Our program instructors are experts in their field and are deeply involved in the sustainable agriculture community. They have the expertise, knowledge, skills and networks to provide students with the best possible learning opportunities.
Daniel Garfinkel, He/Him - Richmond Farm School Manager and Lead Instructor
Daniel has been with ISFS since 2018. He is both the teacher and manager of the Richmond Farm School. He is deeply passionate about food, farming, and community. He has been growing, cooking, and educating for nearly a decade. His earnestness and dedication to the local food movement is highly contagious and evident through his work as a chef, Master Gardener, Beekeeper, Permaculturist, farmer, educator, and consultant. His non-conventional path of learning has led him to both applying and expanding his knowledge at multiple farms in the Lower Mainland as well as living in the Middle East in search of new sustainable agriculture practices and the best hummus. In 2016, Daniel intertwined his passions as well as his background in small business management and founded Vancouver Farming Co., a non-profit farming organization dedicated to feeding the members of our community who need it most, first.
Kareno Hawbolt, She/Her - Market Crop Vegetables and Flowers
Kareno is the co-owner of Sweet Digz Farm, a small-scale sustainable farm located in Richmond, on leased land that is the traditional & unceded territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓-speaking Coast Salish peoples. Kareno has been farming for 20 years: she began by apprenticing on Salt Spring Island, then worked as a farm worker & then manager on several farms on SSI and on Vancouver Island for a decade before moving back to Richmond (her hometown) to be closer to family. In 2013, Kareno and her partner started Sweet Digz Farm, running a CSA and weekly market for the Richmond community, as well as SHARE it Forward, a food access project they created to help folks of lower income be able to access fresh local produce. This year, they are stepping into their long-time goal of growing medicinal herbs (in addition to veggies). Kareno is fueled by a passion for food justice, protecting biodiversity and earth-based ways of living, and teaching new farmers to value the “heart work” of the craft.
Paige Leslie, She/Her - KPU Farm Schools Sales and Communications Manager, Richmond Farm School Program Coordinator
Paige moved to Vancouver in January 2019 to pursue her passion for nature and farming. She worked in an ad agency in Toronto for 4 years after completing her degree in creative advertising, but quickly realized that ad agencies (and Toronto) weren’t for her. She wanted to combine her skills and passions to do more meaningful work for local businesses and KPU Farm Schools was the needle in the haystack that she had been looking for. Now a year into her role and she couldn’t be happier.
Paige will also be taking the Richmond Farm School program in 2021 to develop a solid foundation in farming with the goal to become a small scale farmer herself one day. In addition to her passion for local, sustainable food systems, Paige enjoys swimming, hiking, camping and going to music festivals. Basically anything that gets her outdoors and moving puts a huge smile on her face!
Sarah Clements, She/Her – Tsawwassen First Nation Farm School Manager and Lead Instructor
Sarah's formal food systems education began at UBC where she completed a Bachelor of Science in Land and Food Systems as well as the Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture at the UBC Farm. Before joining the ISFS team in 2017, Sarah spent three seasons working at the UBC Farm as the Practicum Mentor, CSA manager, and manager of several production fields. She also worked for Victory Gardens Vancouver, building food gardens in the city and teaching people how to grow food in their own backyards. Sarah is passionate about growing local, sustainable food and hopes to empower BC’s next generation of organic farmers! In her spare time, she enjoys singing and playing the fiddle in a bluegrass band.
Katherine Hastie, She/Her - Tsawwassen First Nation Farm School Vegetable Production Manager
Katherine started farming in 2011 at Fresh Roots Urban Farm where she was cycling around East Vancouver, farming in backyards. After that she spent 7 seasons at the UBC Farm as the volunteer and outreach coordinator and field manager before heading back to Fresh Roots to tackle the farm manager position. She's excited to be at KPU where she can meld her passions for small scale organic farming and farmer training.
Katherine really enjoys growing food and getting folks excited to eat seasonally and is often heard rattling off recipes while weeding away in the field. This love of cooking was fostered by growing up in a household that was filled with tasty food. When she’s not farming, she’s trying to get her cardio fix by running, cycling, skiing and most importantly, dancing!
Micheal Robinson, He/Him - Extension Associate
Originally from Vancouver Island, Micheal’s passion for agriculture led him to Vancouver and KPU’s Sustainable Agriculture program. After the program, Micheal spent time managing an organic livestock operation on Vancouver Island. Micheal was involved with the Tsawwassen First Nation Farm School as Farm Manager from 2017 to 2019. Currently, Micheal is taking on the role as a research technician for the Institute's Hog Grazing and Pasture Rotation project, bringing his expertise and skills from his farm school work. He will continue to build BC's sustainable agriculture extension system and conduct production agriculture research.
