Listen in to Canadians living sustainably.
info_outline A Reborn Mill and the Sustainability of Birds 05/14/2022
A Reborn Mill and the Sustainability of Birds The Rundown In this episode, we learn how COVID and a fortuitous canoe trip led to an affordable housing expert and an architect buying and giving fresh purpose to a 135-year-old grist mill in Paisley, Ontario. Next, how cities and citizens can make their communities more friendly for birds, and why that makes sense for urban sustainability. So birds and flours all in one episode. By the way, if you want to read Harrowsmith Magazine instead of listen to it you can subscribe to the print version online at and you can find Harrowsmith Magazine on selected newsstands across Canada. But for now, settle in for the next half hour of Harrowsmith Radio. The Reborn Grist Mill When COVID hit, Graham and Emma Cubitt wanted to get outside and away from it all. For the affordable housing expert and architect, that meant an August 2020 canoeing on the Saugeen and Teeswater Rivers, just east of Lake Huron near the little town of Paisley, Ontario. That trip, in turn, led them to discover the old Stark mill, once a thriving flour then grist mill on the Teeswater River. The mill imported grain from across Canada and delivered flour around the world through a robust railway system and the port of Owen Sound to the north. In 2002 Paul and Helen Chrysler renovated parts of the mill and opened it as Nature’s Millworks, a beloved hub for artists, crafters, and tourists to Paisley. The Cubitt’s bought the mill 18 years later, after that canoe trip. Their plans for the five-storey mill and four-storey wooden silo are ambitious, as you’ll hear. And they intend to be good stewards of the 30-acres of wetland and two kilometers of Teeswater riverfront they now own. Here’s our conversation about a conversion that started with a canoe outing. You can learn more about the Paisley Mill at The Sustainability of City Birds Barry Coombs is a visual artist, an avid bird, and the former co-chair of Bird Friendly Hamilton-Burlington. Barry’s been tirelessly working to make cities more sustainable for birds, which in turn contribute to urban biodiversity and sustainably. Here’s our conversation about the biggest threats cities pose to our feathered friends and what we can do about it. You can learn more about saving birds at End Notes Want more Harrowsmith? No problem. . Or you can check out Harrowsmith Magazine on selected newsstands across Canada or you can order subscriptions online at . By the way, the music in the podcast? It's by good ol' Canadian singer, composer, and friend of the 'cast, David Archibald. You can find more of his music at his website, .
info_outline The COVID Departure Lounge 03/11/2022
The COVID Departure Lounge In this episode, I chat with world traveller and advocate for tossing your bucket list Heather Greenwood Davis about how to think about and tackle travel now that restrictions are being lifted, and maybe, just maybe we can start returning to the new normal. Next up cookbook author Claire Tansey tells us how to get dinner ready faster than a trip to your favourite frozen food aisle and back. So jet planes, and fast cooking all in this episode. The COVID Departure Lounge In 2011 Heather Greenwood Davis was a successful but miserable litigation lawyer in Toronto. She’d dreamed of travelling the world with her husband Ish and her two sons, Ethan and Cameron. A one year window opened up on that dream and the unhappy Greenwood Davis, family in tow, leapt out of it. What she learned in that year-long journey, about living for now and not deferring your dreams, can serve us well now as we contemplate travel into a world very different from the one we left behind when we shut our doors and donned our masks. You can learn more about Heather here Uncomplicated Cooking Now, it’s time for a short conversation about living responsibly on our planet, brought to you by Oroweat Organic Bread. Great Taste that’s Sustainably Baked. Claire Tansey has been a cook, a baker, a cooking teacher a restaurant critic the Food Director of Chatelaine and a singer in a rock ’n’ roll band. Along the way, she’s learned to cook in uncomplicated but delicious ways. Her new cookbook, Dinner Uncomplicated unpacks some great ideas about how to cook a meal in less time than it takes to listen to Bohemian Rhapsody and Stairway to Heaven back to back. I talked to Claire about fast cooking and why that can also be sustainable cooking. You can find her latest book and you can find her website at End Notes Want more Harrowsmith? No problem. . Or you can check out Harrowsmith Magazine on selected newsstands across Canada or you can order subscriptions online at . By the way, the music in the podcast? It's by good ol' Canadian singer, composer and friend of the 'cast, David Archibald. You can find more of his music at his website, .
