Our Instructors

David Tracey

David

Courses Taught

Courses
Living Green Infrastructure - starting semester May 2016
Locations
Gaia College - Online Instructor

Credentials

Organic Master Gardener, Gaia College
Art of Online Facilitation, Gaia College
Masters degree in Landscape Architecture, University of BC
Bachelors degree in Politics, UCSC
ISA Certified Arborist and Certified Tree Risk Assessor

Bio

My work involves helping people connect with nature. I do this as a writer, designer and community ecologist.

I started my working life in journalism. I was based for 10 years in Asia reporting for global media including the International Herald Tribune, the Economist, CBC Radio and many others. I still report and write, although my focus is now more on books. My latest publication, Vancouver Tree Book, made the BC Books Bestseller List. I also wrote Guerrilla Gardening: A Manualfesto, Urban Agriculture: Ideas and Designs for the New Food Revolution and The Earth Manifesto. If all of that sounds too serious or even dire, it's not meant to be, and I've also written two novels including a comedy called The Miracle Tree.

I work in environmental design and consultation through my company EcoUrbanist. Whether providing a site design or advising on policy my strategy is always rooted in the fact that an ecological approach to healthy development is best for now and future generations. I also head a small environmental nonprofit organization called Tree City which aims to "help people and tree grow together." I also now appear regularly on the CBC North by Northwest radio show as its "urban forest correspondent", and blog about trees for Vancouver Is Awesome.

I am also a public speaker and an occasional teacher for Simon Fraser University's Continuing Studies program. 

Links

David Tracey

Michelle Young

Courses Taught

Courses
Growing Food in the City - Burnaby, Instructor 2016

Locations
Burnaby

Credentials

Diploma in Organic Landcare – Gaia College 2009
Owner Operator – Just Imagine Landscape Design and Maintenance Whistler BC 2004-2013
Owner Operator – Ruby’s Run Urban Farms Sechelt BC 2013-present
Farm Manager – Salish Soils Mine Reclamation Gardens Sechelt, BC 2013-2015
Certified Professional Massage Therapist Whistler BC 1996-present  

Bio

Michelle Young is an avid organic farmer and landscape contractor who has spent the last 25 years working in the fields of healing arts and organic land-care.

Michelle’s land-care projects have ranged from ornamental landscaping to edible landscaping to organic market gardening.
An early innovative education in Ecological Landscape Design and as a Certified Organic Master Gardener propelled her to pioneer the implementation of organic land-care practices into the Whistler commercial landscape scene. Her portfolio contains a collection of Whistler strata properties and numerous private residences.

In 2005 she was mentored into an organic farming operation in the Pemberton Valley. Michelle gratefully acquired the understanding and practice of growing for market, small greenhouse production, farm-gate sales, restaurant supply and CSA weekly private orders and delivery.

She is a practitioner of healing arts and massage since1996.

Upon arriving in Sechelt in 2013, Michelle and her partner took the barren back yard of their house and transformed it into an urban market garden. With a mandate to “Feed the Neighbors”, Ruby’s Run Urban Farms was established as Sechelt’s first urban farm, providing Garden Gate Sales to local residents and restaurant customers.

In the spring of 2014/15, Michelle was invited to co-create Sechelt’s second Urban Farm, under contract to a First Nations Composting Facility. The initial task was to demonstrate land reclamation in a more wholesome fashion than what has traditionally been done. The result was a two-acre organic food farm established on an abandoned tailings pond of a large, active, gravel mining operation. The farm flourished, the surrounding ecosystem re-established and farm students were mentored.
The community benefitted.
This inspirational project was a beautiful and practical example of a waste to resource cycle, of restorative land reclamation. Michelle enthusiastically endorses the process of increasing local, natural food production while simultaneously beautifying the neighborhood. She believes the time is “now” for supplying nutritious locally grown produce to the people and understands the importance of her community having a healthy relationship with their food and those who produce it.

For the future she dreams of creating access to honorable employment on farms by teaching and empowering our youth and community to grow their food while demonstrating a “can do” approach.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I truly appreciate it.

Links

Magazine 'Sunshine Coast Life' Fall 2014, pg. 16

Weekly Community Newspaper 'the Local WEEKLY', June 18, 2014

Astrid Muschalla

Courses Taught

Courses
Plant Knowledge 1 - Natives, online
Plant Knowledge 2 - Ornamentals, online
Growing Food Organically, online
Organic Horticulture Specialist, online
Organic Master Gardener, online
Ecological Landscape Design, co-facilitator online
Basic Botany, Seneca College
Locations
Gaia College - Online Instructor

Credentials

SOUL Certified Organic Land Care Professional, 2013 - present
Master Gardener, 2008 - present
Board member of Canadian standards association – Society for Organic Urban Land Care, 2012 – present
Professional Home Economist, 1990 to present
College Teacher of various diploma and certificate food, nutrition, and horticulture courses for Kemptville College, Algonquin College, Humber College, Centennial College, St. Lawrence College, Canadian Coast Guard College

