Germinating Conversations initiative launches brand new book and study guide!

WINNIPEG, MB – Nearly ten years of difficult but rewarding conversations between Manitoba food growers and eaters have been captured in a brand-new book about the art of listening well. The Germinating Conversations initiative started in 2012 through meetings and events where people came together to practise difficult conversations and learn how to hold different, and sometimes opposite, opinions.

Germinating Conversations: Stories from a Sustained Rural-Urban Dialogue on Food, Faith, Farming, and the Land emerged from that initiative. In 248 pages, the book contains dozens of reflections from people with diverse opinions about food, faith, farming practices and relationships with the land. Over the past decade, producers and consumers, rural and urban dwellers, large-scale farmers and small-scale, often organic growers, attended Germinating Conversations meetings and events. What emerged from these gatherings was the willingness to continue to hold space for diverse opinions and practices while challenging personal and broader community narratives.

Germinating Conversations embodies an ongoing dialogue on how to be in community with the land and our human neighbours,” says the book’s editor, Marta Bunnett Wiebe. “At a time when we are so quick to assume we have the right answers, Germinating Conversations invites us to patiently listen to the voices of people and the land that we so easily dismiss and models a way to discern together the pressing questions of our time.”

Germinating Conversations, the book, is on sale now with CommonWord Bookstore and Resource Centre in both print and ebook formats. Both formats include a study guide. The book is jointly published by Canadian Foodgrains Bank, Mennonite Central Committee Manitoba, A Rocha and Canadian Mennonite University.

“In the current climate of polarized shouting matches ricocheting across the internet, Germinating Conversations is just what we need to find hope that there is a safe and productive way out of our echo chambers,” says Musu Taylor-Lewis, resources and public engagement director of Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

The public is invited to a Book Launch planned for June 3 at 7 PM (CDT) over Zoom. Registration is free, and tickets are available at


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