Storify: Green Drinks Farm to Fork

On April 5 we hosted a sold-out crowd at Yellowhead Brewery for the last Green Drinks of the season: Farm to Fork. Didn’t make it or just keen to relive the experience? Check out this Storify summary. The next Green Drinks season doesn’t kick off until the fall, but stay tuned for an invite to a summer get-together (probably on a patio!) for Green Drinks fans.

Interview: John Steblyk, Ice Cream Revolutionary

John Steblyk, one of the featured guests at Green Drinks: Farm to Fork, is the co-founder (along with his wife, Jess) of Revolution Ice Cream. They’re Edmonton’s very own small batch artisan ice cream company, making traditional French Custard, vegan and gluten free ice creams for the people. Connect with this awesome YEG business on Facebook and Instagram. Farm to Fork is already sold out, but don’t miss our next Green Drinks event.

Revolution Ice Cream

Hi there! What’s your name and how would you describe yourself in one sentence?

My name is John Steblyk, and after 15+ careers I have finally taken it upon myself to make Edmonton more delicious.

What’s the big project you’re working on right now? 

My company; Revolution Ice Cream. Our goal is to create the kind of ice cream this city deserves. We are focused on collaborating with and learning from with the best makers this city has to offer!

What’s the story of how Revolution Ice Cream got started?

For our wedding in 2015 we received a small ice cream machine and we quickly started playing with flavours. We then realized there was a gap in the Edmonton food scene for experimental artisan ice cream. By summer 2016 we decided it was time to jump right in and see what we could build for ourselves. The learning curve has been steep, but the Edmonton community has been so encouraging and eager to help out.

Can you tell us one nerdy, quirky or interesting fact about yourself?

I once on a dare hitchhiked across France dressed as a cowboy with only $10 in my pocket.

What are your three favourite, most inspiring projects in town that you wish more people knew about? And why?

Arcadia Bar. Darren has built up the most unlikely of bars featuring vegetarian and vegan pizza, a strictly Albertanbeer and liquor menu, and a supportive local music venue. This winter he arranged several nights to raise funds and collect clothing for Edmontons homeless. He is hard working, passionate, and deserves success.

Poppy Barley are a home grown success story that has built a fantastic product and brand, as well as doing so much for mental health, supporting female entrepreneurs, and promoting ethical business practices.

Winding Road Cheese. Their goal is to bring Prestige and recognition to the alberta cheese. Ian is obsessed with perfecting his art and using only the best local produce to bring his cheeses to the world stage. He takes so much pride in the smallest details and it shows in the quality of his work.

Revolution Ice Cream Logo

Interview: Jonathan Luckhurst, Aquaponics Educator

Jonathan Luckhurst, one of the featured guests at Green Drinks: Farm to Fork, is a multitalented guy with a passion for both aquaponics and visual art. Learn more about his company, Sea to Sky Aquaponics on their website and keep track of their latest news on Facebook. Farm to Fork is already sold out, but don’t miss our next Green Drinks event.

Jonathan Luckhurst

Hi there! What’s your name and how would you describe yourself in one sentence?

Jonathan Luckhurst. Always attempting to try new things and attempting to do things differently when the situation demands it!

What’s the big project your working on right now?

I’m building awareness about my new business, Sea to Sky Aquaponics, which is focused on creating educational aquaponic systems for schools.

What’s the short story of how your project got started?

It’s actually through my work with another of your guests, Nutraponics. I was heavily involved in the construction of their demo facility and it sparked my interest in aquaponics. After completing an artist residency in Vancouver in 2015, I was inspired to re-locate to the Coast and begin my business. I now operate between both Edmonton and the Coast.

Can you tell us one nerdy, quirky or interesting fact about yourself?

After completing a degree in cell biology genetics, I did a complete 180 and started pursuing a career as a visual artist…something which I’m still very active with today.

What are your three favourite, most inspiring projects in town that you wish more people knew about? And why?

DC3 Art Projects, an incredible space for contemporary art. It hosts exhibitions that stimulate your mind and emotions in equal proportion.

Troubadour Cycles, a brilliant startup from Brahm Olliviere. He’s created a portable bike mechanic service that comes to you. Saves you time!

Truffula Foods, another amazing startup from Allison Jayne. She’s a maestro with food and has created some amazing things to eat…available at Earth’s General Store. Stay healthy!

Aquaponics Education

Interview: Tanner Stewart, Vertical Farming Evangelist

Tanner Stewart

We had a quick chat with Tanner Stewart, one of the featured guests at our Green Drinks: Farm To Forks event, about Nutraponics and other local goodness. You can connect with Nutraponics on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Hi there! What’s your name and how would you describe yourself in one sentence?

I’m Tanner Stewart and I’m a vertical farming evangelist. More specifically, I work on Indoor Vertical Aquaponics Farming for a company called Nutraponics

What’s the short story of how your Nutraponics got started?

Back in 2010 our founders were trying to grow Rhodiola and Echinacia faster. They discovered Aquaponics as a growing method and decided to try farming vertically. The company and it’s mission evolved into one of building a global network of Indoor Vertical Aqauponics Farms globally. “Feeding the world. Protecting our future.” That’s what we’re all about. 

Can you tell us one nerdy, quirky or interesting fact about yourself?

I named my son after the gold standard of superheroes who fight for truth and justice……no pressure…..and I own about 8000 comic books.

What are your three favourite, most inspiring projects in town that you wish more people knew about? And why?

The Women Building Futures program, because it helps bridge women into roles they may not have gotten into otherwise.

Dion Lefebvre’s tiny Hempcrete House out in Weslock because it’s beautiful and sustainable building materials are the future.

Earth Group‘s amazing products that contribute to feeding the worlds children through the sales of their products. Their coffee is amazing!

Nutraponics Seedlings

Local Business Profile: Urban Farm Kits

Victor Bentiez is the founder of Urban Farm Kits, a small company on a mission to make healthy, organic food cheaper and more accessible by making it easier for people to get started with urban agriculture. We interviewed him about what motivated him to start his business and where he wants to take it in the years to come.

Victor Benitez

When did you start your business and what motivated you to take the leap?

Approximately two years ago. The idea for this business has changed too many times to count so it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where the business really began. What motivates me are social justice and anger. Right now most people can’t get really fresh, organic, tasty food at a low price. The can’t afford it; so they go without it. It’s very possible to fix this problem, but it takes investment, new ideas, and taking risks. I hate apathy and it angers me to no end to see how bureaucracy and old ways of thinking hold policy in place and prevent decision makers from creating faster change. That’s why I want to empower people to do their own shit, grow their own food, and live better.

 

How would you describe the mission of your business?

Lower the cost of healthy, organic food. I want to make sure that one day it will be cheaper and more accessible to get healthy, nutritious, local food than it is to get a bag a chips and a pop. It really is possible and it has the potential to tip the scales of eating habits across the board.

 

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced or are currently facing as a small business owner in Edmonton?

The need for funds to cover inventory and marketing. If you buy from my store, I can’t deliver until April. This really sucks and I know it’s turning potential customers away. That’s not an Edmonton specific challenge, but it’s just something that I’m sure a lot of businesses go through and it’s the situation I’m in right now.

 

What was the most surprisingly-easy thing about building a small business in Edmonton?

Getting a business license. I thought you had to fill out thousands of documents and hire a lawyer and jump through all these hoops. It was incredibly easy and getting proper insurance and WCB and all that other stuff is super easy to do. I thought it would be intimidating but it’s really set up to be as straightforward as possible.

 

Where do you see your business in the next three years?

In about three years I really hope to see the idea gaining traction and more people starting to realize how easy it is to grow your own food. Once enough people start talking about it and sharing with others I’ll hopefully be able to hire a small staff here in Edmonton to help me out.

 

Can you tell us one nerdy, quirky or interesting fact about yourself?

I’ve jumped out of a plane at night. It was part of the Canadian Military’s Basic Parachute program at the Canadian Land Advanced Warfare Training Centre.

