Current Stewards of the Garden:
- Sean Newton (2013) (Oct 2014 to Current)
- Linda Chan (Oct 2010 to Dec 2012) (Oct 2014 to Current)
- Stephanie Enevoldsen (Feb 2016 to Current)
- Merry (April 2016 to Current)
- Adam Huggins (Feb 2016 to Current)
Scroll down for bios:
Bee in the Garden Host:
Sean Newton (2013), (Oct 2014 to Current) :
Sean Newton has worked as a gardener and grounds keeper at the “Fernwood Urban Village“, for “Garden Roots Landscaping” and in a community composting project with Pedal to Petal. He helped start the “Bee in the Garden” weekly tea gatherings from 2012 -2013. He currently hosts Bee in the Garden on Sunday afternoons. He works as a freelance artist and has painted a number of murals and telephone poles in Fernwood. He also works as a part-time gardener and is a resident of Fernwood.
Coordinator, Spring Ridge Commons
Linda Chan ( Oct 2010 to Dec 2012)(Oct 2014 to Current)
Linda Chan was one of the coordinator for the Transition Victoria Food Group (2010 + 2011) whose mission was to increase the ecological and social resilience of food systems in the Victoria region, while decreasing our energy dependence and Oneness Wednesdays a free or by donation Wednesday evening meditation/reflective program at the Church of Truth, Community of Conscious Living (2008 to 2012). She also coordinated VIVA-Raw (2007 to June 2013) a group dedicated to the education and promotion of a healthy, raw, unprocessed plant based diet.
She was also a founding members of James Bay Sustainability Commons, a grassroot group formed in the neighbourhood of James Bay and one of the stewards of the kitchen garden, a garden located in the Children’s Play Area + herb garden, an area at the back dedicated to growing drought tolerant herbs – i.e. oregano, lemon balm, thyme and lavender. (2010 to 2012) at the James Bay Community Project. She also has an allotment garden (2014 to present) which she has recently redesigned. (Pics on Facebook) She had a previous allotment garden at the James Bay Community Allotment Garden on Montreal Street (2008 to 2013). Currently she coordinates activities for / at Spring Ridge Commons, she assists Sean Newton and Stephanie Enevoldsen with Bee in the Garden (and does some hands-on work at Spring Ridge Commons and/or some work parties during the week), continues to maintain Spring Ridge Commons Facebook page, has recreated this word press site in October 2014 for Spring Ridge Commons (currently a work in progress), created accounts for Spring Ridge Commons on LinkedIn, Google + and Pinterest, and volunteers as a proof-reader for the James Bay Beacon.
Community Garden Volunteer Coordinator
Stephanie Enevoldsen (Feb 2016 to Current)
Hired by the Fernwood NRG with City of Victoria Funding, Stephanie’s role is being part of the Stewardship team at Spring Ridge Commons and help coordinate volunteer efforts in the Commons.
Her background includes a career in Natural Building that she started in 2001, Urban Permaculture and Placemaking in Portland and Victoria since 2005, four years’ experience in the health food industry, and most recently a two-year internship and Permaculture Design Certification at the Bullock’s 36 year old homestead on Orcas Island in Washington.
Native Plant Steward for Garry Oak Meadow and Native Plant Garden
Adam Huggins (Feb 2016 to Present):
Adam likes growing native plants. He is also at turns musician, naturalist, nurseryman, travelling cyclist, master composter, impermaculturalist, 16mm filmmaker, and student of biology. He belongs to the Pacific coast and likes nothing better than to get to know the many creatures of this beautiful place. In the past, he has worked for the California Native Plant Society, Rolling River Nursery, and the Purple Thistle Centre; currently, he works for Saanich Native Plants,is studying ecological restoration through UVic, and seeks reconciliation between humanity and the natural world through restorative processes.
Past Primary Stewards:
Geoff Johnson (1999 to 2006):
Geoff Johnson is a permaculture pioneer in the Victoria area. Educated through the Bullocks Brother’s Homestead on Orcas Island and Linnea Farm’s intensive agricultural program Geoff has built upon his education through experience. Interning at the Bullock Brothers provided a foundation for Geoff to organize and spearhead Victoria’s premier food forest – Spring Ridge Commons.
Geoff was the originator and driving force behind Spring Ridge Commons. He was this food forest’s Primary Steward for 7 years taking a leadership role in coordinating volunteers and fighting the political battles.
