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Nov 9, 2020

The Rundown

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.

First up, Mark Cullen, our perennial, and annuals, gardening experts fills us in on how native plants benefit gardens, birds, bees and well, the environment in general. Next up James Raffan of the Canadian Canoe Museum explains the lowly watercraft speaks to us as old and new Canadians alike. From coneflowers to canoes, all in one episode.


Mark Cullen on Native Plants

Mark Cullen has been a fan of native plants for years now. They’re a favourite of indigenous bird and pollinator species, take advantage local conditions and help keep ecosystems in check. He chatted with me about some of his favourite native varieties and we disagree about lawns. Here’s that conversation.

James Raffan on Canada and Canoes

James Raffan, the director of external relations for the Canadian Canoe Museum, knows how deep the relationship between Canada and the canoe goes. He’s an author, outdoorsman and  collector of Canadian canoe advertising. We talked about why the canoe resonates with so many cultures and how its a symbol of freedom, exploration and entrepreneurship. And, we touch on ways the museum will use its new building to forge and reforge links to the communities where its canoes came from. 

End Notes
Want more Harrowsmith? No problem. Visit our website. And, you can read Vanessa's story on ticks in the Spring issue of Harrowsmith Magazine. It's 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,