Our Team



Board Members

Hannah Wittman

Hannah Wittman,
Centre for Sustainable Food Systems, UBC

Dr. Hannah Wittman’s research examines the ways that the rights to produce and consume food are contested and transformed through struggles for agrarian reform, food sovereignty, and agrarian citizenship. Her projects include community-based research on farmland access, transition to organic agriculture, and seed sovereignty in British Columbia, agroecological transition and the role of institutional procurement in the transition to food sovereignty in Ecuador and Brazil, and the role that urban agriculture and farm-to-school nutrition initiatives play in food literacy education.

Dr. Wittman holds a PhD in Development Sociology from Cornell University (2005). She grew up on a farm in Idaho and has built her career on the social organization of small scale farming systems. Her research looks at the services that small scale farmers provide in terms of community access to healthy food and an understanding of where food comes from. Dr. Wittman documents the relationships between community, food and the environment, and helps to develop policies that support a more sustainable food system. In 2014, a report by Dr. Wittman and LFS master’s student J. Dennis examined community farms and agricultural land trusts in the province, as well as identified the needs and challenges for new farmers.

Darcy Smith

Darcy Smith,
Land Matching Program
Young Agrarians

Darcy was raised with her hands in the dirt sowing seeds and harvesting backyard veggies. With a background in communications and project coordination, this farm enthusiast found her path when she started writing about and working with farmers. Darcy is drawn to projects that empower new entrants to agriculture with much-needed resources. As the Young Agrarians Land Matcher, she spends her days as a farm matchmaker, connecting farmers and land owners in the Lower Mainland.

In addition to her role as Land Matcher at Young Agrarians, Darcy is the Communications Officer for the Certified Organic Associations of BC (COABC) and edits the BC Organic Grower, a quarterly magazine for BC’s organic community.

Craig Evans

Craig Evans,
Growing Opportunities Farm Community Co-op

is a Director with Nanaimo’s Growing Opportunities Farm Community Coop, a non-profit coop that partners with the Nanaimo Foodshare Society to manage two urban farms within the City. Craig has been active in the local food security movement for the last 35 years. In 2019, Nanaimo Foodshare was successful in convincing the city to purchase the Five Acres Farm, one of the last original farm homesteads dating back to the 1890’s. Craig is employed by Vancouver Island University as a Worksite Trainer, and teaches students with challenges and disabilities work skills necessary for success.

Find the shortest, simplest way between the earth, the hands, and the mouth” Lanza del Vasto

Michelle Tsutsumi

Michelle Tsutsumi 
Certified Organic Associations of BC

Michelle Tsutsumi is a mid-life switcher from trauma counselling to organic farming. She is grateful to have learned from the Hettler’s at Pilgrims’ Produce in Armstrong and has been at Golden Ears Farm in Secwepemculecw (Chase) since 2014. Michelle is also an organizer and communicator, with an eye for process and a passion for systems thinking and shared leadership.

Lori Snyder

Lori Snyder
Earth Awareness Realized Through Health & Company

Lori is an Indigenous herbalist and educator with a deep knowledge of wild, medicinal and edible plants that grow in everyday spaces. She 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, the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Bra, Italy, and 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.

Today, Lori stewards a medicine wheel garden at the Moberly Arts and Cultural Centre. She is working with the David Suzuki Foundation as a Butterfly Ranger and consults with both the Foundation and the YWCA at Evelyn Crabtree on native plants and their importance in our ecological relationship with other living beings.

Staff

Heather Pritchard

Heather Pritchard,
Coordinator

Heather is not new to big innovative ideas. In the early 80’s when she co-founded Folk on the Rocks music festival, bringing together musicians from the far-flung communities in the Northwest Territories, she did so to demonstrate how a racially divided community could unite around music. In 1985, she co-founded an agricultural business on Fraser Common Farm and is recognized as creating the first commercially grown mixed green salad in Canada. In 2006 the company became a coop, Glorious Organics, and since then Heather has been an advocate of “shared farming on shared land”.

As a founding member of FarmFolk CityFolk, her work, over the past 27 years, includes coordinating the BC region of the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, partnering with Young Agrarians, and supporting the development of Community Farm Cooperatives. She is a founding member of Vancouver Food Policy Council and the BC Food Systems Network and is the current Chair of Slow Food in Canada.

In 2015, Heather was given the Brad Reid Memorial Award for her outstanding contribution to the organic sector in British Columbia. On January 1, 2018, Heather left FarmFolk CityFolk to work full time for the Foodlands Cooperative of BC.

Ava Reeve

Ava Reeve,
Manager, Legal Literacy Project

Ava comes to Foodlands from broad experience building community resilience in small-scale agriculture, as with her development of the Small Farm Network and contribution to the formation of the Langley Farmers’ Institute. In various capacities she has worked with local governments, environmental organizations, social-service charities, and agricultural associations, each of which she believes has a role to play in food-centred sustainable community development. She brings her eye for detail to the Land Transfer Legal Literacy Project, and her drive for socially, ecologically and economically sustainable agriculture to Foodlands as a whole.

