Courtney Redden grew up with a very strong sphere of independence and critical analysis. She studied political science at McGill University, until knowledge of the system transformed into distain for it and the necessity for something else. She changed her focus towards the physical sciences, studying geography and biology at the University of Western Ontario in her hometown of London. Her undergraduate research investigated ancient lake sediments to determine the environmental effects of climate change and other environmental and anthropogenic changes in the landscape. This science uses environmental indicators, in Courtney’s research chronomid fly species, to recreate and analyze environmental effects along chronological markers.
Upon completion of her university degree, Courtney moved to the Maritimes to connect with family. She became involved in the Halifax social justice circuit with Freeschools, Food Not Bombs, The Really Really Free Market, the Occupy movement, and Indigenous and environmental campaigns.
Teaching others traditional skills is one of her passions. As wells as being a traditional hide tanner, she is also well versed in native plant species and their traditional uses. She is expanding her knowledge base in wild mushroom foraging, basket weaving, natural pigments, and wilderness survival.
Courtney is also dedicated to issues of food security. By supporting local farmers, she strives to reduce her dependence on a corporatized, global food system. She is currently exploring several pilot projects to increase her self-sufficiency and food security. These include backyard gardens, growing edible mushrooms and breeding rabbits for livestock. Future projects of hers include beekeeping and raising poultry.
Food is a passion of Courtney’s at every step of the process, from making organic compost, to growing a seed into a vegetable, and finally cooking and eating the bounty. Courtney does quite a lot of cooking. She coordinates all the food needs for a downtown architecture company. She provides staff with healthy and affordable lunches, fresh juice, and baked goods. Besides being the chef, she is also the gardener at the studio and actively merges the two roles to include home-grown produce from the roof-top garden and replenishes the soil with compostable kitchen scraps. She supplies her kitchen with fresh and healthy produce, while supporting local farmers as well.
Although she had never fathomed to be living in Alberta, she has grown to enjoy the newly emerging prominence which Edmonton is embarking on. However, the trajectory of which that growth has taken is troublesome. She feels that much can be done with renewable energy sources and environmental stewardship in the province, but it would need first to be accompanied with a paradigm shift by those who hold power, but more importantly, by those who are denied that power.