 

Who are three of your favourite local, hidden-gem businesses in town that you think we should profile and why?

I honestly don’t get out much at all and most places I can mention are already well known. My favourite places though would be the Princess / Garneau theatres, Remedy Cafés, and the Art Gallery of Alberta. I really love movies and art so any place that has either one of those is very interesting in my books.

Urban Farm Kits Group

People of Green Drinks: Brittany Davey

Since we meet so many cool people at Green Drinks, we decided to start interviewing some of them. For this edition, we talked to Brittany Davey, who moved to Edmonton in 2014 and works at the City of Edmonton as an Ecological Planner. Brittany’s passion for her newfound home really shines through in this interview, which covers everything from her love of dogs to her belief in Edmonton’s potential to become a world leader of social and environmental change.

Our next event is Green Drinks: Farm to Fork on April 5. Hope to see you there!

Brittany Davey

Hi Brittany! How long have you lived in Edmonton?

It feels like forever but I’ve only been living in Edmonton since 2014.

Was this your first Green Drinks? If so, why did you decide to come? If not, how many have you been to?

I actually can’t count the number of Green Drinks I have been to, which I am happy to report, but I can recall having to miss two over the past year and both leaving me with immense feelings of missing out.  I’ve attended and had the opportunity to volunteer at a lot different Green Drinks. It has become a monthly thing I’m always looking forward to.  

What were you at Green Drinks to talk to people about? (i.e. what’s your big idea / project / company / interest?)

Usually when I’m at Green Drinks my go to topic of conversation is ecological planning. I could ramble on all day about Edmonton parks, natural areas, and the River Valley.

Who’s the most interesting person you met at Green Drinks? (i.e. who should we interview next?)

I can only choose one? Colin Szenes. The conversation topic on his name tag is always “dogs.”As a fellow dog lover, how can you not be intrigued to indulge in a conversation about dogs?

What do you do for work right now?

I’m currently working as an ecological planner with the City of Edmonton and I love it. Working as an ecological planner provides a lot of diverse experiences that allows me to really feel like I’m a part of building a community. A lot of the work I do is around River Valley planning and working to balance the impacts of development while preserving the natural environment.

Can you tell us one nerdy, quirky or interesting fact about yourself?

Darts. I love playing darts. I just started playing recently and can’t stop.

If you could instantly change one thing about Edmonton, or add something we don’t have, what would it be? 

Edmonton is a city that has so much potential. It’s outrageous. We are living in a city where there are major transformational projects on the go that, when they materialize, have the potential to enhance our public realm and completely change our city. Projects like the Valley Line LRT, the development of the Quarters, Alex Decoteau Park,  etc… all have so much potential to take our city to the next level. Edmonton is anticipated to grow to 2.1 million people in the next 50 years. Our community keeps getting more diverse and innovative as it grows. These changes are so exciting.

Edmonton is the place where six degrees of separation are constantly tested and Edmontonians are a group of people that truly give a shit and we all work to build our city and improve our communities. The vision I have for Edmonton is to see all this potential materialize. Edmonton can be the place we want to make it. Our City is in its infancy and we have the opportunity to steer it in any direction we choose. We can be the ones to make Edmonton more sustainable, inclusive, and livable. My vision is for Edmonton is to draw upon the great things other cities are doing and to use and foster these ideas by giving them that Edmonton touch. This will help to elevate Edmonton into becoming a leader in social and environmental change while maintaining a strong sense of community and identity.

Click here to get your Green Drinks tickets

Brittany Davey

People of Green Drinks: Kara Deringer

Since we meet so many cool people at Green Drinks, we decided to start interviewing some of them. For this edition, we talked to Kara Deringer, who we met at Green Drinks: Good Business. Originally from Camrose, she’s a coach and bestselling author with a new book coming out in just a few months. 

Our next event is Green Drinks: Farm to Fork on April 5. Hope to see you there!

Kara Deringer

Hi Kara! How long have you lived in Edmonton?

