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For the past 27 years, The Word On The Street has been renowned for the quality and diversity of its event programming. See the lineup of incredible Canadian literary talent that appeared at our 28th festival on September 24, 2017
Escape the city and return to a simpler way of life: everyone knows someone who has contemplated this move, but only some of us know those who jumped with both feet and landed in a farmyard. Hear two successful urban-to-rural migrants, Dan Needles and Brent Preston, explain what it’s like to leave the rat race and become country mice.
The inspiring and sometimes hilarious story of a family that quit the rat race and left the city to live out their ideals on an organic farm, and ended up building a model for a new kind of agriculture.
Brent Preston worked as a human rights investigator, aid worker, election observer and journalist on four continents before finding his true calling as a farmer. In 2003 he and his wife, Gillian Flies, abandoned successful careers in Toronto and moved to a run-down farm outside Creemore, Ontario. Since then, they have built The Farm into a thriving business, leading the good food revolution. Preston speaks often on food and farming issues, and writes for the Huffington Post.
True Confessions from the Ninth Concession is a funny and affectionate chronicle of rural life written by Canada’s funniest farmer. In 1988, Needles and his wife left the city to start a family in a country community north of Toronto. They stocked their farm with sheep, cattle, chickens, pigs and eventually, four children. Needles’ charming book unfolds in essays dated from 1997 to 2016, offering homespun advice for successful country living and a laugh-out-loud perspective on small-town life.
Dan Needles won the 2003 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour for With Axe & Flask and his Wingfield Farm stage plays have appeared in theatres across North America. His columns have been published in Harrowsmith-Country Life, Country Guide, Small Farm Canada, In the Hills, On the Bay, Watershed and other publications. Needles was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2014 for his work that celebrates the people of rural Canada. He lives with his wife at Larkspur Farm near Collingwood, ON.