RD Editorial July-August 2019

And the livin’ is easy – for some

We got a sweet, sweet rain the other night, starting just after supper. You could feel it coming, and then, when it began to soak in, there was the aroma of earthly contentment, like the smell of a baby’s scalp, as the hot soil was quenched – the juices flowing through plant cells, the dust and pollen washed down into the ground. After such a wet June, it was hard to believe we would need precipitation so soon, but need it we did – and need it we will, soon enough.

Read More

RD Editorial May 2019

Getting aboard

Amid a slew of spring meetings and conferences, I did some planning for a trip to attend an out-of-province event recently, and realized the schedule would actually make it feasible to take public transit – which is not the first option that occurs to us, living pretty far off the beaten path. Our road, this time of year, is little more than a beaten path – a muddy track gouged with ruts and pocked with craters, frequently requiring the driver to drop into first gear, while maintaining enough forward momentum to avoid bogging down.

Read More

RD Editorial April 2019

A rooster in every pot

Sometimes, before I’ve even decided what to make for supper, I chop up a couple onions and throw them in a hot frying pan. Within a few minutes, people start showing up in the kitchen. “Mmm, smells great!” they say. “What are we having?” “Don’t know yet,” is my reply. “How about you leave me alone for a while, and we’ll see what happens.”

Read More

RD Editorial December 2018

Temporary fixes, absurd contortions
There are many things in our home that don’t work quite right, so everyday tasks take longer than they should, or require that certain arcane rituals be performed. This device needs to be jiggled just so; that one needs to be pushed and twisted simultaneously. This one can only be operated with great force, but there is another that must be handled with extreme care, lest it disintegrate completely.

Read More

RD Editorial November 2018

A friend of mine recently cut off a couple of his fingers on the table saw. When I saw him a while afterwards, he still had his entire hand wrapped in bulky bandages, and he gingerly held it close to his body. (He has a couple of little kids, who were scrambling around nearby – and everyone knows that little kids have a knack for whacking whatever part of your body is particularly sensitive on any given day.)

Read More

RD Editorial July-August 2018

It’s not the heat

    This summer did not arrive gently and sweetly. More like the bolt of lightning that killed a man in Tabusintac, N.B., on June 29. Inside of a week, we went from huddling around the stove – parts of Cape Breton actually got a couple inches of snow – to receiving warnings about high humidex levels, via “special weather statements” from Environment Canada.

Read More

RD Editorial April 2018

Take a deep breath
    My 13-year-old son has advised me I should not be so mean to the people who call on a daily basis claiming to be able to resolve problems with my computer. I’m taking this to heart. As self-improvement objectives go, it is both worthy and achievable. I have to keep telling myself that these people are not really scam artists; they are the sweatshop toilers of the fraud industry, likely receiving a rather small cut.

Read More

RD Editorial March 2018

The market and the garden
    First things first. We are pretty pumped up about launching a new column in RD, under the banner of “Garden Gleanings.” Catchy, right? It will appear in every issue of the magazine, featuring a rotating cast of writers, addressing somewhat seasonal topics related to growing food on a small scale. The various contributors will draw on their personal experiences and their respective areas of expertise, aiming to entertain and inform. 

Read More

RD Editorial December 2017

Bring me fir logs hither
    I couldn’t resist going down to the former Oak Hill sawmill site for the pre-auction preview, the day before the mill’s remaining assets were to be sold off. It was late October – one of those balmy days we had this fall. The mill, just outside Bridgewater on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, was once one of the province’s largest lumber producers, and employed 150 people.

Read More

RD Editorial November 2017

Tramping through the commons
    Late fall means it’s time to break out our very fashionable blaze-orange outdoor attire – because in November no one wants to be mistaken for a deer. I still find it strange to hear the hills echoing with gunfire on Remembrance Day, but mostly I’ve grown accustomed to the autumnal ordnance. What I find a bit irksome is that our enjoyment of our own land is curtailed during hunting season.

Read More

RD Editorial October 2017

Scarcity and abundance
    Until recently, our old farmhouse ran on a 60-amp service. It was likely the original wiring, because this road wasn’t connected to the grid until 1949. Funny to think that Elvis was already plinking away on a guitar, Miles Davis was blowing his horn in Paris, but farms around here had no electricity. By that time a young lawyer named Pierre Trudeau had taken a job in Ottawa working for Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent.

Read More