On The Chasing Of Whales

The Post Office Essays There is a particular magic we humans get to do. We can have an idea then translate it into a series of symbols which others, years later, can read, so that the idea enters into their mind. We can write and create books and essays and letters, and mark down our […]

The Wild is Waiting

It’s a rather obvious point to make, but the last 2 years have been a bit shitty. As we sat hunkered down at home for months on end watching the news, it was as if the sense of physical and mental oppression caused by Covid was being exacerbated by the relentless fire-hose of human-caused catastrophe […]

WPIG – A Mardi Gras Spring

There is a morning each year when the winter starts to shift gears out of the cold and the barometric pressure starts to change: birds begin singing, and if you look closely, buds start to form on the end of the branches. It is the rebirth, the beginning, and after a two-year winter it is […]

The Problem With The Comfort Zone

The world is forever moving towards complexity, leaving us to face down bigger and bigger questions with every trip around the sun. The world of travel is no exception, and the inter-connected complexities of over-tourism, climate change and now COVID make planning decisions more complicated than ever. Questions abound, and for the more philosophical among […]

“Del rigor en la ciencia”

I like maps. I like how they help me understand large swathes of land that I am unable to see with my eyes and feel with my senses.  I can picture a planet whole. It’s reduced to a handful of parts, for sure, but a picture is formed that helps in understanding. I will never […]

A Second Harvest: Migrating Ingredients from the Americas

You are called papa not ‘patata’, you were not born Castillian: you are dark like our skin, we are Americans, potato, we are Indians. – Pablo Neruda, Ode to the Potato Similar to other fuels on a grand scale, the quest to harness sources of consumable energy has been the cause of migrations, the root of […]

The Pig Side of the Moon

July 21, 1969. My parents were traveling to Spain on their honeymoon, racing their tiny, overpacked Fiat 500 convertible beyond the laws of physics. They pulled over at a cafe in Tossa de Mar, a Medieval town in Catalonia, hastily parking the car on the sidewalk. It was very early in the morning (or very […]

The Lore of Folk Music in Canada

“On most spare weekends for the past seven years, Mrs. Fowke has loaded a portable tape recorder and a bottle of whisky (an essential ice-breaker) into her battered Peugeot and driven through the farmlands of southern and central Ontario hunting for old singers and older songs. She’s found plenty. Since 1957 she’s taped about a […]

Canada by Armchair

Everyone at Trufflepig has some kind of connection to Canada, whether they were born here, moved here, or just visit the HQ every other winter and discover that what passes for an overcoat in other countries doesn’t really cut it in an Ontario blizzard. Below is a very short list of books that have informed […]

Adventures in the Great Bear Rainforest

If I had to choose a word to describe Canada’s West Coast, it could easily be crinkly. Shaped and scoured by massive glaciers, raging rivers and wild Pacific weather for millennia, the BC coast is one of the more spectacular pieces of wilderness I have ever laid eyes on. This crinkliness has shaped a unique […]

The New Colossus

I spent a lot of time in China in the early 2000’s, trying to make up for an overly euro-centric upbringing. I knew there was a world I’d overlooked, and hadn’t been taught about in school, a missing hemisphere. I’d read books like Ernst Gombrich’s History of Art which ignored the “East” side of the […]

The cultured pearl of Clayoquot Sound

Fans of fermentation know that, undisturbed and with the right food and environmental conditions, wild yeast will thrive and create magic. Through history one could say that humans have behaved in a similar fashion. Geomancers and lovers of ley lines can surmise why a particular time and place gives rise to cultural richness to rival […]

The Yukon 1000

I once paddled a canoe 1000 miles in 7 days, 15 hours, and 50 minutes. Let me explain. A few years ago a good friend called me up and asked me if I would like to paddle the Yukon River with him. My friend Jon works in human rights advocacy and wanted to raise some […]

The Weber Wonderland of Arctic Watch

[This article was originally published 27 November 2019] As I sit here writing this, winter has just begun to take hold in Southern Ontario. Meanwhile, on Somerset Island, 3400 kilometres as the crow flies from where I sit, the tundra and the northwest passage have been in winter’s grip for months. Way up in Northern Nunavut, perched […]

Oh, Ontario

On our honeymoon, my husband and I drove 13,000km across Canada. It was then that we dubbed Ontario ‘the province that never ends’. Three times the size of my native Germany (with a fraction of the population), it literally takes 24 hours to drive our home province end-to-end. And that’s in fair weather, I might […]

Spend it all

There is a noise I associate with heat and fever, and I am not sure if it’s real or from distortions of memory.  It could be from something as simple as the cicada, that strange beast that emerges from the ground, periodically, in the hot humid months, and rages against the known world with its […]