Sharon Rempel is an agronomist (scientist working in agriculture) with 25 years expertise in organic agriculture and heritage seed conservation. She's a networker and mentor and a 'bridge' to bring together people, plant and place.
In 1990 Sharon started an event called Seedy Saturday. It brought together small scale seed savers, plant scientists, living history sites and organizations working for conservation of traditional knowledge and heritage seed. The Swap Table allowed people to share their stories and their family seeds. Speakers shared information about political aspects about seed privitization. Seedy Saturday was created to help keep seed in the hands of people and Sharon's hope was communities would build community seed banks and also develop quality 'lines' or varieties adapted to the local bioregion. This would be the heart of local food security, the seed banks.
In the mid 1980s Sharon worked at The Grist Mill at Keremeos Historic site. She designed special event programs to bring visitors in touch with agriculture. This pioneering of 'agritourism' was one of the first in B.C.
Sharon designed and planted heritage gardens and taught people about old varieties of plants.
She also created B.C.'s first Fall Apple Day, a heritage orchard, a Living Museum of Wheat and is credited with finding obscure seeds of the Zucca Melon.
Red Fife wheat was one of the old wheats in the Living Museum of Wheat.
Sharon spoke often on the CBC radio about the need to conserve agricultural biodiversity.
In the 1990s she served on 3 UN delegations, as an NGO representative for Canada, when the world was ratifying the Global Plan of Action, now the International Treaty, for the conservation of genetic resources for food and agriculture.
In 2007 Sharon created Canada's first Bread and Wheat Festival to bring people together to taste and define 'terroir' in bread. She has worked in Canada, the US and Greece to bring variety and farmer identification to local and organic foods.
The Festival was a birthday party for Red Fife heritage wheat, a variety Sharon recommercialized by creating the story and value chains for the grain.
Sharon's a writer, researcher and project manager (12 years NGO charity grant writing and project management expertise).
Sharon is a consultant who's 'outstanding in the field' of conservation.
She helps people create 'value chains' to link seed, to landscape (for the 'terroir) to the producers (farmers) to the processors and eventually the consumers.
Seed and 'wheat' are metaphors for regeneration, cooperation and collaboration - Feminine values repressed by global patriarchial management practices.
FREE BOOK!!!Get your kids excited about gardens and seeds - Download DIG- Diversity in Gardens. by Sharon Rempel
FREE BOOK!! Heritage Gardens....visit the book page and also the Gardens section of this website. Sharon's heritage garden designs are preserved in the B.C. Provincial Archives in Victoria B.C.
B.C. Author Sharon Rempel
FREE BOOK!!Want to design a heritage garden? Download Heritage Gardens...Inspirations from our Past
Sharon creates words when the language doesn't exist (hey, Shakespear did it, and so do alot of creative thinking people):
Credification: adding 'credibility' to an idea or statement. Academics did it through peer reviewed journals. We cannot believe everything we see as 'real' so how do you 'credify' information you read or hear?
Word washing: taking a concept that has credibility from one generation and using that word in a new way. Therefore we 'assume' but never really know what the word should or could or might mean.
Sharon's a slow food advocate (yes intentional small letters). She encourages people to preserve their cultural 'living artifacts', the plants and seeds that are part of a person's cultural heritage. Red Fife wheat is one of Sharon's Mennonite heritage cultural links.
The legend goes that wheat from the Ukraine (grown by the Mennonites farming there then, and likely one of Sharon's great grand relatives) was shipped to Canada and grown by a farmer Fife (who baptized it Red Fife). Read Sharon's entry in Wikipedia or the Canadian Encyclopeida (Red Fife).
Sharon's designed interpretive exhibits and programs for living history sites and parks. She's worked as a park naturalist and also a travel agent. She's put on travel talks and worked in Canada's first adventure travel agency in the mid 1970s (Westcan Treks).
She's even sewn the costumes for and been a rainbow trout and a magpie bird!!
Sharon's favorite accessory is her monkey puppet Squeaky. He's come to corporate boardrooms with her in her briefcase. Puppets can say things that a person simply could not say directly to another person.
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