I grew up in Camrose, Alberta, and moved to Edmonton to attend the UofA in 1999.

 

Was this your first Green Drinks? If so, why did you decide to come? If not, how many have you been to?

I’ve been to a few Green Drinks events. I love how friendly the people are, and how the information is always refreshing and interesting.

 

What were you at Green Drinks to talk to people about? (i.e. what’s your big idea / project / company / interest?)

I’m a coach. I teach people how to create and live an extraordinary life – with an extraordinary career, extraordinary relationships, extraordinary fun, and extraordinary health.

 

Who’s the most interesting person you met at Green Drinks? (i.e. who should we interview next?)

Enid Dufresne-Dario of Juniper Cafe & Bistro

She is sharp, authentic, and her positive energy is contagious!!

 

What do you do for work right now?

On top of my coaching work, I’m the author of International #1 Bestseller Chill: Creating Happiness in Life and Love. My second book, Chica, will be released in the next few months! One of the interviews featured in Chica is with tireless leader and change maker Sarah Chan. It was an inspiring conversation, to say the least.

 

Can you tell us one nerdy, quirky or interesting fact about yourself?

I’m missing 13 teeth…a number of my adult teeth didn’t come in, and I’ve retained a number of my baby teeth.

 

If you could instantly change one thing about Edmonton, or add something we don’t have, what would it be? 

I would add more playgrounds and community gardens. Now, I don’t necessarily mean the playgrounds that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even just simple playgrounds. Community spaces bring people together – adults and children – to relax, connect, and play.

Click here to get your Green Drinks tickets

People of Green Drinks: Jesse Hahn

Since we meet so many cool people at Green Drinks, we decided to start interviewing some of them. For this edition, we talked to Jesse Hahn, who has been to so many Green Drinks events that he’s lost count. He’s self-employed and always has several interesting sustainability-related projects on the go. But he emphasized that he doesn’t come to Green Drinks to talk peoples’ ears off. He comes to learn. And we’re so glad he keeps coming back!

Our next event is Green Drinks: Farm to Fork on April 5. Hope to see you there!

Jesse Hahn

Hi Jesse! How long have you lived in Edmonton?

I’ve resided here on and off for around 15 years.

Was this your first Green Drinks? If so, why did you decide to come? If not, how many have you been to?

I’ve been attending Green Drinks since 2008 or 2009. They used to host it by donation in the basement of a little greek restaurant on Whyte Ave. and various other locations. I’ve lost track of my attendance.

What were you at Green Drinks to tell people about? (i.e. what’s your big idea / project / company / interest?)

I don’t go there to tell people anything. I go to learn. But if I had any advice for anyone at Green Drinks it would be along the lines of ‘if you have a project in mind but you aren’t sure if it will work, do it anyway.’ There is magic in the effort.

Who’s the most interesting person you met at Green Drinks? (i.e. who should we interview next?)

Alan Howat. Long time Edmontonian with an eclectic background and some incredible stories. He’s the founder of Maris Media Group and Green Business Canada. He’s giving away a trip for two to Iceland and sponsoring a ‘Green’ trade mission to the EU in September. Check out www.businessofgreen.ca to enter his contest.

What do you do for work right now?

I’m self employed and hustle for Carbon Credit Solutions, Luxeum Renewables Group and am coordinating the means of production for an industrial hemp production project in 2017. 

Can you tell us one nerdy, quirky or interesting fact about yourself?

I only like two kinds of pie…

If you could instantly change one thing about Edmonton, or add something we don’t have, what would it be?

I think it would be nifty if Edmonton used geothermal heat in new developments to manage snow on sidewalks and roadways. This is done in a few places in Germany and Iceland. Plowing snow is such a chore and a constant temperature year-round may reduce road maintenance requirements. And it would be nice to have few more places where a guy can get hot or cold pie. 

Click here to get your Green Drinks tickets

Tad and Jesse

We’re big Jesse Hahn fans here at The Local Good.

