Steve Duck: Manager of Business Operations
Steve is an accomplished leader, mentor and facilitator who encourages people and organizations to design and develop their potential. Across public, private and non-profit sectors, he works with individuals and teams to establish strategic vision and adapt to the ever-changing environment. Steve, through his company the TIDES Group, specializes in the fields of tourism and agriculture as it evolves into the Italian format, Agritourismo.
Jenn Cline: Manager of Farm Operations
Jenn is an amalgamate farmer-chef-educator that is passionate about community food security. With 8 years experience in cooking, 6 seasons farming, and farm managing with A Rocha, Jenn brings a multidisciplinary approach to everything she does. Jenn also works with Kwantlen on farm planning and development, and most recently worked to further develop the plan for the CRD Food and Farmlands Trust.
Matthew Kyriakides: Manager of Land Resources
Matthew is a farmer, agroecologist, and soil scientist with seven years of experience working in agriculture. As the Manager of Land Resources, he is responsible for developing and implementing a stewardship plan for the forests, pastures, and wetlands of the site. He is also conducting PhD research with Dr. John Volpe from the University of Victoria on the environmental benefits and financial viability of various land care techniques at Sandown. Matthew holds a BSc in Global Resource Systems from the University of British Columbia and an MSc in Earth and Environment from Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands where he focused on biological soil quality and ecosystem restoration.
Trevor Kryt, P.Eng.: Manager of Land Assets
Trevor has 30 years of experience in Engineering, Business Development and Business Operations. Living on a small farm holding in Saanich he has volunteered for more than a decade as a 4-H Leader with the South Malahat Beef and Swine Club, As the Manager of Land Assets at Sandown Trevor manages farm infrastructure development, farmer's plot support, and many other aspects in the project's start-up phase.
Emily Harris: Community Engagement Coordinator
Emily brings over five years of experience in community building, marketing, and ecological farming as the co-owner and operator of The Plot Market Garden. In addition to this, she holds a degree in Geography from the University of Victoria where she focused on restoration and community engagement, and has a diploma in Visual Arts from Camosun College with an independent study in film photography. As the community engagement coordinator, Emily is responsible for the website, social media, and coordinating volunteers.
Stephanie Jacobs: Community Engagement Coordinator
Stephanie is a home gardener, farmer and community educator. She began her career at Sandown as part of the first cohort of regenerative farmers, growing medicinal herbs, fruits and vegetables. At the end of 2022 Stephanie transitioned away from farming full-time, and moved into the role of Community Garden Coordinator. She is also an active member of our board of directors, and teaches a full-season, hands-on gardening course called The Regenerative Home Gardener. She is a graduate student in Sustainable Community Development at Royal Roads University, holds an organic master gardener certificate from Gaia College, has studied soil science, fruit tree care, and spent time as both a herbalism and a seed saving apprentice. She is dedicated to local food security, and is passionate about resiliency building and climate change action. Stephanie believes that the relationship between land, food and people has been lost in the chaos of modern life and the convenience of a global commercial food system. Tending to the garden is a beautiful way to re-establish that connection, to build community, and to nourish the self.
Anna-Lise is the grower behind A-L’s Herb & Flower Co, a small farm specializing in culinary herbs and cut flowers. Growing up in on a small hobby farm in North Saanich, Anna-Lise was raised in a home where gum boots were the footwear of choice, tomatoes were a seasonal vegetable, and Julia Child reigned supreme on the console TV. Anna-Lise believes the best moments are when people gather around to share some food-- a belief that is the driving vision behind A-L’s Herb & Flower Co., where Anna-Lise applies her passion to spark joy at your next meal.
What started as a simple passion project to grow fibre flax to support her lifelong textile addiction has led Carol down a fantastic rabbit hole of family stories and teachings from her Irish farm heritage. As Carol explores the myriad of ways in which flax can be grown and utilized, there has been an outpouring of support from various like-minded farmers, spinners, weavers, and textile artists also wanting to grow out our local Fibershed on Vancouver Island. Come join the flax movement!
Dinah is the creator of Little Crescent Farm which is her ever-evolving love child. About 6 years ago, she started studying Holistic Nutrition which has led her down the beautiful path of growing food and flowers to take care of our community and soils. While sharing and enjoying her abundance of flowers, Dinah wishes to provide nutrient dense and flavourful food to the local community. Her newest hobby is nerding out on bees! Come nourish your soul and body with Dinah at Little Crescent Farm!
Lauren is passionate about combating the climate crisis and delighted by the endless magic of plants. For her, stewarding healthy soils is all about interconnectivity, and is a meeting place of so many of her interests, from biodiversity and climate justice, to human health and incredible local food. Lauren is excited and humbled to be following her farming dreams at Sandown, combining vegetable growing with medicinal and dye plants, and extending the harvest with winter vegetables.
