Seed World

Is our Editor Having a Midlife Crisis? Watch Today’s Webinar and Find Out!

A decade ago, I was new to the seed sector. My knowledge of agriculture was as shallow as a rain puddle. But life has a way of surprising us, doesn’t it? Fast-forward to today, and I find myself knee-deep in seeds, plunging into icy waters, and eating hot sauce with Doug Miller of the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association.

Marc Zienkiewicz, Senior Editor

Yes, you read that right—hot sauce. We subjected ourselves to some spicy sauces on today’s Seed World Canada webinar! Buckle up, dear readers, because this is my midlife tale of transformation, adventure, and a hint of capsaicin-induced enlightenment.

The Polar Bear Plunge

My recent daredevil feats began innocently enough last month at Pitura Seeds, where I took part in a polar bear plunge that raised over $70,000 for STARS Ambulance. On March 22, I stood on the edge of a frozen pond, surrounded by fellow thrill-seekers. As I stripped down to my bathing suit, I pondered my sanity. But there’s something liberating about defying the chill, about diving headfirst into the icy abyss. As I emerged, shivering but exhilarated, I realized that life is too short for lukewarm experiences. Sometimes, you’ve got to take the plunge—literally.

The Hot Sauce Webinar

And then there’s Doug Miller. Doug, the man who can turn a jalapeño into a discussion on Seed Regulatory Modernization. Today we gathered virtually for our Seed World Canada webinar, and Doug, with his CSGA hat on, helped me spice things up. As we delved into the nuances of CSGA’s Seed Regulatory Modernization vision and I asked him some spicy questions about it, we did something neither of us have done before live online. Normally, eating food on a webinar/Zoom call is a no-no, but today we made it part of the show.

A Crisis Unfolding?

The other day I was talking with a friend who asked if I was having a midlife crisis. Me? I’m not even 44 yet. I mean, I’m not one of those older guys who runs out and buys a shiny new sports car trying to recapture my “glory days”, am I? But I guess he had a point. The polar bear plunge, the fiery hot sauce—it’s all a departure from my former self. Am I compensating for lost time? Or is this my subconscious rebellion against the mundane?

The Capsaicin Epiphany

As I planned today’s webinar over the past couple weeks, I had an epiphany. Capsaicin, the compound responsible for the heat in chili peppers, is a lot like life. It burns, it stings, but it also awakens dormant taste buds. Maybe my midlife crisis isn’t a crisis at all. Perhaps it’s my inner Scoville scale recalibrating. Life, like a spicy chicken wing, needs that kick to remind us we’re alive.

So here I am, straddling the line between seasoned journalist and seed industry enthusiast. The polar bear plunge was my baptism by ice, and the hot sauce webinar—well, that’s my baptism by fire. To my fellow midlifers, embrace the plunge, savour the spice, and remember: the best stories happen when you’re knee-deep in the unexpected.

Oh, and watch today’s webinar at the top of this page!