He has continued to consult with those who have taken this project on and has, over the past decade or so, worked and volunteered with a variety of local organizations or people to develop or inspire several other Spring Ridge like permaculture-based forest gardens on a much smaller scale – Banfield Commons in VicWest, Haultain Commons in Fernwood, the Wark St. Commons in Quadra Village, The People’s Apothecary Garden in Quadra Village and more recently, the Fairfield Community Garden in Fairfield contributing to a network of publicly accessible food gardens in Victoria.
His bike-powered nursery (Cornucopia Nursery) in Fernwood provides the local area with hard to find and propagate food, medicinal and functional plants and trees. At his urban homestead at 1560 Pembroke, Geoff has created a “sustainable habitat” that fed three members of his household almost year round. He grows vegetables in his backyard, has planted fruit trees and shrubs, composts his food waste, collects rainwater to irrigate his plants and uses solar energy to heat his hot water. He is versed in both hard strategies (water catchment, greywater use, passive solar design, solar hot water, hueguelkultur, greenhouse use) and soft (guilds, crop rotation, pruning, grafting, propagating, seed stratification, and more).
The Daily video clip: Geoff showed his urban permaculture oasis in April of 2011:
For a complete bio of Geoff, please visit the Permaculture BC site.
For a description of other Commons / Permaculture Garden, please click [here]
Matthew Kemshaw (2007 to 2009):
Matthew started at LifeCycles in 2006, as a volunteer with Growing Schools. He moved on to work as the Urban Agriculture and Education Coordinator at LifeCycles from 2007-2009. Since those early days, his passion for bringing people and food together in community commons has led him on many an adventure: from helping build and maintain community gardens (Strathcona /Cottonwood Community Garden + Purple Thistle Garden) in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside to the completion of a Masters degree in Environmental Education and Communication at Royal Road in 2012 – His Thesis topic: How do we create together. Urban Food Commons as gateway to ecological intelligence.
In 2009, Matthew left Victoria for a job with Vancouver Environmental Youth Alliance’s Growing Kids and Community Nursery projects. Before leaving, he brought together a steering committee of volunteers to act as collective stewards for Spring Ridge Commons. The committee was comprised of seven people – all those recruited had either been involved in work parties or were food activists or had some training in permaculture or otherwise had an interest.
Matthew returned back to Victoria in 2012, and worked with LifeCycles again as the Urban Agriculture Coordinator and for 13 months had been taking care of Welland Legacy Park, a 2/3 acre public park in the Town of View Royal. The park contains over 230 fruit trees, with over 100 varieties of heritage apples, as well as a selection of: pears, plums, figs, paw paw, hazelnut, medlar, quince, cherry, grape, and kiwi.
He has moved back to Vancouver in October 2014 and will be continuing the incredible work that he does in food security, food literacy and urban agriculture. He will also be continuing with LifeCycles from Vancouver in his work around seed libraries in Surrey.
Tamara Schwartzentruber (2009 to 2010):
Tamara Schwartzentruber was a member of the steering commmittee of volunteers recruited to steward Spring Ridge Commons. She stepped in and became the main person who was involved in getting the lease transferred to Fernwood NRG, when LifeCycles realized they could no longer afford the water bill and the lease needed to be transferred elsewhere: … at the time it seemed like the best idea. She was also instrumental in inspiring the Transition Victoria Food Group to take on the stewardship of Spring Ridge Commons as one of their projects and continued to serve as an advisor, lead work parties + on-site tours at Spring Ridge Commons, be a guest presenter and give talks on permaculture, etc.
Tamara Schwartzentruber was also a founding member of the Initiating Committee of Transition Victoria, a global grassroots movement that addresses the convergent crises of our time (climate change, peak oil, and economic instability and inequity) with a community-based, whole systems approach to large-scale social change. She also taught courses: Ecological Landscape Design + Organic Master Gardener at Gaia College. She is a Certified Permaculture designer and teacher (trained at Bullock Brothers’ Permaculture Homestead in 2008) and completed an Organic Master Gardener Course (Spring 2009). In November / December 2009, she co-wrote * Permaculture in Victoria Parks: A Feasibility Study with Matthew Kemshaw and Bejay Mills for the City of Victoria – Parks and Recreation.
Tamara, her partner Devin and son Akasha are currently in the the Kootenays, nestled in a little cabin in the Slocan Valley for the winter. They are looking to explore land partnership connections (and other kinds of local connections) after that.
Ed Horel (July 2014 to October 2014):