Marking 20 years
of bold journalism,
reader supported.
Deconstructing Dinner

The Oldest Profession

'Deconstructing Dinner' presents writer Luanne Armstrong and her thoughts on the farmer, past and present.

Jon Steinman 16 Nov

Jon Steinman is producer and host of Kootenay Co-op Radio's program Deconstructing Dinner. A new podcast with notes is posted here every Friday afternoon. All Deconstructing Dinner podcasts can be found here.

image atom

[Editor's note: This is a summary of a podcast you can download or listen to from this page.]

On this fourth episode of The Local Grain Revolution series, writer Luanne Armstrong shares her thoughts on the images and stereotypes associated with farming. Is it a hobby, lifestyle, profession -- or all of these things and more?

"In this day and age, we need to think about where we live, not only where live and how we connect to it, but how we look after it so it can look after us," says Armstrong. She also discusses finding one's sense of self through place.

This episode was recorded live in fall 2008 at the Kootenay Harvest Revival, hosted by Deconstructing Dinner, the Nelson-Creston Grain CSA and All Seasons Cafe.

Since March 2008, The Local Grain Revolution series has been following the evolution of the Nelson-Creston Grain CSA (community supported agriculture) project. A total of 180 members and one business from the communities of Nelson and Creston, B.C., are blazing a trail towards a local grain economy.

The two-day harvest revival was held to celebrate the CSA's monumental harvest of grain and to use the success of the project as a catalyst for a local food revolution.


Luanne Armstrong, author, Blue Valley: An Ecological Memoir (Boswell, B.C.) -- Luanne Armstrong is a novelist, freelance writer, editor and publisher. She is deeply interested in writing about place and nature. Her recent book, Blue Valley, An Ecological Memoir is about growing up in the Kootenay region of B.C. and was published in 2007 by Maa Press. Luanne has taught creative writing at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Langara College and other venues across Canada. She holds a master's degree in creative writing from UBC and a PhD in education from UBC. She presently lives on her organic heritage farm on the east shore of Kootenay Lake.

Keith Huscroft, farmer, Huscroft Farm (Lister, B.C.) -- Keith is a fourth-generation farmer. His great-grandparents were the first white settlers in the Creston Valley and his farm has been in operation for about 100 years. Keith takes all measures to ensure no inputs are required on his farm. He uses mixed farming practices and fertilizes using only animal and green manures. He is one of a shrinking number of farmers using horses instead of fossil fuel dependent technologies.

Richard Rowberry, actor, The Nelson Theatre Company (TNT) (Nelson, B.C.) -- Richard Rowberry is the artistic director of The Nelson Theatre Company (TNT). He trained "eons" ago at the National Theatre School of Canada and has worked as an arts administrator, actor, writer and director. He has written five plays based on local history, including Frank And The Elephants, which won the Sybil Cooke Award (Play for Young Audiences) at the 2004 Canadian One-Act Play Competition.

Russell Precious, board of directors, West Kootenay EcoSociety (Sunshine Bay, B.C.) -- After graduating with a BA in Asian History at UBC and UC Berkeley, Russell studied organic farming with pioneer organic farmer and teacher, John Harrison. Subsequently he co-founded the Naam vegetarian restaurant in Vancouver (still running after 35 years); organic fruit stand and wholesaler Quadra Foods Market on Quadra Island and Capers natural foods stores in Vancouver. In 1993 he was finalist for the regional Entrepreneur of the Year and Van City's Ethics in Action awards. In 1999 he was one of three recipients of the B.C. Organic Pioneers award. He recently joined the board of directors at the Kootenay Country Store Co-operative.


Bessie Wapp, musician/performer (Nelson, B.C.) -- Since 1995, Bessie Wapp has been busy performing and recording with Eastern European music ensemble Zeellia. Bessie Wapp is a two-time Jessie nominated musician, actor, designer, and stilt dancer who studied visual art and music before becoming co-director of stilt-dance theatre company Mortal Coil in 1993. Bessie Wapp has worked with The Electric Company, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Caravan Theatre, and the Vancouver Moving Theatre, among others.

Related Tyee stories:

  • Harvest Revival
    'Deconstructing Dinner' celebrates harvest time with a West Kootenays grain co-op.
  • From Field to Flour
    Podcast:'Deconstructing Dinner' checks up on a B.C. community grain project and meets the players in this local food system.
  • Harper's Hit on Grain Farmers
    Tories will aid US firms by gutting Canadian Wheat Board.

  • Share:

Facts matter. Get The Tyee's in-depth journalism delivered to your inbox for free

Tyee Commenting Guidelines

Comments that violate guidelines risk being deleted, and violations may result in a temporary or permanent user ban. Maintain the spirit of good conversation to stay in the discussion.
*Please note The Tyee is not a forum for spreading misinformation about COVID-19, denying its existence or minimizing its risk to public health.


  • Be thoughtful about how your words may affect the communities you are addressing. Language matters
  • Challenge arguments, not commenters
  • Flag trolls and guideline violations
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity, learn from differences of opinion
  • Verify facts, debunk rumours, point out logical fallacies
  • Add context and background
  • Note typos and reporting blind spots
  • Stay on topic

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist, homophobic or transphobic language
  • Ridicule, misgender, bully, threaten, name call, troll or wish harm on others
  • Personally attack authors or contributors
  • Spread misinformation or perpetuate conspiracies
  • Libel, defame or publish falsehoods
  • Attempt to guess other commenters’ real-life identities
  • Post links without providing context


The Barometer

Do You Think Trudeau Will Survive the Next Election?

Take this week's poll