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 Polytechnic University 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 Stewardship
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: Manager of Community Engagement
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, has a diploma in Visual Arts from Camosun College with an independent study in film photography, and a certificate in Permaculture Design from the Brighton Permaculture Trust. As the community engagement manager, Emily is responsible for the community gardens, website, social media, and coordinating volunteers as well as events, tours, and workshops.
Stephanie Jacobs: Manager of Business Operations
Stephanie Jacobs is a home gardener, farmer, community educator and local food systems advocate. She began her career at Sandown as part of the first cohort of regenerative farmers, growing medicinal herbs, plant starts, fruits and vegetables. At the end of 2022 Stephanie transitioned away from farming full-time, and took on the role of Business Operations Manager in 2023. Stephanie has diverse experience in agriculture, business and advocacy. She worked as the Manager of the North Saanich Farm Market, currently serves on the Board of Directors for Haliburton Community Organic Farm and is the Co-Chair of the Victoria Urban Food Table. She is a graduate student in Sustainable Food Systems and Food Security at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and is deeply committed to the practice of regenerative agriculture. Stephanie is also the founder of The Regenerative Home Gardener, a full-season hands-on course that helps people learn to grow food, improve soil health and support biodiversity on a home scale. Stephanie is dedicated to local food security, resiliency building and climate change action. She recognizes the damaging effects of colonization and the industrial food system; on people and the planet, and is working to help create a more just and sustainable way forward.
Anna-Lise: A-L's Herb & Flower Co.
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.
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: Fireweed Farms
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: Frozen Coast Farm
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.
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.
Peter Chandler recently retired from the Institute of Ocean Sciences in North Saanich where he worked as the Chief Scientist on programs to monitor the ocean environment of the Salish Sea and better understand the impact of changing climate conditions on marine ecosystems. Peter was first aware of Sandown as a boy growing up in Deep Cove, when the focus was on horses and harness racing, and then later in his second term on the North Saanich Council when the concept of Sandown as a community agricultural centre was first proposed. The progress made by the Sandown project over the past few years is a tribute to the hard work of many people. Peter is looking forward to joining the project team, and working with the community and the District of North Saanich to continue that good work.
Nick is born and raised on the Saanich Peninsula with a sincerity for serving his local community. Starting in 2003 as a volunteer youth councillor for local middle and high school students in Greater Victoria, Nick has been involved in various organizations supporting others in outdoor education and leadership programs geared towards positive outcomes for youth. Professionally, he currently works locally in the aerospace industry and has, for the past 15 years, managed operations teams, capital expenditure projects, property, and assets as well as health and safety. He has undergone rigorous accountable leadership training through the Levinson Institute from Boston, Massachusetts, a financial education from Royal Roads University, and various six sigma/lean manufacturing concepts for throughput and efficiency in manufacturing. A father of two children, a pilot, cyclist, lover of music; with some minor guitar skills, Nick loves traveling to Europe to visit family, and enjoys cooking! Having worked on various farms growing up, Nick appreciates and understands the need to protect and expand our agricultural potential for the peninsula
and is happy to support the team at Sandown as a board member.
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.