Ali Boechler is the owner and manager of Fireweed Farms. She strongly believes that soil, human, and environmental health are all connected. She has a passion for the healing arts and has studied yoga, meditation, and reiki. She hopes to weave these beautiful practices with the natural medicine of the plants to engage in community healing on all levels. Her goals are to grow potent, accessible medicine, to help heal the soil at Sandown Centre, and to teach others some of the skills necessary to build resilience and thrive during these uncertain times we’re living in.
Véronique is the farmer behind Frozen Coast Farm; a small but mighty contribution to ensuring food security on Vancouver Island by providing food that is good for the people and good for the earth. She loves growing food, connecting to the land and being part of the community that comes along with it. Let's get excited about eating seasonally!
Lindsey has proven business leadership experience in upper management. Over 10 years as Senior Vice President for The Sound, an insight, strategy and innovation agency, she grew the company from a start up to a team of 70 people with a global reach.
Lindsey also has proven experience in fundraising and community Food Growing Teaching & Learning. In her role with Growing Chefs! (growingchefs.ca) Lindsey has worked to expand the impact of the classroom program for children in grades 1-6 by building relationships with corporate donors and conducting research on the social impact of the program. Over her 6 years of commitment to the organization, Lindsey has helped Growing Chefs! grow 368 gardens and taught 9000 kids how to cook.
Lindsey is founder of the consulting firm Circular Citizen, teaching business people how to apply circular economy principles to create both food innovation opportunities and climate change solutions through food waste reduction and regenerative agriculture practices. As a result of her commitment to advancing the circular economy via Circular Citizen, Lindsey has recently been appointed a role as Senior Associate, One Earth (oneearthweb.org) and a role with One Planet Saanich (oneplanetsaanich.org)
Penny’s roots in North Saanich go back to the 1940’s on both her mother’s and father’s sides. Her interest in gardening was sparked by her grandmother and her uncle (the former growing white eggplant and gooseberries and the latter growing ground cherries in North Saanich in the ‘60’s, thereby hooking her on the possibilities of foods both unique and tasty). She joined the North Saanich Food for the Future Society in its inaugural year, and has been helping run the North Saanich Farm Market since its inception. She’s keenly excited about the possibilities that Sandown offers, from its forest to its boggy areas to its arable land, and the connections between all three of these with our community.
Dr. Ann Eastman
Ann is a passionate advocate for sustainable agriculture and food systems on the Saanich Peninsula. She has a strong background in plant science - a B.Sc. in botany, M.Sc. in plant biochemistry, and a Ph.D. in plant physiology, and innovation experience in industry, government and academia. She served as the Manager for Emerging Sectors and then the Senior Manager for Innovation in the BC Ministry of Agriculture for eight years. Ann is a strong supporter of the Haliburton Community Organic Farm Society, serving as a volunteer director for five years and launching the EcoFarm School program. Ann was a member of the Sandown Transition Team that developed the transition plan from former racetrack to thriving community farm presented to the District of North Saanich Council in September 2018.
Stephanie Jacobs is a home gardener turned farmer, educator, and local food systems advocate. She is the community gardens coordinator at The Sandown Centre and teaches courses on growing food and regenerative gardening at Sandown and at Haliburton Community Organic Farm. She is also the market manager for the North Saanich Farm Market and is a director at large on the Sandown and Haliburton boards. Stephanie is passionate about building resilient local food systems, which for her includes regenerative agricultural practices, supporting local farmers and educating the public to become active participants in their own food security.
Dr. DeLisa Lewis
DeLisa has over 20 years experience with certified organic vegetable and flower farming, holds a PhD in agroecology and soils, and is an assistant professor in The University of British Columbia's Faculty of Land and Food Systems, focusing on teaching during the winter months and on-farm research through the summer. Together with family & a seasonal farm crew, DeLisa operates Green Fire Farm in the Cowichan Valley, a 40 acre farm which includes mixed market farm vegetables & fruits, pasture-raised pigs, beef cattle, hay production, and a small flock of laying hens. Sales are via Farmers Markets, direct and delivered weekly orders to regional customers, and to wholesale markets in Victoria, Nanaimo and Tofino. Her teaching, research and consulting focus on soil nutrient management, farm planning and new farmer training. DeLisa is a member of Islands Organic Producers Association and serves on the Accreditation Board of The Certified Organic Associations of BC, the Cedar Farmers Market Board of Directors, and the Agricultural Advisory Committee in her home district of North Cowichan.
Link to DeLisa’s video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgHEDDzOmI4
Lauren is a graduate of The University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Land and Food Systems and has always felt deep meaning in bridging community with good food. She worked as Business Development Manager with SPUD.ca for 5 years, and is now General Manager for the South Island FarmHub. She brings a thoughtful and nuanced approach to building both relationships and innovative strategies for business growth. Lauren has proven skills in sales & marketing, business analysis, stakeholder engagement, and professional networking. She understands the power of in-person connection as a way to build trusting relationships with everyone involved. Lauren is an avid adventure-seeker with a love of mountain biking and skiing.
