Organic Master Gardener
Salt Spring Island
Botany studies, University of Massachusetts
Diploma in Greenhouse Horticulture Technology, Malaspina College
Instructor Training Diploma partically complete
Floral Design Certificate Kwantlen College
Owner Operator "Gardens on the Go" Horticultural Services and Training
I have had a variety of adventures throughout my decades in Horticulture. In the fifties I was helping my parents in their large food garden. In the sixties you could find me selling flowers on the street corner in New Mexico, after becoming frustrated with my formal Education in Botany at the University of Massachusetts . The seventies found me farming a small market garden in Ucluelet on 7 acres of land and selling mini greens to the local restaurants before you could buy them in the grocery store. I also raised over 200 free range chickens on my acreage for both meat and eggs. In the early eighties I worked in greenhouses in the Vancouver area, and earned a Certificate in Floral Design from Kwantlen College. The mid eighties found me in the fishing industry, and then going on to continue my horticulture education at Malaspina College and earning my Diploma in Greenhouse Horticulture.
I obtained work as a work study and summer student for the college for two years before getting hired as a technician and instructor. My job there was to manage 10,000 square feet of greenhouse and a small outside nursery and garden and to coordinate student activities in the greenhouses and gardens. I also taught plant propagation and horticultural skills and practices. Although the majority of my career was spent at Malaspina I also worked part time as interior plant landscape technician, as a floral designer, and a gardener and garden writer and consultant. Most recently I was hired by North Island College to teach a horticulture therapy program to persons living with mental illnesses.
I have been active in community groups, including Nanaimo Community Gardens, Mc Seeds Farm for Persons with Disabilities, Pesticide Abatement Nanaimo, and the Open Minds Open Windows Wellness Program for persons living with Mental Illness. In my spare time I paddle and coach dragon boat teams, and love to cook and garden.
I have just purchased a small acreage in Qualicum, and am looking forward to turning it into a permaculture paradise. I have two wonderful daughters who have absorbed more than they could ever imagine about plants without even knowing it!