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About Us

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My name is Debra Contreras and I LOVE BUGS!

From a young age I was intrigued by the smaller creatures that shared my world. I was never happier than playing with a snake or watching a spider make a web or ants busily building a hill. Years later, with the help of a microscope, I discovered the amazing world at the microbial level! Did you know that 2 million bacteria can fit on the period at the end of this sentence?

I initially enrolled in the Guelph University Horticulture online program while I was working as a truck driver in Northern Alberta. Nothing like studying flowers while sitting in a frozen oil field! I soon realized that the Eastern and Western extremities of Canada have quite different flora and climates, so I enrolled in the Horticulture program at Malaspina College University (now Vancouver Island University). With these qualifications in hand I secured the Garden Centre Manager position at Buckerfields in Parksville for 4 seasons where I had a wonderful time. I met so many great plant lovers and most were of the same mind, to grow healthy, organic food and plants. During that time I signed up for the Organic Master Gardener course from Gaia College. A most amazing program! This course really fired my imagination and enthusiasm when they spoke of “Effective Micro organisms”.

I had to go one step further, to the Soil Food Web Intensive in California, led by the famous Dr. Elaine Ingham. This program was where I was meant to be, back full circle, sitting in the dirt staring at tiny creatures!

Every step I took peeled away more and more of the ingredients that lined the shelves of my garden shed. The whole premise revolved around keeping it basic. The past 50 to 70 years people and companies have concentrated on removing, killing and destroying unwanted individuals in the soil and on our plants. Dr. Ingham showed me that every creature in the soil is necessary…even slugs and wire worms! The weeds that threaten sanity are also necessary and, believe it or not, are a benefit. If we start to think “live, nurture and support” instead of “kill and destroy”, a healthy balance is restored with the culprits kept under control with ease.

I love all that I have learned, I love that I can save money and labour, and most importantly I love that I can produce nutritionally superior foods for my family.

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