info_outline This Old Smart House and Banana Peel Bread 02/08/2022
This Old Smart House and Banana Peel Bread The Rundown In this episode, I chat with pioneering tech consultant, keynote speaker, and proud PEIer, Amber MacArthur, AmberMac to her friends. I talk to her about how she turned a 140-year-old Charlottetown house into an eco-friendly smarthome showcase. A showcase sporting 38 lightbulbs you can talk to. Next up, former food stylist and chef Christine Tizzard explains how to shop, cook and dine with zero-waste. Is there a banana peel bread in your future? So, smart appliances and smart eating all in one episode. By the way, if you want to read Harrowsmith Magazine instead of listen to it you can subscribe to the print version online at and you can find Harrowsmith Magazine on selected newsstands across Canada. But for now, settle in for the next half hour of Harrowsmith Radio. The 140-year-old Smart Home - Amber MacArthur Amber MacArthur has been helping Canadians and corporations understand technology and social media for decades now. But, she grew up in a decidedly untechy PEI. She’s living in Toronto now, but in 2019 she and her partner videographer Chris Dyck decided to buy a 140-year-old home in the heart of Charlottetown and go to town on a renovation. They also used their connections and social media cache to bring companies like Home Depot, LG, and Google along for the ride. The result? A renovated home with smart TVs, washers, driers, lights, sensors, and outdoor security cameras. Sort of like Tony Stark’s vacation home if he was into Anne Shirley. I had a chance to talk with Amber about that reno and what she learned by doing it. You find more about AmberMac . Zero Waste with Christine Tizzard Now, it’s time for a short conversation about living responsibly on our planet, brought to you by Oroweat Organic Bread. Great Taste that’s Sustainably Baked. As a food stylist and chef, Christine Tizzard has seen her share of food waste. These days she’s doing something about it. Tizzard recently wrote . It’s a terrific guide to buying, cooking, menu planning, and storing food in sustainable ways. You can find her blog . End Notes Want more Harrowsmith? No problem. . Or you can check out Harrowsmith Magazine on selected newsstands across Canada or you can order subscriptions online at . By the way, the music in the podcast? It's by good ol' Canadian singer, composer and friend of the 'cast, David Archibald. You can find more of his music at his website, .
info_outline Good Burdens and a New Table 01/03/2022
Good Burdens and a New Table In this episode we learn how some burdens, the ones that bring us together in the physical world, can be good burdens. I chat with author Christina Crook about her new book all about just that. Next up, a beautiful cookbook that centres around the seasons, family and a kitchen table. We coming together, all the time, on this audio outing.
info_outline Brittlestar and the DIY Tomboy 12/06/2021
Brittlestar and the DIY Tomboy In this episode, we meet up with Canada’s favourite Internet dad, Stuart Reynolds, or as you might know him, Brittlestar - the comedic nemesis of Covidiots everywhere. Next up, that jovial jill-of-all-trades Karen Bertelsen explains why making, fixing, and cooking stuff yourself is good for the planet.
info_outline An Urban Gardening Doc and the Nutella Waiting Game 11/03/2021
An Urban Gardening Doc and the Nutella Waiting Game In this episode we discover the incredible variety of folks, produce, places, and methods involved in urban gardening in Toronto in a new documentary by Jamie Day Fleck called In My Backyard. Next up, a decades-long waiting game played with hazelnuts, farmers, and science.
info_outline Emm Gryner, the Uncovered Voice and Harrowsmith's Food Editor 10/04/2021
Emm Gryner, the Uncovered Voice and Harrowsmith's Food Editor In this episode Emm Gryner who rocketed from a chicken farm to singing backup for David Bowie talks about how singers, and the rest of us, can uncover the voices we’ve got inside us. Next up, Ilona Daniel, Harrowsmith’s relatively new food editor explains how Anne of Green Gables and a father named Gilbert changed her life.
info_outline The Rock 'n' Roll Chef and the Smartphone of Welding 09/06/2021
The Rock 'n' Roll Chef and the Smartphone of Welding In this episode a visit with that self-proclaimed culinary charlatan, Bob Blumer, whose new book teaches us all how to make bombs, flavour bombs that is. Speaking of making, our go-to DIY guy Steve Maxell is back, this time to explain why MIG welding is the glue gun of the future.
