens

Chickens can also get frostbite (Photo - Trina Moyles)

New holiday traditions are being made—and laid—in Linda and Troy Johnson’s backyard this holiday season. Outside, the Christmas lights twinkle on the newly constructed chicken coop while inside, their family enjoys eggs harvested daily and mugfuls of homemade eggnog. “We have more eggs than we know what to do with,” …

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‘Do You Know What ‘Misogynist’ Means?’

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I was rattled last night by CBC’s recent reports that leaked violent, sexually explicit posts on a private Facebook group that was run by fourth year male dentistry students at Dalhousie University. It made me question my own stereotypes of ‘who is a misogynist?’ The group called themselves “Class of …

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Eating My Way North to South in India – Part II

Spicy sauces are cooled by yogurt and coconut chutney in Tamil cooking (Photo - TMoyles)

In continuation of my culinary tales from ‘north to south’ in India… A Meal for the Desert Kings and Queens in Rajasthan It was a two-hour drive to the south from Delhi to reach Rajasthan, the land of kingdoms and camels and stretches of golden deserts. Along the way, we …

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Eating My Way North to South in India – Part I

Tibetan dumplings, or 'momos' in northern India.

A whirlwind visit to India in late October was more than enough to tease and please the senses and stomach. Let’s just say I came for the research with woman farmers and found myself absolutely head over heels in love with India’s food culture. Forty-two meals in fourteen days: from …

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In Need of Light – Diwali in India

Diwali, a 4-day Hindu celebration of 'light over darkness'

Last week’s lament about small farmers was saturated in angst. It wasn’t something I spun from thin air, it wasn’t from a gut emotion, spat out for the fun of the exercise. My frustration is a product of the many conversations I’ve had over the past twelve months with small …

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A Eulogy for Family Farmers on World Food Day

WFD 2014: Year of the Family Farmer

Tomorrow, October 16, 2014, is World Food Day. On the 69th World Food Day, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has chosen to celebrate The International Year of the Family Farming (IYFF). It’s a noble gesture on the FAO’s part – considering the historical and current efforts made by family …

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Culture Shock & Stovetop Pumpkin Pie

My Ugandan attempt at Canadian Thanksgiving! (TMoyles)

Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m homesick. I’ve got a serious case of longing for Canada these days. I’m coming on two years (albeit for a brief hiatus in early 2013) in Uganda and good ole ‘culture shock’ has finally snuck up on me. These days, I am longing for the …

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