Butcher serves up fresh beef, pork straight from the carcass

Can you imagine live streaming the butchering of a beef carcass or having people line up to watch their steak or roast being carved from a carcass right in front of them? It’s not what you expect in a time when many people view livestock as being like pets and are being told by animal […] Read more

Every tool and production practice on Les Jardins de la Grelinette is geared to its 30-inch-wide raised beds.  |  Les Jardins de la Grelinette   photo

It’s truly an art form to get more done with less work

No one told Jean-Martin Fortier and Maude-Hélène Desroches that small-scale organic market gardening was endless hours of backbreaking work for low pay. “Our first role model was a French Canadian guy we worked for who was farming in northern New Mexico,” says Fortier. “He worked hard but made a lot of dough. People lined up […] Read more

Open doors for business by focusing on your talents

When Tim Wiens finished university 30 years ago, he thought he knew exactly how things were going to play out. But he was wrong. “At one time, I thought my life would be following in the footsteps of a successful entrepreneur, my father, Ted, and we’d be producing and selling eggs,” says the president of […] Read more

Yogurt maker puts people and product before profit

The business that Tinie Eilers started in her kitchen now generates more than $1 million in annual sales, but she refuses to be portrayed as an expert entrepreneur. “Of course we run it like a business, but I am not a real business person,” says the owner of Bles-Wold Yogurt. “It makes me uncomfortable when […] Read more

Electronic scarecrow idea not for the birds

Bruce Blacklock vividly re-members announcing his new enterprise to a group of fellow farmers in 1990. “We had a barbecue at the farm, there were about 40 people and I demonstrated this device and said, ‘I’m going to build these and sell them,’” recalls Blacklock. “They all laughed and said, ‘you’re nuts.’ ” But, he […] Read more

All businesses, including farms, urged to embrace software

It’s hardly shocking that an electrical engineer who plans to “change how cities eat” by building rooftop greenhouses around the world has a radically different view of agriculture. What’s surprising is Mohamed Hage’s prediction that all commercial farms will one day join him in making data and technology management Job No. 1. “We couldn’t be […] Read more

Debra Amrein-Boyes and George Boyes, centre at their Agassiz, B.C., farm with daughters Becky, left Sarah, Jane and Amanda.  |  Boyes family photo

Don’t let age be a barrier to entrepreneurial adventure

Conventional wisdom says we should take big risks when we’re young because if things don’t work out, we’ll have time to recover. But Debra Amrein-Boyes and George Boyes opted to try something new and different at an age when many are starting their retirement planning. The Farm House Natural Cheeses is a huge success today. […] Read more

Four words you never want to hear on the farm: ‘no one told me’

Grant Young might never have discovered his talent for innovation if he had picked a more profitable line of work. Young was just 22 when he returned to his native Newfoundland in 1988 to help run the Downhomer newspaper (now a magazine and website called Downhome) founded by his father, a Toronto policeman, and some […] Read more

New strategy is sometimes better than grinding it out

Farmers are famous for their ability to tough out bad times, but Francis Allard knows the benefits of being open to change. Allard grew up on a vegetable farm near Saint-Roch de l’Achigan, 40 kilometres north of Montréal. He didn’t want to follow in the footsteps of his father, Mario, but he also wasn’t keen […] Read more