info_outline The Weather Wizard and the Jungle Farm Queen 08/09/2021
The Weather Wizard and the Jungle Farm Queen n this episode, we spend a little time under a virtual umbrella with Harrowsmith’s go-to weatherman, Mark Sirois. Mark’s been doing long-range forecasting for the Harrowsmith Almanac and extreme weather prediction for Southern Quebec for years. Now a modern home weather station has empowered him to think big and broad. Next up Alberta farmer Leona Staples on how entrepreneurship and innovation have kept her farm alive and adapting for generations.
info_outline Cattle Tales and Memories of Hay 07/05/2021
Cattle Tales and Memories of Hay In this episode we go deep into Canada’s beef industry with a young woman who grew up on an Ontario beef farm, consults to the government about Canadian agriculture, is a politician herself, and can covert vegans to meat-eating on social media. Next up, an elegiac and informative meditation on that most prosaic of feeds, hay.
info_outline First We Eat, From Nose to Tail 06/07/2021
First We Eat, From Nose to Tail In this episode we meet the woman behind a remarkable Canadian documentary, “First We Eat”. Suzanne Crocker takes us behind the scenes of a film she made about the transformative year when she inspired her family to eat totally local for twelve months. In Dawson City, hard by the Arctic Circle, through the winter.
info_outline The Longevity of Earth Day and Farming Mars 05/10/2021
The Longevity of Earth Day and Farming Mars In this episode a visit with an environmental non-profit that has weathered political, social, and ecological storms and shifts. Earth Day has been around since the distant 70s. Earth Day Canada was born in the 90s and has been growing and adapting ever since. I chat with the organization’s director about its legacy and longevity. Next up, I talk to our resident astronomer, light pollution Don Quixote and engineer Robert Dick about how we might farm in the future, on Mars.
info_outline Grow Hope, Save the Pollinators 04/10/2021
Grow Hope, Save the Pollinators In this episode we go all in on planting, planting gardens that are gyms, therapy, and workplaces that don't take a lot of work. And planting that attracts pollinators, our little at-risk insect pals that do all the heavy lifting when plants want to have sex, with a middle man.
info_outline Lest We Forget the Farmerettes and Early Planting 03/10/2021
Lest We Forget the Farmerettes and Early Planting In this episode, you’ll hear the remarkable story of the Farmerettes, a brigade of young Ontario women who saved the crops of Southern Ontario during World War II. You may not have heard of the Farmerettes, I know I hadn’t until prepared for this interview, but it’s a story you won’t forget.
info_outline Healthing and 4H 01/11/2021
Healthing and 4H This episode is about the 5 Hs. First, there’s the H in healthing.ca, a website that amplifies the voices of those living with diseases and disorders and who are looking for options for healthy lifestyles. The next of the five are four H’s are in the 4-H club of Canada …. So, five Hs, six, if you count Harrowsmith, which we do.
info_outline Northern Tales, Farmers and Food Banks 12/11/2020
Northern Tales, Farmers and Food Banks This episode takes us on an arctic journey where we explore the life and words of a remarkable Canadian, children’s author and storyteller Michael Kusugak. Next, the story of how thousands of farmers across the country have assisted the Canada Food Bank to ensure food security for all Canadians and help defeat hunger even in the darkest times.
info_outline Native Plants and Connecting Canoes to Communities 11/09/2020
Native Plants and Connecting Canoes to Communities This episode is about native plants and a mode of transportation that couldn’t be more homegrown in this country if it tried - the canoe.
info_outline A Japanese Garden, Pyramid Wine and the Tenacity of Plants 09/10/2020
A Japanese Garden, Pyramid Wine and the Tenacity of Plants This episode is about what plants, especially native plants, can teach us about thriving in adversity. We also discover an unlikely Japanese garden in Lethbridge and a B.C. winery where sacred geometry, a pyramid and a reverence for the earth has nurtured award winning vintages.
info_outline A Fish Tale and Buffalo Cheese 08/10/2020
A Fish Tale and Buffalo Cheese This episode takes is about how a Moroccan stamp entrepreneur became a fish magnate whose offspring are shipping fresh tuna right to your door. And, we learn about why buffalo milk makes 3 per cent from cows look like skim.
info_outline The Duck Handshake and a PEC Tour 07/13/2020
The Duck Handshake and a PEC Tour This episode is a third generation duck farm and a remarkable multicultural handshake that rocketed the unusual poultry farm to success. Next up, an intimate tour of Price Edward Country, bottomless lake and all.
