Local Food Systems, Water-wise Gardening
Dustin is an educator, permaculture designer, Organic Master Gardener, and self-described network nerd. Raised in the country and living in the city, Dustin is passionate about design that combines natural and built elements.
Dustin graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Education (Physics and Mathematics) and has over ten years of classroom experience. Since 2009, Dustin has been practicing permaculture and in 2010 pitched the idea of creating a cross-curricular school garden to the principal of Jasper Place High School. Since then, Dustin and his students have designed two school food forests and have built Canada’s first high school aquaponics system.
In 2011, Dustin began building beehives and keeping honeybees in his urban backyard. He currently sells his Beecentric beehive design on the local market and produces more honey than he knows what to do with.
Integrated Greenhouse Growing
Tasha has a background not in horticulture but in the media. She worked for over 20 years in broadcast media, as a writer, producer, host, news anchor and free-lancer. Throughout her career, Tasha took a deep interest in environmental issues. She created Alberta’s first radio show that was devoted to the environment, and later in her TV work she interviewed world-renowned environmentalists including Paul Watson and David Suzuki. As a journalist, Tasha also covered the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
In 2006, Tasha left the media to pursue her passion for gardening and purchased a small greenhouse which she has grown into the amazing Baraka Gardens in Parkland County. To control pests in her greenhouse she uses only biocontrol, and cultural methods and is working to have the smallest possible environmental footprint for her operation.
Garden Bed Installation; Introduction to Permaculture
Claudia is a nature lover, gardener, and teacher. Her desire to contribute to society and protect our planet has led her to permaculture, a design system for human habitat that is inspired by relationships found in nature.
She shares her passion for growing food through workshops, permaculture design, and greening projects with schools. Her education includes a B.Ed., and a Diploma in Biological Sciences. She has completed a Permaculture Design Certificate, Master Naturalist training, is a Gaia College accredited Organic Master Gardener, and has taken numerous gardening courses, and workshops from The Urban Farmer and other inspiring teachers.
Claudia is the owner of Wild Green Garden Consulting, www.wildgreen.ca, in Edmonton.
Northern Fruit Crops; Making the Most of your Harvest
Jennifer has 20+ years of growing experience to share. She started out in a garden centre, studied Prairie Horticulture through Assiniboine College, and then decided to study the design and drafting of the landscape through the Landscape Architectural Technology Diploma at NAIT.
While working as an LAT, she earned her Certified Arborist Designation. She also has been trained as a Master Composter/Recycler with the City of Edmonton. Right now, she is working on growing the perfect tomato and defeating cabbage moth in her backyard garden, while raising her family. Jennifer is a graduate of the Organic Master Gardener Program in Stony Plain.
What Does Organic Mean?; Starting Seeds; Growing Vegetables; Saving Seeds
Denise has lived most of her life on her family’s farm in Cherhill Alberta, which has been in the family since 1910.
She achieved her Forestry Diploma with NAIT in 1986 and worked in the field for several years, as a forest Technician. When Denise and her husband moved back to the family farm, they renamed it Hill and Dale Farm after what her great-grandparents had called it, and they now sell free range meat products, cheese and dairy produce (when available), wild foraged mushrooms and 20 kinds of garlic and related products to direct markets. She sells seed locally and abroad, by mail order and through Seedy Sunday events, hosted by the Seeds of Diversity Group. Her website for seeds is gardenofeden2010.wordpress.com
Denise is actively involved in the Alberta Mycological Society where she has won numerous awards for her photography. Denise conducts local summer mushroom hunts and identification courses. She writes for newspapers and magazines and is current president of the Sangudo and District Horticultural Society.
Botany; Soil Ecosystems; Soil Testing, Soil Fertility Management; Project Coordinator
Pantologist perhaps best describes our newest addition to the instructor group. A full time Alberta game warden, Stephen still finds time to dream up all sorts of wild garden, farming, and homesteading ideas. Although he grew up with more “traditional” gardens his main passions are now homesteading, holistic garden management, soil regeneration, and sustainable existence with side interests in foraging and medicinal plants. Stephen spent a couple years in Environmental Science at the UofA before attending Lethbridge College where he earned a BSc in Conservation Enforcement, including courses in soil science, plant and animal identification, forestry, and rangeland and wetland management.
Stephen grew up in St. Albert as a fifth generation Alberta gardener and his family has been eating dirt, starting seeds, gardening, canning, dehydrating, freezing, and foraging since he can remember. Stephen, his wife, and 5 dogs finally got out of the city in 2016, eventually adding 3000sqft of mixed vegetable and herb gardens, chickens, ducks, and a daughter. While completing the OMG 2020 (COVID edition) he moved acreages, so he is back to dream and build mode, this time with more gardens, more animals, and more kids.
Hydrology; Composting; Succession; Teas & Brews, Design & Construction
Mark has gardened in the region for five decades and has made it his goal to build soil that will grow tasty and nutrient-dense food similar to what he enjoyed growing up. As Edmonton’s “Compost Doctor” (2008-2020) he helped countless families learn the basics of composting, compost teas, and soil building. Mark has delivered workshops for the City of Edmonton, the Town of Devon, the Strathcona Garden Club, and in smaller communities around central Alberta. He’s a Soil Builder and urban Carbon Farmer.
He joined our team in 2014 and became the Program Administrator in 2021. He is an evidence-based researcher and a fierce defender of Ecosystem Rights.
Herbaceous Plant Propagation; Perennial Plant Identification; Tree and Shrub Identification; Plant Problem Identification
Lorraine grew up in Edmonton. After graduating from the U of A, working for Alberta Agriculture as an Extension Horticulturist, and spending 6 months bicycling around Europe, she moved west and has raised sheep for 25 years.
Currently Lorraine is the Horticulturist and Conservation Program Coordinator for the Agriculture Services Department with Lac Ste. Anne County. She is a certified Gaia College Organic Master Gardener and has also instructed for the Devonian Garden’s Master Gardener program.
Lorraine has been a valued instructor in the Stony Plain OMG program since the program began more than ten years ago. Lorraine has a degree in horticulture and has over 20 years of experience in the industry.
Debbi grew up in Edmonton but has lived in a number of places in Alberta and BC while working as a professional forester. She now lives on an acreage near Drayton Valley, working as a full time Geographic Information System (GIS) Analyst for the Town of Drayton Valley.
Her education includes a Diploma in Forestry from NAIT, a BSc in Forest Management from U of A, a GIS Certificate from UNBC and is a graduate of the Stony Plain Organic Master Gardener program.
Debbi has taken courses in Sustainable Yards Level I and Level II as well as courses towards her Prairie Horticulture Certificate through Olds College. Debbi has a passion for plants, soil, gardening, food systems and nature as a whole. Her experience as a professional forester and gardener reinforces her passion to work with nature to build stable plant communities and ecosystems.