People of Green Drinks: Tara Russell

Since we meet so many cool people at Green Drinks, we decided to start interviewing some of them. For this edition, we talked to Tara Russell, who we met at Green Drinks: Good Business. Originally from Vancouver, she’s a long-time lover of the outdoors and is currently putting that passion to work as a Conservation Assistant at the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS)

Our next event is Green Drinks: Green Economy on March 1. Hope to see you there!

20160724_092707

Hi Tara! How long have you lived in Edmonton?

Three and a half years, and I love it!

 

Was this your first Green Drinks? If so, why did you decide to come? If not, how many have you been to?

It was my second! I went to my first Green Drinks not long after I had moved to Edmonton, and it is actually how I ended up in my current job. I met Alison Ronson, the executive director for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society Northern Alberta Chapter (CPAWS). We went out for a coffee a week or so later, and I started volunteering for CPAWS. That was more than 2 years ago, and I am now a full time employee.

I love Green Drinks, the people are incredible and inspiring and it is a really phenomenal way to connect with our community.

 

What were you at Green Drinks to tell people about? (i.e. what’s your big idea / project / company / interest?)

This last time I was at Green Drinks was to tell the people about CPAWS and the work that we are doing. I get really excited about the way we go about achieving our conservation goals. CPAWS Northern Alberta works to protect Alberta’s wilderness and wildlife on public lands (60% of Alberta is publicly owned), and all of our work is science-based, and collaborative. CPAWS also strives to reach out to the Northern Alberta community and to educate the public on the threats facing our wilderness.

One of our big projects right now is our #loveyourheadwaters campaign. CPAWS, in collaboration with the Yellowstone to Yukon initiative, is working to protect the Bighorn Backcountry. The Bighorn Backcountry is home to the headwaters of the North Saskatchewan River, and provides Edmonton with almost 90% of its drinking water, yet it is unprotected, and threatened by industry, and irresponsible recreation. We are going to change that!

My main project (because they are so cute and fuzzy) is working to help Alberta’s threatened boreal woodland caribou. We are at risk of losing the caribou here in Alberta in our lifetime if nothing changes in the way we use and manage our wild landscapes. Caribou are an iconic Canadian species (they are even on our quarter) as well as indicators of boreal forest health. But don’t worry, there is still time to save them!
Check out our caribou campaign page and read our publication, “Alberta’s Caribou: A Guide to Range Planning” to see CPAWS’ plan for their recovery.

 

Who’s the most interesting person you met at Green Drinks? (i.e. who should we interview next?)

Tad Hargrave! He was fascinating, and seemed to be involved in so many aspects of the Edmonton community, from working with the Local Good to performing with Rapid Fire Theatre.

 

What do you do for work right now?

CPAWS is the non-profit conservation organization I work for, and everyday we get to do amazing science-based work that furthers the protection of wilderness and wildlife in Alberta. As someone who loves to be outside and on an adventure, it is so incredible to get to work everyday to protect the wild spaces that I love. We are so fortunate to have amazing wilderness still left in Alberta, I hope that through our work we have the chance to keep it for the future.

 

Can you tell us one nerdy, quirky or interesting fact about yourself?

I have a vegetable garden plot in my neighbourhood community garden! I love it, and am learning a lot about growing my own food. My garden teaches me something new every year. This year I learned the value of staggering your planting, and what to do with 10 kilograms of green beans all at once.  

 

If you could instantly change one thing about Edmonton, or add something we don’t have, what would it be? Is there something you’ve seen in another city that you wish was in Edmonton?

I love Edmonton! It has an incredible river valley, cute and quirky neighbourhoods, a resiliency you are hard pressed to find elsewhere, and all sorts of hidden gems. However, I still meet people that live here that say they hate it, or meet people from elsewhere that do not understand why I like living here. I wish we could change the way that Edmonton is perceived. It is a fabulous city to live in, and filled with awesome people!  

Want to learn more about the Northern Alberta chapter of CPAWS? Check out www.cpawsnab.org and connect with them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Click here to get your Green Drinks tickets