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 (she/her) 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 completed her Pollinator Stewardship Certification with Island Pollinator Initiative in 2021 and loves to imagine new ways we can introduce pollinator friendly habitat in urban spaces both big and small.
Tim’s (he/him) 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.
Meet Valerie (she/they). They were raised in the Okanagan on the unceded territory of the Syilx Peoples - with fruit trees in the backyard of every house they lived in. Valerie spent many enjoyable summers working at a local U-Pick farm. While there, she noticed the large amount of food waste that was generated due to the lack of redistribution systems for fresh produce in small towns like hers. From this, grew a desire to better understand food security and the structural inequalities that are at play. Valerie is excited to be working with a team full of passionate individuals and althought they're only just beginning their journey at Lifecycles, they're more than capable of helping us on our mission to make fresh food accessible to everyone.
Rowen (she/they) 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!
Megan (she/her) grew up on Syilx lands in the South Okanagan, where she developed a deep appreciation for the magic of orchards, vineyards, and sharing fresh fruit. Her background is rooted in geography, agriculture, and environmental education, and she has volunteered with a variety of social justice organizations. Megan is a lifelong learner, ever curious about the plants and people that make up the urban orchard, and she is grateful to continually be learning more about what responsible stewardship can look like.
Joan’s (she/her) 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
Julia (she/her) is a new addition to the LifeCycles team! She will be working as our Youth Program Facilitator for the Seed the City program in 2022. Julia’s background is in GIS/Mapping, but she is excited to transition into a position that allows her to be outside helping youth to get engaged in gardening and farming. She is an avid gardener and hopes that her enthusiasm inspires youth to get their hands dirty and discover the many physical and mental benefits of gardening. Julia studied Geography and Environmental Studies at UVic. She became passionate about conservation and biodiversity while completing her undergrad. Julia is excited to work at LifeCycles where she can pursue these passions through a food systems lens. Outside work, you’ll find her foraging, cooking healthy meals, camping or hiking with her chocolate labrador, Roger.
Taylor (she/her) grew up as a settler on the homelands of the Anisihnaabe, Cree, Ojibwe, Dene and Metis Nations in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She is humbled to live as an uninvited guest on the unceded territories of the lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ nations. Taylor is currently a student at UVic and is driven to this work in an effort to better understand the ways in which humans might attempt to repair and reinforce their relationships with each other and the land. She is particularly interested in the work of localizing the systems that are needed to sustain our lives in order to build local resiliency, autonomy, reciprocity and respect for all humans and non-humans alike! Taylor brings her love of food growing, skill building, connection and nature to the LifeCycles team. When she’s not at LifeCycles you can find her riding her bike, doing one of her evergrowing list of hobbies or sharing a nice meal with her friends and family!
Amira (she/they) 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 (he/him) 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.