The Founding Members

marria shellyS  margaret morris

Fieldstone Community Farm began as the dream of one woman, Marria. This dream was of a place that was warm and welcoming and would attract people who understood the importance of being connected to each other as well as nature. Settling on Southern Vancouver Island, she knew she had found the perfect place to make this vision become a reality. With a background in farming, 15 years in volunteer management, and 25 years working with individuals with disabilities, she wanted a way to bring these three together so other people could feel the same sense of fulfillment that these aspects brought to her life. From her various communities, she attracted a group of enthusiastic individuals who each contributed their own expertise to help bring this inspiring project to life.

Marria's most recent projects include four years on the Steering Working Group for the Quality of Life Challenge(Unknown), five years as a member of the Community Action Team; and 14 years as a loyal customer of The Moss Street Market (including several as community representative on the board.) She enjoys giving her time assisting and connecting with the elderly, and has several community gardening plots at the Westshore Teaching Garden, coordinating volunteers with disabilities.

Shelley understands and embraces the vision of Fieldstone Community Farm and thus offered her experience and values to the project. Adding 20 years working and volunteering for a variety of causes, she lends her mind – knowledge of the operation of not for profit and voluntary organizations at the senior management, executive and board of directors levels. Her experience includes volunteer management, programming for diverse individuals and communities, as well as being a “change agent” for a community organization. Her values speak to the importance and rights of all people accessing services and being involved in all areas of our community. Different people coming together offer a richness and societal wealth that could not exist individually. Everything and everyone is connected and when in balance - magic occurs. She believes that Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” does not mean survival of the strongest or mightiest but rather of what fits, who fits with their/our environment. Shelley has a deep and personal understanding of discrimination, disability and isolation. This project has already provided inclusion, meaning and hope - her hope to see the farm, and all it offers, come to fruition.

Margaret started With Coquitlam Special Olympics as a bowling coach. Since then she has taken Recreation Leadership at Langara College. She discovered her passion was working for community service organizations. Margaret is known for her creativity and her ability to look at problems from a different angle. As a Child and Youth care worker Margaret has used her talent to support youth with developmental disabilities in their journey to adulthood including helping teach basic life skills, from cooking to taking the bus. Most of all she is able to facilitate friendships between peers. Margaret sees Fieldstone Community Farm as a sanctuary for people to build their self esteem while learning job ready skills, in a loving supportive environment that accepts everyone for who they are and values all for what they can do, no matter how big or small.

After a childhood enjoyed in the suburbs of Central Canada and on the family farm in Northern Ireland, Morris moved west. Following formal school in Fish and Wildlife Management, Geography and Environmental Studies, his focus increasingly moved toward organic agriculture. Politically, professionally and personally he sought to live a life of stewardship. He created and ran Stewards of Irreplaceable Land an organic farm apprenticeship program, co-created the Moss Street Community Market, and instigated the City of Victoria Compost Education Center in Fernwood. And he farmed for 15 years; working with a plethora of apprentices during this period. He also has a strong background in working with youth in educational/experiential programs. When he left Vancouver Island for a sabbatical from farming he ventured north for a wee while. Five years later the Yukon and Whitehorse in particular still hold him. Continuing with his 2 main passions, green nature and human nature, he has guided people with mental disabilities (I dislike this term) to develop greenhouse skills. He worked with youth while setting up the interpretive/experiential ed program at the newly created Yukon Wildlife Preserve and for the past 2 years has coordinated the Conservation Education Youth Programs for the Yukon Department of Environment. Formal schooling continued and he pursued training in clinical counselling and massage therapy. Eco-psychology is the field where he plants most of his seeds these days. And the largest and ongoing learning has been the recent gift of his little girl Jessie Hannah River. She is the most amazing mirror of all that is true for Morris and his life partner Susie Anne. Fatherhood takes stewardship to a whole new place.


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