Brooke Hayes: Sandown Soil Lab
Brooke Hayes has returned to the University of Victoria as a graduate student in the school of Environmental Studies after a twenty year break from academia working with the BC provincial public service. Brooke has worked on a variety of projects during that time, and had the opportunity to assess impacts of the mountain pine beetle epidemic on rural communities in BC, develop a quality assurance framework for contracts for children and youth, support the transition of the BC Ambulance Service and the Oil and Gas Commission out of the public service, develop a cross-government strategy for the delivery of $6.6 billion of goods and services delivered through procurement, and most recently, held responsibility for climate change, marketing, land use planning, and soil, air and water quality portfolios within the Ministry of Agriculture. Here Brooke discovered a passion for agriculture that has inspired a return to school to investigate the relationships between climate-adaptive soil management practices and the overall health of farmers and communities in BC and beyond.
Ian Bruce: Water Quality and Wetlands
Ian grew up in Victoria and graduated from the University of Victoria in 1978 with a BSc in Marine Biology. For the next twenty years he worked as a professional biologist on the Island’s West Coast, leading projects studying salmon health and aquatic ecosystems. Ian returned to Greater Victoria and co-founded Peninsula Streams in 2002, so that he could continue sharing his first-hand knowledge of aquatic life and habitat restoration. He completed a UVic Restoration of Natural Systems Diploma in 2003, and since has successfully completed dozens of restoration projects on the Saanich Peninsula. He is currently Executive Coordinator for Peninsula Streams.
His consulting firm, Watershed Eco-logical Services Ltd., provides ecological and fisheries services to industry, government and First Nations. Ian is a registered professional biologist who is also adept at bringing together diverse groups of stakeholders.
Linda Geggie: CR-FAIR
Linda has been actively working on regional food system issues since the early 1990s. She has worked extensively with a wide range of individuals and groups and believes in collaboration as a meaningful path to getting results. In addition to her work with CRFAIR, Linda is a member of the Peninsula and Area Agricultural Commission and Board Member of the BC Food Systems Network. In 2015 she was recognized by Food Secure Canada with the Cathleen Kneen Award for vision, leadership, and a commitment to grassroots activism in building a more just and ecological food system. She was also the Community Research Fellow with the University of Victoria's Institute for Studies and Innovation in Community University Engagement. Linda is an avid food grower and fisher.
Barbara Johnstone Grimmer, P Ag: Climate Change and Livestock
Barbara brings thirty years of experience in agriculture, animal production and nutrition. She is currently active in research communications and agricultural sustainability education and initiatives, especially with respect to climate change adaptation and mitigation. She is also experienced in hands-on farming producing grass fed lamb. Barbara is actively involved in farm organizations regionally, provincially and nationally: a member of the Poultry Science Association, Canadian Nutrition Society, BC Institute of Agrologists, BC Abattoir Association, BC Sheep Federation (BCSF), Inter Island Sheep Breeders Association, BC Farm Writers Association, and BC Hazelnut Growers. Barbara is a former board member of BCSF and of the Canadian Sheep Federation (CSF), past member of the Sheep Value Chain Roundtable, and past member of the National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council.
Rhianna Nagel: UVic Partnership
Rhianna currently works out of The University of Victoria's Division of Learning, Teaching, and Innovation as the community engaged learning (CEL) coordinator. In her role, she works with community, students, staff and instructors to develop opportunities that enhance student learning and community initiatives. This involves building capacity, supporting curricular development, strategic planning, matchmaking between intended learning outcomes and community interests, managing grants, sharing and celebrating efforts and achievements, and fostering reciprocal relationships.
Rhianna received a B.Sc from the Land and Food Systems program at The University of British Columbia and an MA from the Community-Based Research Lab in Geography at The University of Victoria. She also spent time living between Canada and Uruguay farming and working with community groups on a range of initiatives which were generally related to social and ecological well-being.
In addition to her work at The University of Victoria, Rhianna is the chair of the board of LifeCycles, a Victoria based organization that cultivates community health by connecting people with the food they eat and the land it comes from.
Lorea Tomsin: Livestock
Lorea bought her first purebred, a Silver Down Suffolk from W&K Gould, when she was 12 years old. Lorea has been president of the Inter-Island Sheep Breeders Association since 2011, and recently stepped down after nine years as BC’s director on the board of the Canadian Sheep Breeders Association (CSBA). Lorea was one of three delegates who travelled to Mexico on behalf of the CSBA and Canadian Sheep Federation in 2016.. We are incredibly fortunate to have Lorea’s expertise and mentorship in our North Saanich farming community.