Kent Mullinix – Fruit Tree Production
Director of Institute for Sustainable Food Systems
Brian Campbell – Beekeeping
Founder of Blessed Bee Apiaries and Bee School
Deborah Henderson – Integrated Pest Management, TFNFS
Director, Institute for Sustainable Horticulture, KPU
Amy Norgaard, MSc, PAg - Soil Science
Amy completed her MSc in Soil Science in the Sustainable Agricultural Landscapes (SAL) lab, UBC. The goal of her MSc research was to help improve nutrient management on organic vegetable farms to balance crop production with environmental stewardship. To do so, she worked with 20 producers across three regions of southwest BC (Fraser Valley, Pemberton, Vancouver Island). She quantified the costs, yields, and impacts to soil properties associated with different nutrient management strategies using compost and fertilizer applications targeting nitrogen or phosphorus crop removal.
Prior to her MSc, Amy worked as a research assistant in the SAL lab on the BC Manure and Crop Nutrients Database for southwest BC, which provided updated data to develop nutrient management planning tools for the province. Amy has also worked on an organic mixed vegetable farm in Pemberton, BC for several seasons and was a program coordinator for the Richmond Food Security Society.
Amy has been a speaker and facilitator of workshops on nutrient management, translating agricultural science at numerous producer events in the province. She is a Professional Agrologist with the BCIA and teaches sustainable soil management with the KPU – Tsawwassen First Nation Farm School, KPU - Richmond Farm School, and the UBC Farm Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture. Most recently, she co-developed a nutrient management service with ES Cropconsult, which is now available for farmers in the Fraser Valley.
Elly Rakhmetouline - Cut Flower Business, RFS
Elly Rakhmetouline (she/her) is Russian born and West Coast raised. She owns and runs Late Bloomers Flower Farm, a small cut flower business growing in Burnaby BC. Elly has been in urban farming for over 8 years, having previously worked at The World in a Garden, Victory Gardens and Cropthorne Farm. She loves snacking on harukai turnips, harvesting buckets full of dahlias and strawflower, and yammering on about the importance of knowing your farmers and being educated on how your food and blooms are grown.
Lori Snyder, First Nations Métis Herbalist & Educator - Medicinal Plants
Lori Snyder is an Indigenous herbalist and educator with a deep knowledge of wild, medicinal and edible plants that grow in everyday spaces. Through Lori’s eyes, our immediate surroundings take on a new life and offer a wealth of untapped nutritional and ecological resources. Through Indigenous ways of knowing and pedagogies, Lori leads people of diverse backgrounds in reconnecting to the Earth’s wisdom. Her practices include plant identification walks, illustration and plant medicine workshops, homemade products for the skin, consulting on garden design, as well as public speaking and team training.
Lori has collaborated with the Provincial Health Association of BC (PHABC), helping to incorporate Indigenous teachings into the curriculum. Through the Farm2School pilot project, Lori supported the development of nine Indigenous foodscapes on elementary and secondary school grounds in Vancouver. Lori has also collaborated with the Vancouver Parks Board, Douglas Community College, VanDusen Botanical Garden, Village Vancouver, and many community gardens and centres in and around Vancouver. She connected with the Vancouver TED Talk participants in 2017, and has also shared her expertise with university initiatives such as UBC Farm, SFU Embark Gardens, and of course KPU Farm Schools!
Today, Lori stewards a medicine wheel garden at the Moberly Arts and Cultural Centre. She is currently working with the David Suzuki Foundation as a Butterfly Ranger and consulting with both the foundation and the YWCA at Evelyn Crabtree on native plants and their importance in our ecological relationship with other living beings. She is the Artist in Residence at Hastings Community Centre for 2020, offering the teachings of plant wisdom through various art mediums.
Lori’s vision is to continually co-create insightful dialogues, to remediate and reconcile with our Indigenous plants as we reintroduce them into our urban landscapes. By sharing and growing these practices, communities can access our true local foods and medicines, which support collective resilience and deep ecological healing for all species.
Photo Credit: Dana Wilson
Dru Yates - Integrated Pest Management, RFS
Maddy Clerk - Business Planning, RFS
Conor Fanning - On-Farm Construction, RFS
Ryan Thummel - Seed Saving, RFS