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Workshop Leaders

Below are the speakers from the 2017 festival:

Jim Appleby

Jim Appleby grew up on a dairy farm just outside of Steinbach, MB. Jim and his wife Angie had three children and settled down near Camrose, AB to work in a church, during which time they developed a keen interest in food security and the way that food impacts a community.

Jim’s undergraduate studies focused on rural community development, and his ongoing education focused on food and community. Angie got her Organic Master Gardener certificate. At the same time, Jim’s parents were transitioning the farm to be certified Organic. Jim’s health failed a few years into ministry and he and his family moved back to heal on the family farm. With a new and personal sensitivity to the many toxins in our modern world they saw a need in the province to get fresh, quality milk bottled with the same care that Jim’s parents invested in producing it. Needing to minimize his time in public to avoid exposure, spending his time on the farm bottling milk seemed a good fit, so he decided to take a leap and open the only micro creamery in the province.

Jim has been playing at making all kinds of cheeses and cultured dairy products since, which has been a delight (mostly!) for the whole family. However, so far Stoney Brook Creamery’s single offering is high quality, Organic milk in glass bottles. The Appleby family gets great fulfillment from knowing that their milk is helping people who have been unable to drink dairy in years, and from the hope that their efforts might be an inspiration to people who want to produce, process, or eat good food and have a positive impact on their community at the same time.

Shannon Bahuaud & Natalie Elizabeth

Shannon Bahuaud has been working in the natural health industry with a passion for food and plants as medicine since 2006. Her experiences include organic market gardening, interning on a medicinal herb farm, working in health food stores, and studying Ayurvedic medicine and yoga. Shannon is happiest working in various pockets of nature where she can experience the wind, soil, plants, sun and rain with all of her senses, in whatever rural or urban setting.


Natalie Elizabeth hails from a family farm in southern Manitoba where she could often be found crouched in the dirt, overturning rocks. Throughout the years, she has bounced back and forth between remote locations and densely populated urban areas building green spaces for plants and for people. Some of her favourite things to share and learn are: traditional food processing skills such as fermentation, soil microbiology, seed saving, herbal medicine, and the cultural history of farming around the world.

Photo coming soon

Devan Swetlikoff

Bio coming soon.

Beth & Al Bristow

Bristow Ironworks

Bristow Ironworks is a Canadian company located near Bracebridge, Ontario that specializes in keeping the age old art of cast iron alive and well. They are the only Canadian cast iron company! Beth and Al Bristow take great pride in providing only the best quality castings found today made here in Canada. If you’ve never cooked in a cast iron container they recommend that you try. It is the original non-stick pan when properly used and seasoned. It has never been duplicated with synthetics and the taste just can’t be beat. It’s serviceable lifetime will commonly exceed several generations becoming a valuable, family heirloom.

Beth and Al are constantly searching for molds and samples that have either been abandoned or gone out of use. With these they make molds and resurrect the product in order to be able to offer them to you.

They enjoy re-enacting and can often be found at the various events that criss-cross Canada and the United States with their wares.


Lydia Carpenter

Lydia Carpenter is co-owner and farmer/grazier at Luna Field Farm in southwestern Manitoba. Lydia and her partner Wian manage several hundred acres of pasturelands and raise pastured poultry, laying hens, cattle, sheep and hogs. They also have a few milking goats! Lydia grew up in Winnipeg. She has been farming for the last 7 years and she and Wian make their living from the farm. They market the meats they produce on the farm direct to families in Manitoba!

Chad Cornell

Chad Cornell, is a Master Herbalist with over a decade of practical clinical experience. He draws on his training in such diverse traditions as Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and both Eclectic and Indigenous herbal healing lineages of North America and abroad. Chad Cornell graduated from The Wild Rose College of Natural Healing as a Master Herbalist in 2003. He is the founder of The Hollow Reed Holistic Centre and also a graduate of The Ayurvedic Institute. He aims to integrate the best of our global healing traditions with emerging scientific discoveries into the very nature of nature.

His passion includes a unique blending of both ancient and modern perspectives on how to aid his clients in attaining their personal goals. Chad’s private consultations include a process of exploring and investigating ones challenges and goals and detailed explanations on the best options available based on his many years of experience.

In addition to the use of time tested natural remedies, his therapies also often focus on dietary education and the importance of lifestyle practices that nurture well-being and vitality. For those interested in a more holistic approach, Chad may use methods such as guided meditation to assist individuals in realizing both their true nature and their full potential.

