Who are you?
I am Emily Wren Jubenvill, although known to my Grandmas as “Picklesnerp,” my mother’s hippy influence is apparent in my name and life. As an green spaces advocate, permaculturist, guerrilla knitter and gardener, environmental scientist, entrepreneur, veloist, traveller, and lover of marine invertebrates and magnolias I keep my days fairly busy and live through my passions.
2. What do you do for fun?
I just spent an amazing nine months living, working, and studying on farms in New Zealand and Australia. Why? “For fun!” is the easy answer, but to study permaculture, and learn more about the wonders of growing food and animal husbandry gets down to the nitty gritty of it.
Leaving the rolling pastures and Kauri forests behind, I’m back in the urban jungle of Vancouver. Staying in touch with my growing roots at my community garden plot in Nelson Park, and volunteering with the Vancouver Public Space Network as Green Spaces Coordinator.
Pedal power is a constant theme in my life as my main mode of transportation and fun. This Spring I decided to up the ante and join the Ride to Conquer Cancer. I remember my step-grandfather’s fight against cancer when I was a very young child. I did not understand what cancer was; I thought that there was a bean stalk growing inside him that made him sick. Now I understand that cancer is more complex then a bean stalk, and it certainly will require more then a firm tug to uproot a cure. Raising money for cancer research and support services at the BC Cancer Foundation, the challenge will be two fold – physically (over 300Km ride in two days!), and before I even hit the road I’ve committed to raising $3200 in the three months… that’s about $35 a day! Of course I can’t do it without the support of friends, family… and Daily Gumboot readers! If you want to pitch in $10 to help thousands of families facing the battle against cancer this year, and help prevent men, women, and children of the future from facing this horrible disease then you could give a donation.
3. What is your favourite community and why?
I love the communities of microorganisms that live in our soil, and make it such a fertile and productive place. Although hidden from the naked eye, and a tough crowd to get cozy with, these guys really know how to work together to get things done. They’re all for long term diversity, atmospheric carbon reductions, and very supportive of each other and their neighbours . Although each species may go through population booms and busts, they work in cycle with their plant companions to make sure that nutrient exchange is most efficient.
If you’re more interested in the human persuasion, then I have to give props to the Vancouver Public Space Network “community”. It’s made up of the most passionate, energetic, supportive, hard-working individuals who literally “get it done” because they’re doing what they love – engaging with and improving ever facet of our community’s public spaces.
4. What is you super power?
My energy and enthusiasm. I’ve been told it can be infectious. I like the idea that I can brighten someone’s day with a simple smile or by simply looking at the bright side of a seemingly crummy situation. Or turn apathy into involvement by adding a little spice and excitement to the mix. I think the power of hope is wildly underestimated, and I think that it’s an awesome super power.
5. How do you use it to build community?
I’m always out talking to people about what they love and what twists their noodle, then I try to make a connection between their sweet spot and whatever is already happening in the community – it’s about building bridges, expanding networks, and helping people realize that they have a stake in what is going on in their community and the world at large.
My three favourite things about Emily are…
1. The Farming Business. Few people can thoughtfully and realistically and seamlessly float between the world of urban natural capitalism and farming as viable career options. Somehow, some way, Ms. Jubenvill does it with ease – don’t be surprised if full-fledged Jubenvillian farms spring up all over the Vancouver cityscape in the years to come.
2. Social media before it was cool. I’m not saying that Emily invented Twitter, but she didn’t not invent Twitter. Ms. Jubenvill taught me a heckuvalot about The Internets before things like “social media” were used as viable agents to engage people about important ideas involving this poor little planet of ours.
3. Storytelling with a Purpose. Emily gets down to business with thoughtful efficiency. She also has a million stories about ten million interesting people, places and things. Most importantly, Emily can make every story she tells relevant to her current projects, the people she meets, and the natural and cultural landscapes in which she finds herself. Her ambition and potential know no bounds, and Emily herself is a fantastical story with a myriad of purpose. She’s one to watch this decade!
- As told by John Horn…