- Howling Duck Ranch
Kristeva Dowling was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. In 1997 she moved to New Zealand, where she earned her Masters Degree in Social Science from the University of Waikato. While in New Zealand she discovered “Permaculture” (an approach to designing human settlements and agricultural systems that mimic the relationships found in natural ecologies), immediately recognized the system as a sensible way of developing human settlements, received her Certificate of Permacultural Design, and grew her first garden. Back in Canada, she developed her British Columbia farm in keeping with permaculture principles, and raises animals for meat, milk and eggs in an ethical manner. She has a passion for the politics of food, which she sees as the key to rural revification, a process she believes is essential to the future health of Canada in particularly and humanity in general. With her background in rural community development, she helped to found two not-for-profit societies and served as a board director for several other non-profit organizations in her community. She has experience researching and writing for a variety of media journals and on topics as varied as Aboriginal issues, farming, politics of food, health and wellness, living in rural/remote locations, community events, and medical issues, and is published in her academic field of research. She was a regular contributor to a collaborative blog called “Not Dabbling In Normal” in which she was invited to participate based on the writings on her own popular blog, “Howling Duck Ranch”. She has just completed her first non-fiction book manuscript entitled, “Achieving Personal Food Security: In which a naivee consumer becomes a subversive farmer.” The book chronicles her experiences of becoming a serious food provisioner, a process that involved a steep learning curve and taking on many a daunting task. For example, raising and butchering animals for meat, milk, and eggs with no agricultural background, fishing in fast frigid rivers and preserving the catch in a variety of ways, hunting in sometimes treacherous mountain conditions and eating moose heart and liver as an initiation ritual of the ‘wolf pack’, arguing with a grizzly bear over the pear harvest, and generally persevering when the going got rough. Her dream is to run an economically viable ethical farm a la Joel Salatin that supports, and is supported by, her community. Thanks to increasingly prohibitive legislation, she is not sure that can be achieved legally.