How did you get that f*#king awesome job Greg and Sarah Greenleese?

Beekeepers Sarah and Greg Greenleese.
Meadow Sweet Apiaries beekeepers Sarah and Greg Greenleese.

Did you know that there are 169 million bees in Alberta and the province produces 40% of Canada’s honey? The Greenleeses do. Greg and Sarah Greenleese are two of Alberta’s 800 beekeepers and are pretty much some of the sweetest conservationists you’ll meet in Alberta (pun fully intended).

When Sarah talks about her bees, her face lights up as though she’s talking about children, a family pet or her husband Greg. When Greg talks about his bees, he has an air of authority, like Peter Mansbridge reporting the nightly news. These folks are serious about their jobs as Meadow Sweet Apiaries co-CEOs, chief honey pullers and environmental advocates.

Just outside of Edmonton in a tiny farming community called Tofield, the Greenleeses don their giant white suits each summer to tend their grist of bees. Late July and all of August is like the Stanley Cup playoffs for them: busy as hell, tiring and often risky. Success isn’t always guranteed. This year has been a good one – they both have been pulling honey overtime to try to get everything packaged and stored to sell for the remainder of the year at Edmonton’s Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market.

If you’ve ever been by Edmonton’s Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market, you’ll see their smiling faces every Saturday. They sell all kinds of honey and honey products, from divine smelling candles, soap and different sized jars of honey plus propolis. Propolis or bee glue is a sticky, waxy brown substance that the bees use to chink the nooks and crannies of their homes and people (since the days of Cleopatra) use as an ancient healing remedy.  What I particularly love most about this super cute due of apiarists is their passion not only for beekeeping but also the environment. I dare you to ask them about dandelion spray or pesticides: both can ream off stats and facts about the ill-effects of wanton pesticide spraying. The bees of central Alberta are lucky to have two such knowledgeable and dedicated advocates.

So this week, I’m super stoked to Anchors+Proteas first ever couple interview about a couple of f*#king awesome jobs?

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Motivation Monday ~ Remember Salmon

Learning to filet salmon during my Hipstamatic photography phase.
Learning to filet salmon during my Hipstamatic phase – excuse the green face.

If you have ever travelled in British Columbia, you’ve likely tried salmon. Salmon candy, smoked salmon, canned salmon, sushi, salmon burgers, crispy salmon skin (mmmm my favourite).  Even salmon oil is sold in capsules. Wild salmon is the focal species of many economies and cultures on the West Coast of Canada and arguably the USA too (hey neighbours – Washington, Alaska, Oregon).

I’ve had the privilege of eating salmon in many places small and large: Vancouver, Portland, Masset, Seattle, Bella Bella, Prince Rupert, Terrace, Merritt, West Kelowna, the list goes on and on. I love my salmon wild, fresh and preferably shared at a family table. In fact, tonight we ate our last jar of canned salmon (made into delicious salmon burgers) gifted to me from my friend Uncle Alvin from Haida Gwaii. Read more

How did you get that f*#king awesome job Joseph Pallant?

Joseph Pallant thinking about carbon offsets in the Great Bear Rainforest.
Joseph Pallant thinking about carbon offsets in the Great Bear Rainforest.

So there’s this small challenge that is on Joseph Pallant’s mind all the time: climate change. Pallant’s job is to figure out how we (as in the Royal We, as in humanity) can take action to lessen climate change by using economic development to prevent greenhouse gases from going into our precious atmosphere. Sounds pretty simple, right?

Joseph Pallant – aka Pepe or Jose to his friends (myself included) – is one of the brightest lights I know. His ability to chat about carbon development mechanisms at a cocktail party and then turn around to cut a serious hole in the dance floor are equally admirable. Pallant and I went attended the University of Victoria at the same time and he was the cool guy who was a residence advisor. Everyone knew Joseph. And now, a whole different set of folks know him, important folks who are leading the charge on taking action to slow climate change.

Pallant is as comfortable chatting with United Nations grand pubahs about how to revolutionize the carbon offset system as he is hopping on a Greyhound to a community forest association meeting and explaining his complex job to an elder. Behold: a dude with social skills, a very large brain and likely one of the most beguiling personalities you’ll meet: Joseph Pallant, Manager, Brinkman Climate of Vancouver, B.C.

Put on a record, your thinking cap and look out the window at something green to put you in the mood for Volume 2 of How did you get that f*#king awesome job?  Read more