Aiden Enns

Aiden Enns lives in Winnipeg. He and his partner Karen Schlichting preserve raspberry, black currant, and plum jam from fruit in their yard in Wolseley. He has taught voluntary simplicity in college. Aiden is the editor of Geez magazine in Winnipeg, a quarterly magazine that celebrates a slower, DIY lifestyle in the face of gadget overload.

Lori Frejek

HomeSpun Tools

Lori Frejek is also known as The Roving Spinner because she has been doing volunteer spinning at the Health Sciences Centre once a week for two years. She has been spinning for about 15 years and knitting since she was 8. She loves wool fibre; the warmth it gives and all the steps involved in making wollen things. She also has a passion for repairing and restoring old/antique spinning wheels.


Chris Friesen & Jennifer Leeck

Chris Friesen was born and raised in Rosenort Manitoba, Jennifer Leeck in the Ottawa Valley. Both coming from rural backgrounds and having lived in the city of Winnipeg for ten years, they decided they both wanted to move back to their rural roots.  They purchased a farm and moved to Warren, Manitoba in May, 2016 where they could raise Jennifer’s daughter, Sophie, live a more self sustainable life, and provide others with organically raised produce and eggs.

Tara Garcia

Tara Garcia is a local Winnipeg mom, and the owner of Mama Pacha. Mama Pacha started in January of 2012. That being said, Tara has been making most of these recipes and products for over 15 years. She has been very interested in plants and herbs, especially ones that grow around Manitoba, for as long as she can remember.

Tara is passionate about helping people reduce and/or eliminate chemicals from their lives. A big part of that is in health and beauty products. People tend to forget that everything they put on their skin, our largest organ, gets absorbed into their bodies. Everything she makes is petroleum, heavy metal and paraben free. Tara is proud of being able to offer local products that are also affordable. She tries to keep costs down while still making a quality product. She’s a mom on a budget, so she knows what it’s like trying to do the best and safest for your family all while making it work financially. Tara also loves educating her customers – she’ll often have customers ask her about what they can use for a certain problem and sometimes they can find a free option growing right under their feet.

Kate Knowles

Kate Knowles, of Lethbridge Alberta, has gathered a great deal of experiences over the past many years related to ‘homesteading’: gardening, permaculture design course, canning, preserving, knitting, sewing, building homes of natural materials (cob,cordwood,light clay/straw,earthen floors and plasters), building cob outdoor ovens, foraging, fermenting, heating with wood and more! She’s also become adept at cooking on a rocket stove and in a solar oven, which is what she’ll be sharing about at the fest.

Kate is eager to meet like-minded people, share some of her knowledge and experience AND learn from all the others who are presenting at and attending the fest.

Nancy Hall III

Nancy Hall III is the aromatherapist, medicine woman and behind-the-scenes magician/janitor at Hollow Reed Holistic in Winnipeg. With over 30 years of wellness orientation and activism, she brings a bunch of practical experience to her workshops. As an award winning cheerleader, Nancy can help you realize your own potential as a wellness explorer and will probably make you smile.

Lindsay & Chris Kirouac

Beeproject Apiaries

Chris Kirouac & Lindsay Nikkel started Beeproject as a hobby business almost a decade ago and it has since become their main focus. Beeproject’s goal is to share the importance of bees and pollinators with people by using honeybees, honey and hive projects to bring people together. Chris and Lindsay feel that food security and sustainability must become a focus for society and the beekeeping industry in order to overcome the many food and population issues on the horizon.

Through neighborhood honey and several urban rooftop hive projects, Beeproject is helping people connect to their food, their community and the natural world.

Alan & Johanna McLauchlan

Rocky Lake Birchworks has been in existence since 2004. It is a family owned business operated by Johanna, Alan, Andy and Peter McLauchlan. The primary product of the business is the production of birch syrup. Secondary products are other Non Timber Forest Products (NTFP) harvested on Crown Land in Manitoba.
The McLauchlans began tapping 15 trees in 2004 and the company was incorporated as a business on February 2, 2009. The company grew from tapping 15 trees to tapping 800 and started to sell product on the commercial market December 9, 2010. Today they tap over 1500 paper birch trees; they produce in excess of 500 liters of birch syrup and have 32 Retailers spread across Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Rocky Lake Birchwords is active on several social media platforms including a web site, Facebook and Twitter. In addition, they have an online store.

Birch Syrup is a fairly new and novel product and as such has generated much interest in the minds of people concerned about natural foods.

Danielle Mondor & Erica Young

Fort Whyte Farms + Ploughshares Community Farm

Danielle Mondor manages FortWhyte Farms, Winnipeg’s largest urban farm, food education centre and youth employment program located at FortWhyte Alive. She has been an organic farmer for 14 years on rural and urban farms while working towards a strong and diverse food economy with advocacy organizations, schools and most recently as a board member of Direct Farm Manitoba. At FortWhyte, Danielle loves witnessing how the stewardship of plants and animals on a farm gives people the ability to steward nature with the same two hands. She is eager to share her love of Lagamorphae with you!

