All posts by Amanda Sokal

Amanda is a budding entrepreneur, a practicing Wiccan, a gardener and an herbalist working to obtain a degree as a Naturopathic Practitioner.

Adding medicinal plants to your garden Use knowledge and common sense with herbs

Dionne Jennings has always had a love of plants and herbs. She started studying herbalism on Vancouver Island 19 years ago and completed apprenticeships five years ago on the Saanich Peninsula and in Red Deer.

“I think my first real exposure to herbalism was a small yellow piece of paper with a dandelion illustration on it saying Herb Classes at a local health food store. When I stepped into a small house perched on the corner of a nature sanctuary, I was hooked,” said Jennings.

Continue reading Adding medicinal plants to your garden Use knowledge and common sense with herbs

Seedy Sunday unites gardeners of all levels Annual event highlights importance of food diversity

Every year on the third Sunday in March you’ll find the Edmonton Seedy Sunday event. This year’s event began with sunshine and blue skies, and the break in the cold weather drew a large crowd of people.

At 11 am the line for the event was already snaking out the door. Before things became too hectic, I spoke with Kelly from Seeds of Diversity, a seed exchange organization. Growers can sell heirloom seeds, and for a slightly higher price, non-growers can purchase seeds as well, with membership.

Continue reading Seedy Sunday unites gardeners of all levels Annual event highlights importance of food diversity

Understanding the meaning and origin of Yule Celebrating the season by looking into familiar symbols

Yule or the winter solstice is the shortest day of the year and Pagans celebrate it around the same time as Christmas. In fact, Yule is the precursor to Christmas. When Christianity was being spread throughout Europe, many of the same symbols and traditions were assimilated into Christianity as a means to ease the recently converted Pagans into the faith.

Continue reading Understanding the meaning and origin of Yule Celebrating the season by looking into familiar symbols

Finding the way out of the debt cycle New payday loan regulations aim to protect customers

You can’t watch television anymore without seeing multiple commercials for payday loan companies. They are as bright and jingly as fast food commercials. To hear the commercial personality speak, a payday loan is just another tool in your financial toolkit.

Here on Alberta Avenue alone, there are more than a dozen of these companies, some strictly dealing with short-term credit, while others have a pawn shop as an added service. If coming into a store is not appealing or easy, a loan can be as far away as the click of a mouse. Continue reading Finding the way out of the debt cycle New payday loan regulations aim to protect customers

What it means to start over in a new country Learning a complicated language takes time and exposure

Imagine moving to a new country. The stress of finding a new home, a new job, a new school for your kids, and new friends. Now imagine not being able to speak your new country’s language.

Continue reading What it means to start over in a new country Learning a complicated language takes time and exposure

Learning the facts and stories of sexual exploitation Cathy King’s presentation was eye-opening

The number of men paying for sex has doubled in the last decade, with approximately one in seven paying for sexual contact at some point. Many men are not deterred when they discover women were trafficked, pimped, or coerced.

On a worldwide scale, approximately 12-18 million adults and two million children are forced into the sex trade. Many trafficked persons come from South America, Africa, East Asia, and Eastern Europe, ending up in North and Central America, Europe and the Middle East.

Continue reading Learning the facts and stories of sexual exploitation Cathy King’s presentation was eye-opening

The rich and spiritual path of Paganism Coming out of the (broom) closet

I was your typical cradle Catholic. I was baptised, had my first communion and my confirmation, and went to a Catholic school for my entire education. I went on religious retreats, you name it.

But something was missing. It felt… routine. Like a habit you get into. I’d heard of people who had this great feeling of love or peace whenever they entered the church. I felt none of that. I wanted to feel that.

Continue reading The rich and spiritual path of Paganism Coming out of the (broom) closet