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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‘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?’

dal_poster

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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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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Let’s Talk About Canadian Immigration

Canadian doctors for refugee care protest

“They said his tourist visa was rejected because he’s not established enough,” the MP’s secretary voice says meekly over the phone. “Established?” I huffed. “But he’s a student…we have a letter from his university. We even have a letter from a future employer in Uganda.” “Well, that’s what they said,” …

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Indigenous Farmers Confront Canada’s Goldcorp

Tomasa at her home in Comitancillo, Guatemala (Photo Credit - KJ Dakin)

Lines etch across Tomasa Perez Jimenez’s tawny features as her eyes study her floor. The cracked earth contrasts with the party pink of her traditional blouse. Her voice is quiet and steady as she discusses the mine that has been operating on her doorstep for more than a decade. “In …

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On Becoming a Bird Watcher

Be like the (yellow vented) bulbul - stop, observe and listen...

When I was a child, it wasn’t at all an uncommon experience to come home from school and find a wounded owl in the basement. The other kids in our neighbourhood in Lower West Peace were pretty sure my parents were running a zoo out of our small home. In …

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The Art of Yarn Bombing

(Kay Niedermeyer)

By Kay Niedermeyer Yarn bombing, or “knit graffiti” is a thing I’ve always appreciated but never created or participated in myself until very recently. My inexperience with yarn bombing would probably surprise people who know me both as a rabble-raiser, and also a gal whose hands have been pretty much …

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A Complicated Cup – Coffee & Poverty in Uganda

Early morning contemplations on a complicated substance.

I’ve been brewing (pun intended) over the subject of coffee in Uganda since the first morning I woke up and enjoyed a strong cup of Nescafe – coffee that was produced in Uganda, processed in the US and shipped back to Uganda for my own consumption. I haven’t yet written …

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Community Organization – Love, Chaos & Some Kind of Change

2007 - Team in Esteli, Nicaragua

If there is one thing that I’ve learned it’s this: it feels good to be a part of something bigger than my own individual goals in life. Milestones that I’m supposed to celebrate: individual accomplishments like graduating from high school, university, and entering the world of long and annoying job …

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Behind the Canadian Flag – Mining in Central America

Mother and daughter farmers with their children and grandchildren in Comitancillo, Guatemala.

Seven years ago, I broke the stitches that secured the Canadian flag to my bright blue backpack. It was a symbolic act. It was a traveller’s coming of age moment when I realized that I was no longer proud of my country’s political reputation abroad. When I was 19, I …

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On CBC Radio – Book Project About Women in Agriculture

How are women farmers contributing to food security worldwide?

I was thrilled to be invited by CBC Radio One’s Alberta at Noon program to share more about the process of researching and writing a book about global women in agriculture. Check out my interview that was aired on May 8, 2014 at around 14 minutes into the program. Thanks …

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Kids in the Garden – Cultivating Creativity in Rubira

The kids and Atayo making raised beds for vegetable production.

The garden is a good place to observe, learn and experiment. It’s also a great space for inspiring creativity in people of all ages, though particularly for children and youth. In the Fall of 2013, I facilitated my first composting workshop with my wonderful friend, Christina, who was teaching grade …

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