Sat, 12 September 2009
Nelson Urban Acres
Massachusetts Avenue Project
Paul Hoepfner-Homme - urban farmer, Nelson Urban Acres (Nelson, BC) - Paul is 28 years old and was fortunate to grow up in a gardener's oasis uncharacteristic of the norm in suburban Oakville, Ontario. His mother, a passionate gardener, transformed the lawns into a thriving landscape consisting of native plants and shrubs, vegetables and berries. Being raised in this environment gave Paul an early appreciation for what grows out of the ground. During university he developed a passion for sustainability when he read the novel Ishmael, and upon completing his computer science degree he made it his mission to learn how to live sustainably. This passion led him to enrol in a 7-month internship at Everdale, an organic farm in Ontario, where he gained valuable skills and knowledge in operating an organic vegetable farm. In 2008 he moved to the Kootenay region of British Columbia and took a Permaculture Design course in Winlaw where he gained a deeper understanding of growing food in relationship with ecosystems.
Diane Picard - executive director, Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP) (Buffalo, NY) - Diane has been with MAP since 1997. She was instrumental in opening the Neighborhood Outreach Center in 1998 and she currently directs Growing Green. She received a Masters of Social Work from Boston University, specializing in Program Planning and Community Organizing. Her undergraduate degree in International Agriculture and Development from Cornell University prepared her to teach agriculture and art at a rural secondary school in Botswana, where she served as a Peace Corps volunteer from 1986-1988. Diane is devoted to grassroots community-building as a means of making positive change.