User:Shannon Cowan

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Shannon left EcoReality in 2010. We wish her well in her move!

Shannon on the Tusk in Garibaldi Summer 2004

Introduction and Intention

My intention in supporting EcoReality Co-operative is to support everyone who shares its vision - this vision and the reality of its pursuit holds wisdom for us all. Originally one of the four co-founders, I have chosen to take my path in a different direction. I still hold many of the values high that drive EcoReality see the list of values here, and am navigating ways with my family to sustainably pursue some of those values.

I am an adjunct professor at UBC and teach a course about Key Indicators of Sustainability in Agriculture. I am a student and teacher of Kundalini Yoga, birth assistance (Doula), gardening, herbalism, seed saving, ecoliteracy for all ages, open-back banjo (well, maybe not a teacher of this one, yet!!), mothering and wife-dom.

Sienna riding the tractor at EcoReality Lite in late October 2006. She is nearly 7 months old.

Recent History

  • Daily living and working at EcoReality to build community, grow food, group process, facilitation, a personal journey
  • Assistant Professor at University of British Columbia
Sports and skill activities I have enjoyed (instructed in italics) include:
  • Kundalini Yoga as well as pre/postnatal yoga (20 yrs as a student, 10 as a teacher)
  • Doula (DONA certified 2010)
  • swimming
  • running
  • banjo
  • percussion, drum kit, djembe
  • piano (15 yrs classical training)
  • dance
  • basketball
  • waterpolo
  • canoeing
  • kayaking
  • wilderness tripping
  • hiking
  • minimum impact camping
  • wild plant collecting
  • nature taxonomy and ecology
  • plant medicine preparation according to various traditions
  • plant chemistry
  • story-telling and ethnographies
  • dramatizations and play-acting
  • being a leader in group activities
  • problem-based learning pedagogy
  • agroecology and permaculture
  • certificate in Phytotherapy
  • certificate in bilingualism (French-English)
  • Ph.D. in Biology

Books I Recommend

A Pace of Grace by Linda Kavelin Popov (a Salt Spring island resident). This honest, intimate and very grounded work describes real life, a toolbox for living with a peaceful mind, peaceful actions, peaceful spirit.

Food Wars by Lang and Heasman, Earthscan. This approaches the primary (conflicting) paradigms at work in our global food systems today, and attempts to integrate knowledge from all disciplines that are implicated in the understanding of a concept of a sustainable system of global food security and health. It is predicated on a model of health that depends on physical nutrition, social health and ecological health. It successfully demonstrates the strengths and weaknesses of different models of food systems, from the perspective of their abilities to achieve balance in this model of health (considering policy, economic and ecological factors fairly equally). This is a book stacked with recent statistics, although it is slightly biased from a more Euro-centric perspective. I recommend it highly for all those interested in learning ways to create and promote sustainable systems on the planet.

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan The Omnivore's Dilemma Michael Pollan

These two works together are a powerful and accessible encapsulation of the realities of the food system from seed to human health and wellbeing. They appreciate and expound on the ecological worldview, while exposing the industrial and 'life science'paradigms in the western world's approach to food production and consumption and resulting public health. Not to be missed for those seeking to understand how to create sustainable, peaceful and nourishing personal and community foodways.

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