On Contract

Ian Moore

Ian Moore,
Legal for Land Transfer Legal Literacy Project,

Ian is a law reform-oriented lawyer with a passion for helping redesign legal and governance structures to be more in sync with the rhythms of Nature. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Ian contributed to numerous dimensions of the sustainability sector, including community organizing, community garden management, environmental policymaking, and deliberative public engagement. Ian has been practising law in British Columbia since 2017, with a primary focus on the areas of local government and environmental law.

Natasha van Bentum

Natasha van Bentum,
Legacy & Outreach Advisor

Natasha van Bentum (CFRE 1996-2019) is an international fund development and outreach practitioner with a focus on legacies and a keen interest in community food security, social finance and social entrepreneurship. Over the years, Natasha has been instrumental in promoting the creation of legacy programs both in Canada and worldwide. This has resulted in millions of dollars being put to work to address the vital issues of our times, and help create a greener and healthier future for future generations. Natasha’s philosophy and commitment to mentoring a new generation, as well as producing and freely-sharing high quality publicly-available resources and tools for the sector, is well recognized. Follow Natasha on Twitter @GiveGreenCanada

Michael Marrapese

Michael Marrapese,
Communications and IT

A long-time member of Community Alternatives Society and resident of the Fraser Common Farm Cooperative in the Fraser Valley, Michael has provided technical and production support for a wide range of non-profit and community action projects including the Oxfam Global Heath Project, the BC Cooperative Housing Federation, Isadora’s Cooperative Restaurant, the Physical Medicine Research Foundation and FarmFolk CityFolk.

He has worked with FarmFolk CityFolk for over twenty years and has worked on many other projects in the intervening years including:

  • Technical Director for the BC Drama Festival, the Dawson City Music Festival, Folk on the Rocks Festival in Yellowknife and the Vancouver Folk Music Festival.
  • Designer and builder of “Beulah”, the ‘Urban Composter’, a composting machine for apartment buildings and small businesses, on a project of Community Alternatives Society.
  • Organizer/Manager of fundraising concerts, tours and recording projects for Music for Nicaragua and Tools for Peace.
  • Participant in several Earthen Building projects most notably the Orchard Sanctuary at Hollyhock on Cortes Island, BC.

An avid photographer, writer and musician he loves working on the farm and marvels at the beauty of nature. And though he moves a lot slower these days due to multiple back and knee injuries he continues to be involved in various projects and seems to be willing to travel at the slightest provocation. 

Past Board Members

Mark Vickars
Past Board Member
FarmFolk CityFolk

Mark is the former CEO of Choices Markets and has a lifelong commitment to volunteerism, social activism and continuing education. As a retirement gift to himself Mark recently completed the Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture program at UBC Farm. The UBC program re-energized his commitment to helping nurture, protect and promote BC’s Foodlands and Agro-producers. Additionally Mark is keen to use his business world experience to help develop local and community based food enterprises. Currently Mark sits on the board of FarmFolk CityFolk and volunteers his time mentoring individuals and businesses entering the organic food industry.

Elvezio Del Bianco,
Program Manager,
Co-operative Partnerships
Vancity Credit Union

As Vancity Credit Union’s Program Manager for Cooperative Partnerships, Elvezio (“Elvy”) Del Bianco works internally on disseminating knowledge of the cooperative business model to increase Vancity’s capacity to support co-ops, and externally on building partnerships and developing projects with cooperatives and others to help realize a stronger cooperative economy. This work is largely informed by the activities of the Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, the world’s most significant cooperative economy and the focus of Vancity’s Co-operative Study Tour, which Elvy has organized since 2008. Elvy is the founder and organizer of Cooperate Now, a co-op business model education program and the President of the Board of the Clinton Park Thingery Cooperative.

Allison Felker,
Acting Executive Director,
Vancity Community Foundation

Heather O’Hara,
Executive Director,
BC Association of Farmers’ Markets

Heather is the Executive Director of the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets and a new organic farmer living on a horse farm in Ladner.

As a social entrepreneur and food lover, Heather believes deeply in farmers’ markets and small-scale farms and farmers as a critical force in our regional food system. Over the past decade, she has worked with a variety of innovative projects, businesses, social enterprises, non-profits and charities including Potluck Café Society, CityStudio and the Vancity Community Foundation to name a few.

Heather has spent a life time visiting her grandparents’ family farm in the Interlake region of Manitoba and is deeply committed to preserving foodlands for generations to come.

Advisors

Moira Teevan/Kira Gerwing
Community Investments
Vancity Credit Union

Organizational Members