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Tamara Schwartzentruber 's Profile
Tamara Schwartzentruber
Victoria, BC, Canada
Climate Zone:
Cool Temperate

My Projects

(projects i'm involved in)

Dave Boehnlein Jan Steinman Sandra Klier
Geoff Lawton
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About Tamara Schwartzentruber

I seem to take the adage that permaculturists are all generalists to an extreme, living about four lives at once as a music teacher, gardening instructor, bodyworker, social/environmental/food activist with our local Transition Towns group, and throwing in the occasional bit of actual gardening for good measure. And then there's dancing, but that's just for me.

I've known about the problems associated with climate change, environmental collapse, the industrial food system etc. for many years, but it took me a long time to move from personal study leading to fear/paralysis and moderate lifestyle modification into more full-on engagement and action. Finally in the summer of 2008 I went and studied permaculture design at the Bullock Brothers' Permaculture Homestead on Orcas Island. I took the teachers' training directly afterwards, and managed to convince the lovely folk there to let me stay for a couple of extra months afterwards as a late-season intern. I was planning to head to Hawaii for more permaculture internship when I got smashed by a drunk driver while riding my bike, and ended up in the hospital with very serious injuries (broken neck! I have metal... but can move just fine thank god). So instead I stuck around my own community and took the Organic Master Gardener course with Gaia college.

I now co-teach the course, which is a lot of fun. I also helped found our local Transition Towns group (www.transitionvictoria.ca) in early 2009, and am still very active with our food working group, where I help to coordinate activities for our two major action projects: 1) managing Spring Ridge Commons, Victoria's biggest and oldest public permaculture garden, and 3) the Capital Nut Project, in which we're seeking to make Victoria the nut capital of Canada by getting edible nut trees planted all over the region. I do the occasional bit of gardening or design work, as well as of course working in my own garden, where I've been planting perennial food plants/trees for the last 4 years. I consider social permaculture one of my areas of greatest interest, though I'm far from an expert.


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My Permaculture Qualifications
Type: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course
Teacher: Bullock Brothers
Location: Bullock Brothers' Permaculture Homestead, Orcas Island, WA
Date: Jul 2008

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