By increasing biodiversity, abundance and health in the Urban Orchard and supporting the development of healthy food environments.
By providing resources and supports to program participants, volunteers and staff to help them become leaders in food systems change.
This is more than just food. By providing opportunities for people to learn and interact with the local food system, we are changing the way the community lives, thinks, and eats in Greater Victoria. When you collect dirt under your fingernails gardening, or feel sunshine warm your shoulders in an orchard, or bite into a fresh picked fruit and let the juice drip down your chin, you are grounded in a shift that strengthens our connections with each other and the natural world.
Alex is grateful to be part of the team at LifeCycles! She is passionate about working to help create healthy communities through the lens of food security. Her favourite days at LifeCycles are Fruit Sorting Days with our incredible group of volunteer sorters. She is currently completing her Pollinator Stewardship Certification with the Island Pollinator Initiative and dreaming up new ways to introduce pollinator friendly habitat in urban spaces both big and small.
Maasa is a food literacy educator and farmer living as an uninvited guest on the unceded territories of the W_SÁNEC nation. As the School Farm Coordinator, she manages micro-farm sites and facilitates youth workshops on school grounds. Maasa has a background in organic farming and permaculture, and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Studies and English Literature from the University of Victoria. She is grateful to spend her days growing food and sharing the joy of growing food with her community.
Tim’s early life was spent on an array of isolated farms scattered across the Northern Interior. He discovered a profound curiosity about how natural, social and cultural systems interrelate to provide our ‘food.’ Tim spent his post-farm life exploring Europe and North Africa and studying the “history of systems of thought” in the Political Science department at UVIC.
In recent years, Tim has focused his Political, Urban, Anthropological, Historical, and Philosophical questions through the problem of sustainable ‘food systems.’ Tim has been closely involved in the creation and expansion of “Ranfurly Farm,” the intergenerational enterprise started by his family in 2009. He also became interested in how such practices as wild fermenting and urban foraging, aquatic gardening and aquaponic systems, food foresting and mushroom cultivation, guerrilla gardening and public propagation can close gaps in accessibility and enjoyment.
More hedonistic and experimental tendencies has inspired Tim to co-found a collective of chefs, bartenders, theatre practitioners, graphic and visual artists, farmers, and foragers to stage a series of culinary-oriented popup events that experiments with news ways for food and culture to produce community.
Rowen originally hails from Ontario, where she grew up working on her grandparents' farm. This was just the start of a lifetime of learning in the world of horticulture. Rowen has spent time working on farms across Canada, Portugal, Spain and France, and if there's anything that she has learned so far it's that there is more than one way to grow a plant. Her passion led her to the West Coast, where she first landed on Salt Spring Island and began her fruit tree obsession as orchard manager for Salt Spring Apple Company. Now as orchard coordinator at Welland she hopes to facilitate a space where all visitors, volunteers, or students alike can feel welcome, eat and learn about the very fruits of our labour!
Joan’s life-long passion for growing and eating healthy food aligns perfectly with her role as the
Executive Director of LifeCycles Project Society. She came to LifeCycles after over a decade as the
Executive Director of York Region Food Network where she led a committed team in advocating for
income responses to food insecurity and developing healthy food projects as a catalyst for building
strong and vibrant communities.
Joan has a background in business, with degrees from the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto. She moved into the social service realm after spending several years at home raising her four children. Joan is delighted to be back in her home province and to be working with the dedicated team at LifeCycles
Amira brings her passion for organic gardening, experiential education and youth facilitation to the LifeCycle's team. Her passion for hands-on place-based education began with a summer student position with the Galiano Conservancy Association, where she led environmental workshops in the beautiful Southern Gulf Islands and the Salish Sea. The connections created between urban students and nature, and their interactions with their local environment, is what fuels her passion for teaching and creating the environmental stewards of tomorrow. Her background as an Environmental Educator for Sierra Club BC allows her to bring her wealth of experience to the Growing Schools Program. When she's not sharing knowledge with youth, you can find her enjoying hikes, bikes, and making art.
John is the newest LifeCycles team member! He is looking forward to working with other like-minded people to advance local and regional food security initiatives like the Urban Learning Garden, the Welland Orchard and the Victoria Seed Library. John recently graduated from the University of Victoria with a BSc in Geography and Environmental Studies. He loves all things outdoors including snails, slugs, moss and lichen. His favorite parks are Gowland Todd, MacMillan and Pacific Rim. And his favourite vegetables to grow are cucumber, beets, purple top turnips and squash.
Jess joined LifeCycles’ board of directors in 2018. He learned about LifeCycles while picking apples in the community and was quickly drawn to this valuable work. Jess started his career with the BC Public Service in 2001 and has held multiple roles in the past 20 years in the justice and public safety sector. His education includes a Bachelor of Social Work and Masters of Business Administration. Jess looks forward to continuing involvement with LifeCycles’ board and advancing the organization’s important mandate in the community.
Katie grew up in Saanich, on the unceded Coast Salish Territories of the W_SÁNEC peoples. She's passionate about food, the outdoors, caring for the land and helping things grow. She completed her PhD research in neurophysiology and exercise rehabilitation. She also has an interest in nutrition and human health, and has worked as a university lecturer and in health course administration. You may see her around town on the family cargo bike, with her two kids on the back in their rain pants.
Grown from seeds first planted in 1994.
On an international youth exchange program in Santiago, Chile, our founding members learned about the links between globalization, the corporatization of food systems, environmental degradation, and food security. The program in Chile worked with local organizations to develop projects that would enhance the quality of life within urban communities. Our founders wondered how they could do the same thing at home, and from there the idea for the LifeCycles Project grew.
Our first project was the development of community gardens, tended by youth, whose harvests supplied local soup kitchens. Since then, our programs have grown to include a number of interrelated initiatives that address urban sustainability and food security by offering practical, accessible and hopeful solutions.
While “Think Globally, Act Locally” seems simplistic, it is still the best model for social and environmental action. This is one of our founding principles and it is why we have endured as one of Victoria’s best-loved community organizations for over 25 years. Local action, rooted within the community, is the most effective way to create change.