For the past 10 years I have run FarmStart, a not for profit that was created to support and encourage a new generation of farmers to develop locally based, ecologically sound and economically viable agricultural enterprises. FarmStart offers flexible programs in Ontario that provide new farmers from all backgrounds with the resources, tools and support necessary to not only get their businesses off the ground, but to thrive.
I also own and manage a restaurant with my husband called Artisanale in Guelph, ON. We serve simple and delicious, handcrafted food. Everything we serve is made fresh, prepared in a French country style, using traditional and artisanal techniques that respect the flavour and beauty of seasonal and sustainable ingredients.
I have worked as a social entrepreneur for 17 years, working on ecological agriculture and community food initiatives, as well as with artisanal food producers throughout Canada and the US. Recently, I have undertaken research and lead initiatives to identify and cultivate practical impact investment strategies that could help to seed, strengthen and sustain our local food systems. I am most interested in approaches that integrate creative thinking with practical realities and systems thinking with concrete action.