As a 20-year resident of the Sunshine Coast, Ian has witnessed many changes to the culture, economy, and foodscape of the area. Having owned the health food store in Roberts Creek since 2011, he understands the need for distribution of local food products, and the desire to deepen the connection between local food producers and consumers.
“A vibrant local food movement is vital to the long-term economic and social well-being of Sunshine Coast residents. The One Straw Society has been a key component of that process for over twenty years. I’m proud to be serving my community.”
Mary Degan was grown half-city and half-country, on a small self-sustaining organic family hobby farm. Her family produced the majority of their food, as well as hunted and fished.
Mary has resided on magical Mount Elphinstone for about 20 years and is developing a permaculture microfarm fondly known as “The Wellstead.” She is a dedicated volunteer, choreographing community-based solutions to food security issues. Her 25+ years experience in media and publishing foster clear open communication.
She has been a director of the One Straw Society for many years, overseeing the stewardship of programs focused on reskilling and building community capacity for resiliency. Mary is passionate about increasing the Coast’s ability to nurture a healthy, beautiful, bountiful bioregion.
Crystal began volunteering with One Straw Society shortly after moving to the coast in 2009. She has acted as a Board member since 2011 and currently coordinates the Grow Your Own Dinner food growing mentor program, and manages One Straw’s membership and societal administration.
Much of the year her spare moments are spent in the garden digging, planting, and harvesting. “My time connected with the earth and its abundance is one of the most happy times of my day. I am now proud to be passing that passion on to my son, who naturally prefers to eat straight from the garden then off a plate.”
Alex was born and raised in the maritimes and moved to BC 10 years ago. Working in the construction industry, he began to notice unsustainable building practices were out of control. Inspired to make a difference, Alex moved to the Coast after studying Environmental Technology at Camosun College in Victoria.
Transitioning back into the construction industry, his focus has been on building more sustainable dwellings. He currently lives in a converted shipping container home and enjoys organizing events such as Seedy Saturday and the Fall Faire.
Sayata is a creature of two worlds. On one hand, she loves the internet–even running her own web agency, Anansi Solutions. On the other hand, she is an avid student of permaculture, an ecologist, and a dedicated gardener. She splits her time evenly between these two passions.
But the internet and the garden have something in common–they both inspire people to share information and create stronger communities. Sayata’s goal is to help One Straw maximize this potential.
Food Systems Network Coordinator
Kym Chi is a dedicated advocate of Earth stewardship, people-care and regenerative action for future resiliency. Deeply inspired by nature, art, and experiential education, she serves as a creative facilitator, artist, gardener, healer, and community builder.
To date, Kym has received a 3 certificates in Permaculture Design, completed 3 Ppermaculture teacher trainings, and has taken a variety of advanced trainings. She continues to learn and is completing a Diploma in Education through the Permaculture Institute USA. Kym enjoys living on the Sunshine Coast where she teaches permaculture and loves her work with One Straw Society and the local community.
Laura Walker has co-organized events for One Straw Society such as Seedy Saturday, the Edible Garden Tour, and the Fall Faire. She also does outreach events to raise awareness about current sustainability initiatives on the Coast.
Laura is the coordinator for the Ocean Vegetables Community Garden, which involves organizing work parties, a weekly volunteer orientation evening, and engaging the community in the design process. She organizes fundraising events, information sessions and does media and promotions for the gardens. Contact Laura to find out ways to get involved with the Ocean Vegetables Community Garden!
Dana has worked internationally for nearly a decade as a photojournalist and media producer and has had several films on the international festival circuit. Her passion centres around co-creating socially relevant works focusing on themes of social justice, Indigenous and intercultural issues, women, youth and the environment
She is poised to complete a diploma from the Permaculture Institute (USA) with specialisms in Media and Site Development and collaborates with Laura Walker to offer ecological design and consulting as Gaia’s Guild.
Dana is also co-steward of Gaiacraft–a planetary collective of permaculture teachers and plant people.
“I believe that a revolution can begin from this one strand of straw.
Seen at a glance, this rice straw may appear light and insignificant…
Hardly anyone would believe that it could start a revolution.
But I have come to realize the weight and power of this straw.”
– Masanobu Fukuoka, The One Straw Revolution