Active memberships in the following professional associations

Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA)
Landscape Ontario – CLP certification will be complete in 2016
Master Gardeners of Ontario (MGOI)
Society for Organic Urban Land Care (SOUL)
Canadian Home Economics Association

Education

Professional Organic Horticulturist, Humber College, 2011
Teachers of Adults Certificate - Designing, Developing and Facilitating Online Courses, Algonquin College, 2006
Horticulturist Certificate, University of Guelph, 2002
Certified Plantsman, University of Guelph, 1996
Certificate in Small Scale Poultry Production, Kemptville College of Agricultural Technology, 1990
Certificate of Organic Gardening, Kemptville College of Agricultural Technology, 1988

 

Bio

Astrid Muschalla works as a Certified Organic Land Care Professional in business, consulting and education – her company is www.oasisgardendesign.ca. Emphasis is on ecological landscape design, Astrid has over 20 years experience working on private and public lands, most notably, consulting on organic maintenance practices for Corktown Common Park, PanAm Games Athletes Village, Toronto, in 2014 and 2015. Astrid’s work has been nominated twice for the Urban Habitat Stewardship Award from Evergreen Canada on a high profile waterfront Parks Canada project working with employees and temporary staff to establish a Carolinian Park and Arboretum from barren railway lands. This work involved training, educating staff and the public on the requirements for indigenous plants and developing and maintaining healthy ecosystems. As a volunteer, with the High Park Stewardship Program in Toronto, she educated members, and public on native plants & propagation from 2008-2012. Astrid’s gardens have also been featured on Doors Open, various community garden tours, and CTV's Garden of the Month. Astrid worked as a design judge for Communities in Bloom. Astrid is the part-time coordinator for Seneca College’s Organic Land Care - Levels 1, 2 and 3.

Links

Oasis Garden Design

Silvia Di Blasio

Courses Taught

Courses
Growing Food in the City - Burnaby, assistant instructor 2016

Locations
Burnaby

Credentials

Bachelor in Education mention Psychology and Pedagogy (Venezuela)
Certified Career Coach (Douglas College, BC)
Provincial Instructor Diploma and Online Instructor Certificate (Vancouver Community College)
First Aid and Emergency Preparedness Community Trainer
Food Skills Master Trainer
Citation in Sustainable Horticulture (Kwantlen Polytechnic University, unfinished)
Permaculture Certificate (Conscious Design Collective)
Advanced Permaculture Teaching Certificate (Cascadia Permaculture)
Master Organic Gardener (Gaia College)
currently completing Advanced Permaculture Design Program through Gaiacraft, the Permaculture Diploma through the Permaculture Institute (PI) and Diploma in Urban Permaculture through Gaia College. 

Bio

Silvia has 20+ years of teaching experience in different areas and has always grown a portion of her family’s food and herbs. With a passion for true sustainability, food sovereignty and community and household resilience, Silvia wears many hats: as a career coach for the Right Livelihood, she supports people to find their niche and make a living while making a difference for both the planet, communities and future generations; as a community activist and facilitator, she teaches both urban edible gardening and food skills through diverse organizations such as the Surrey/White Rock Food Action Coalition, the Canadian Diabetes Association, UBC-Farm, Homesteaders Junction and many more. As a Disaster Management/First Aid facilitator, she helps households and communities to plan for emergencies and adapt/plan for to climate change impacts. She coordinates a community garden and the social media for the Food Action Coalition and local food bank and now also co-teaches at Burnaby School District (continuing education) in a partnership with Gaia College.

Links

 

Karen Heisz

Karen Heisz 200Courses Taught

Courses
Organic Master Gardener
Locations
Toronto

Credentials

Business Skills for Land Care Professionals course, Gaia College
Accredited Organic Land Care Practitioner, SOUL
Diploma in Organic Land Care, Gaia College
Sustainable Urban Horticulture and Agriculture certificates, University of Guelph

Bio

Karen’s love of joining her environmental club students on stewardship activities in the Toronto area led her to completing her Sustainable Urban Horticulture and Agriculture certificates with the University of Guelph. Her interest in planting for diversity and in the impact of homeowners’ actions on the environment prompted her to complete the Diploma in Organic Land Care from Gaia College.

Although no longer teaching in the formal education system, Karen teaches the Organic Master Gardener course for the Canadian Organic Growers in Toronto and is an Accredited Organic Land Care Practitioner with SOUL. This year she took the knowledge gained from the Business Skills for Land Care Professionals course and started 'Return to Eden', a consulting business dedicated to sharing the philosophy and techniques of organic gardening and ecological garden design.

Links

Return to Eden