Although I was raised in a city, I became fascinated with agriculture as a youth and decided to “drop out” and become a smallholder farmer in Saskatchewan, Canada where I grew up. I helped form the first community land trust in Canada and lived on a self-sufficient, off grid farm for 10 years. During this time I became engaged in the Earthcare Group, a movement to promote organic gardening and farming and started to teach organic gardening classes for the University of Regina in 1975. I participated in the committee that organized a series of six groundbreaking conferences on organic farming involving producers and government and university experts. I edited and co-wrote Earthcare–Ecological Agriculture in Saskatchewan, published in 1980, a guide to organic farming in the prairie region. These activities contributed to the formation of a substantial organic farming industry in Saskatchewan and Canada in the 1980s and onward.
I have published five books and 1600 articles on the environment, sustainable development, agriculture, and other topics. I was environment columnist with the Saskatoon StarPhoenix from 1989 to 2016.
I am a recipient of the Canadian Environment Award, the Meewasin Conservation Award, the Organic Connections Pioneer Organic Communicator Award, and the Saskatchewan Sustainability Award from the Regional Centre of Excellence for Education on Sustainable Development. My book ELEVEN (2014) received the 2015 University of Saskatchewan President’s Award for Non-fiction and the 2015 ABS North America Award for Distinguished Scholarship. My biography Man of the Trees: Richard St. Barbe Baker, the First Global Conservationist (University of Regina Press 2018), features a foreword by HRH Prince Charles and introduction by Jane Goodall.