info_outline Mushrooms From the Edge, Beer in the Heart 06/14/2020
Mushrooms From the Edge, Beer in the Heart This episode is about mushrooms from the edge of Canada and beer from the heart of the nation. First up, Stephanie Lipp co-founder of Gillis Naturals tells us about how she and her partner Leo have launched a mushroom farm in Bonavista Newfoundland. Yes, devoted listeners, that’s the same place the Newfoundland Salt Company calls home. Next, we learn about how Harrowsmith inspired craft brewing and the dozens of reasons Ottawa is the beer capital of Canada.
info_outline The Rhythms of Nature and the Buzz of Bees 05/14/2020
The Rhythms of Nature and the Buzz of Bees This episode takes us down on the farms - first to a sheep farm near Perth where we learn about the capricious rhythms of Mother Nature from a farmer and cello instructor. Next, to Dr. Dolittle of a farm – Caberneigh Farms – jubilant with animals and abuzz with newly hived bees lost in their own dances and rhythms. All in all, a timely podcast that gets us back to our roots.
info_outline Remembering Wingfield Farm and Trees for Heroes 04/08/2020
Remembering Wingfield Farm and Trees for Heroes I start off by chatting with Dan Needles, a mainstay for Harrowsmith readers and the author of the WIngfield Farm mediaverse. We touch on turnip-mashing drudges, the parallels between Walt and Dan and how Needles is taking to the boards himself these days. Next up, Mike Hurley tells us about the ambitious charity, the Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign, that aims to plant a tree for every man and woman who’s served in Canada’s armed forces. So, one way or another, we’re getting back to roots.
info_outline Of Blooms and Bees 02/11/2020
Of Blooms and Bees In this episode we combine two natural, literally natural partners, blooms and bees. First up I chat with Terry Caddo, the executive director of Canada Blooms, a venerable gardening show that will soon be celebrating 25 years of gardening glory. Next up, we decode honey jar labels.
info_outline Dr. David Suzuki and the Christmas Walking of the Goats 12/16/2019
Dr. David Suzuki and the Christmas Walking of the Goats A while back I got to meet one of my heroes, Dr. David Suzuki. He had just published Letters to my Grandchildren, a heartfelt retrospective of his life, learnings and legacy. I got to sit down with him in the David Suzuki Foundation offices to chat about that life. Next, a visit with a different family and a very different life. I chat with Danielle French, the owner of South Pond Farms in the Kawarthas. We talk family, food and the walking of the goats.
info_outline Winterizing and Big Bags of Bird Seed 12/09/2019
Winterizing and Big Bags of Bird Seed This episode features a return visit from Harrowsmith’s resident handyman from Manitoulin Island, Steve Maxwell. This time out Steve offers some good, and timely advice about how to keep your house warm in the winter.
info_outline City Gardens and Christmas Leftovers 12/05/2019
City Gardens and Christmas Leftovers This episode begins with a chat with guerrilla gardener, gardening planner and writer Lorraine Johnson about the bounty that can be had from gardens in every nook, cranny and backyard in our cities. Next up, a seasonal exercise in making good use of holiday leftovers. Harrowsmith food writer Signe Langford, you might remember her from the exploding chestnuts, salvages carcasses, toasts stuffing and murders for a curry.
info_outline Hempbassadors and Christmas Chestnuts 11/29/2019
Hempbassadors and Christmas Chestnuts In this episode I get the lowdown on one of the most misunderstood and maligned crops in North America, hemp. It’s a delicious breakfast topping, it’s a construction material, it’s great for clothing and plastics! Stop, you’re all right. I speak with hempbassador Marie Eisenmann about the fibre of the future. Next up, food writer and chef Signe Langford tells us all about delicious and dangerous chestnuts and how to weaponize them.
info_outline Living Off the Grid and Coffee Alternatives 11/27/2019
Living Off the Grid and Coffee Alternatives We start this episode talking about living off the grid using solar, wind, batteries and a generator with Canada’s handyman and Harrowsmith contributor, Steve Maxwell. Then, on a lighter note, but with no less energy, I speak with Signe Langford, Harrowsmith’s food editor about alternatives to hot chocolate on cold winter evenings, on the grid, or off.