Erica Young lives at Ploughshares Community Farm where she grows vegetables for customers in Beausejour, Pinawa and Winnipeg. She grew up in Winnipeg and is grateful to be learning about farm life and how to care for animals from the friends she lives with at Ploughshares. She likes to spin, knit and felt. PJ the Angora rabbit is her first foray into raising an animal for fibre.


Fort Whyte Farms

Ploughshares Community Farm


Tom Nagy

Barefoot Foods

Born in Hamilton Ontario, Tom Nagy is an environmental consultant and ecologist with a passion for ethnobotany and mycology. Tom advocates for a greater understanding and appreciation of how we interact with the natural world by delivering thoughtful and engaging workshops and lectures on organic agriculture, mushroom cultivation and wild foraging. His enthusiasm for and knowledge of plants and fungi is addictive, enlightening and highly entertaining.

Danielle Nykoluk & Reta Saborowski

Danielle Nykoluk is a passionate traditional foods teacher, registered occupational therapist and aspiring to eventually become a back-to-the-lander.  Until then, she resides with her husband in the heart of Winnipeg – cultivating their own *Gaian Wisdom*, transforming their lives and lawn using permaculture practices.  Together, they make their own dirt (through farming worms – vermicomposting), try to grow as much food for themselves as possible, and nurture various cultures of bacteria. Change for Danielle begins in her kitchen. Danielle, founder of The Real Food Revival, fosters change by sharing information, and empowering and teaching people the skills to do-it-themselves – starting in their own kitchens!


Having welcomed a new team member to the family shortly after the last DIY Fest (that was a baby bump, not a beer belly!) Reta Saborowski has spent the last year and a half trying to figure out how to make sauerkraut one handed! Reta is committed to making friends with farmers and local producers, and sharing her skills far and wide with the recent launch of her long-promised website Kitchen Genius.

Reta still occasionally reads books, and watches Netflix in the middle of the night. For Reta, the art of sourdough, or the magic of a jar of sauerkraut connects her in a very real way to her ancestors, and creates a critical appreciation of modern conveniences.


The Real Food Revival

Kitchen Genius

Pat Pollock

Pat and Larry Pollock own and operate Pollock Farms, North East of Brandon, Manitoba. The farm has been in Larry’s family since 1940. They certified their first organic field in 2000, became spelt growers in 2004 and began milling in 2006. The duo are pioneers in the spelt industry, and are always thinking of creative ways to offer delicious certified organic grains to Manitobans.

Laura Reeves

Laura Reeves, botanist and founder of Prairie Shore Botanicals, loves to share her passion for wild edibles and wilderness skills through presentations, hands-on workshops and guided plant walks. She is the bestselling author of Laura Reeves’ Guide to Useful Plants – From Acorns to Zoom Sticks.

Chris Saborowski

The son of a mid 20th century bootlegger, Chris Saborowski grew up fascinated by business, politics, and the booze that greased the wheels. He is an arborist, a voracious reader, enjoys wood turning and welding, and contemplating the mysteries of life.

Leon Simard

Leon Simard has worked as the Manitoba First Nations Food Security Coordinator since January 2011. Prior to that he worked as a high school teacher and curriculum developer with the Winnipeg School Division and the Kidney Foundation of Canada. Leon grew up in Manigotogan, MB and has lived in Winnipeg for the past 22 years.

Cora Wiens

Eadha Bread

Cora Wiens started Eadha out of her home kitchen in July 2016. After a successful summer selling organic sourdough bread at the Wolseley farmers market and with customers wondering how they could continue to purchase the bread throughout the winter – Cora created the Bread Share Program. Customers pre pay and pre order bread once a week and pick up their unique loaves at one of four locations across Winnipeg. As well as growing the Bread Shares over the winter Cora has been putting on introductory workshops on sourdough bread baking, and is getting ready for a busy market season this time selling at 3 or 4 markets per week and will be celebrating one year in business mid July!

Francesco Zurzolo

Francesco Zurzolo is a civil engineer and natural builder who believes high tech building performance and natural materials are a perfect fit. His natural building experience encompasses cob, timber frame, strawbale, and hempcrete. While most of the natural building world works in more temperate regions of the planet, Francesco is convinced that incorporating natural building techniques and materials in extreme climates such as ours in Manitoba is not only appropriate but in many cases, a significant improvement over conventional techniques.