Arzeena is truly a renaissance woman! She is a teacher, a farmer, an agronomist, a food security activist, a politician, and a mom. As one of BC’s most popular garden club speakers, she discourses on a wide range of useful organic gardening and food security topics.
Arzeena earned her Bachelor’s degree in Crop Science from the University of Guelph and her Master’s degree in Sustainable Agriculture from the University of London, England. She worked abroad for many years as a CUSO volunteer in Thailand and as a researcher in Jamaica, India, and Bangladesh where she encouraged sustainable and integrated agriculture, composting and natural alternatives to pesticide use.
She became staff agrologist for West Coast Seeds in the late ’90s and then ran her own seed company, Terra Viva Organics. From 2008 to 2012 Arzeena was the Coordinator of the Richmond Food Security Society where she oversaw a number of community projects which included a proposal to the City of Richmond to declare itself a GMO-free Zone.
Food Security Educator & Activist
In 2015, Arzeena became a founding member of Merville Organics Growers Cooperative, a marketing co-operative based in the Comox Valley. Merville Organics operates a 120-share Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and sells through 3 farmers markets. She continues to share her passion for agriculture with local community groups such as the Comox Valley Growers and Seed Savers and the Fertile Ground Project. She also teaches soil science at North Island College and is Founder and Chair of the Mid Island Farmer’s Institute. Most recently, Arzeena became a Director of IAFBC (Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC) an industry-led, not-for-profit organization working to foster growth and innovation across BC’s agri-food industry.
Arzeena’s family farm, Amara Farm, specializes in growing winter salads. She loves to introduce people to growing their own winter greens such as claytonia, tatsoi and mizuna. She has been growing winter vegetables for over 15 years and is dedicated to helping people start their own winter gardens as part of their permaculture garden design.
In 2018, Arzeena won the election to become Area B Regional Director in Comox, BC. She is dedicated to helping young people grow their own local business, among many other local initiatives.
To learn more about Arzeena and her many garden-related activities check out these websites & facebook pages: