Ben Dick – Ben Dick is a long time resident of the Sunshine Coast. He was raised on a commercial farm with all of its machinery and animals. He will be using years in the forest industry to guide our Chainsaw Clinics. He is also available to assist with tractor problem diagnoses.
Faye Hansen – Faye has been a coast farmer for many years, and hosted the One Straw Zucchini Festivals two years running on her 40 acre farm in West Sechelt. She has been growing nuts, canning food and cooking from her garden for many decades and brings many nuggets of old skills with her to her workshops.
Xwu’p'a’lich Barb Higgins – Barb is a valued elder of the Sechelt (shíshálh) First Nation. As a community leader, Barb helps teach community and life lessons, one method being through the traditional way of the canoe journey. She offers workshops and activities in food harvesting, preparing and processing, as well as traditional skills in the use of natural resources for sustainable living.
Rick O’Neill - Rick is a long time environmental activist and wildlife photographer on the Sunshine Coast. He led interpretive forest walks on Mt. Elphinstone for many years. He has raised mushrooms commercially. He maintains his property in Roberts Creek as an amphibian and small mammal sanctuary and is continually working to improve the amphibian habitat around his pond.
Trish Thompson - Trish started cooking with her little English Grandma when she was 3 and hasn’t stopped since. Her Grandma taught her lots of good old ways to work things in the kitchen and she has applied them to feeding her four children as well as most of the community in Roberts Creek for over 30 years.
Rashmi Singh - Rashmi runs a small food business in roberts creek, www.curryinthecreek.com. Her background is in education and she has combined her love of home style Indian food to continue to educate people on the coast about the different kinds of Indian cuisine. Her special joy is seeing the children embrasse and enhance their palatte and be exposed to diversity through their food experience. Her committment is to create community through food and works and supports with the local farmers market(rob’s creek) and organic businesses.
Annette Clarke - Annette was born in Germany in 1966. She studied geography, biology, forestry, soil science and pre-history at the university of Bonn. After finishing her masters degree in the year 2000, she worked in various biological projects and organized several ecological surveys in B.C.’s wild places. Since 2005 she teaches nature courses to children and adults through her Nature Awareness program, based on the Sunshine Coast. Annette and her son Nicholas run ‘Easter Egg Farm’, an all-organic 3 acres farm with fruit trees, pasture, gardens, a llama and chickens in Roberts Creek.
Marlene Stephens - My name is Marlene Stephens. I have lived on the Sunshine Coast for 34 years and worked for the school district as a child and youth worker as well as running a word of mouth catering business. This all wrapped up into a pre college prep course for students who wanted to cook in the food industry.Since I retired I have had many happy activities including most recently ocean canoe and outrigger paddling.What always inspires me most is learning something new and aquiring skills to be more self sufficient and then passing these on to everyone I know and to varied success trying to make them meet my excitement. Live and Learn is perfect for me as a mentor as I am able to share with receptive groups and encourage people to take risks with their creativity and discover hidden talents.I appreciate the reasonably price classes so they are available to all and a variety can be sampled as sustainability is a process and the pieces of knowledge are linked to make a way of life.
Heinz Engelmann – Heinz was born into a farming family that lost their land in the second world war. At the age of 24 he bought an old homestead in northern Germany together with his younger brother. After hearing and reading about hill beds he constructed a ten-metre long bed using whatever was around on the farm. The growth was so incredible that he decided to build another bed like it the following year. This continued till Heinz moved to Canada, leaving a total of seven hill beds for his brother and family to use. Now living on the coast Heinz decided to construct another one of these beauties on his farmland in West Sechelt.
Shelaigh McKenna - My name is Sheilagh McKenna and I am a passionate beekeeper that has lived on the sunshine coast for two years. I have been beekeeping for 7 years now and love to share my craft with anyone that will listen.
Maria Hunter - Maria Hunter has been saving seeds and growing the seed company, Dragonfly Seeds, for 15 years in Wilson Creek. She loves to share her enthusiasm for seeds, plants, teaching, and learning.
Marina Stjepovic - Marina Stjepovic was born and raised in Vancouver, and spent much of her childhood playing in the mountains in Croatia and living and working on her families’ homesteads. She pursued a degree in environmental studies at UBC and has worked extensively on community-based habitat preservation and restoration. She is inspired by the marvels of nature, her family and her community. As a mentor she enjoys sharing her passions and bringing simplicity back to peoples’ lives.
Lee Croy – Leonie has grown organic food for her family in Langdale for over 20 years. After participating in a seed saving workshop given by Patrick Steiner, an organic farmer who operates a certified BC organic seed company, she was inspired to save her own vegetable seeds. As an active member of the Sunshine Coast Seed Collective and a founding member of Sunshine Coast in Transition, Leonie stresses the empowering aspect of seed stewardship and its importance on the community shift towards local food resiliency. She has 12 years instructing experience and is completing her Permaculture and Provincial Instructor Diplomas.
Charlie Russel - Charlie is a professional tech writer and the author of more than 30 books on operating systems. After working for >15 years in the San Francisco Bay Area, including as an IT Director for a couple of high-tech startups, he and his wife (Sharon Crawford) made a decision to leave the smog and overcrowding and moved to the Sunshine Coast in 2004. Once here, Charlie took up a new hobby of charcuterie, learning to make his own cured meats, fish and sausage, working to perfect both recipes and techniques suitable for the home cook.
Sara Stewart – Recent implant to the Sunshine Coast, Sara Stewart has become inspired by the beauty and abundance of our natural surroundings. Sparked by the Live and Learn Program, Sara has fueled her passion for wild edibles and sustainable living by studying the natural diversity and rhythms of our coast and the role of humans in the ecosystem. With a background in large carnivore conservation, now spends her time collecting wild foods, gardening and inspiring others to thrive for peaceful coexistence with our flora and fauna.
Lisa Murata – She has lived on the sc for 23 years, had chickens for most of these years, including Kala Farms a heritage breed hatchery with 10 different breeds for a few years. She has had over 150 chickens at one time but usually runs smaller number around 10-20. Every year she usually grow 25 meat birds. Lisa has always been interested in heritage breeds, preservation and flock improvement and breeding to meet the breed standard. She has had over 25 pure breed varieties chickens and numerous crosses. Her favourite are feather legged varieties.