Our Moxiest Work Woman 2017
Angelina is 41 years old, mom to 3 children: Kenneth, 12; Karlina, 7; and Kieren, 6. Angelina is the owner of Local Gardening Services, a horticulture company specializing in helping homeowner maintain their gardens throughout the summer season. www.gardeningservicesottawa.com
Angelina immigrated to Canada in 2001, is a Canadian Citizen and a very proud Canadian. She embraces her “Canadian-ness” by celebrating every chance she gets. Red and white flower themes are her specialty. She migrated because of her desire to practice her technology skills in Computer Science but she was disappointed by companies closing one by one. Angelina worked in many trades as a babysitter, gardener, cleaner, carpentry assistant and customer service in various establishments.
Angelina started Aerospace Engineering at Carleton University in 2004 to pursue a dream, while also taking trade courses in Algonquin College in Horticulture Science. She has a farming background, and really enjoyed food production and taking care of flowers. Every season, she maintained neighbours’ flower gardens, and helped them fertilize and apply mulch to their garden. It had been a passion since childhood: food and pretty flowers. After two years in engineering, Angelina switched to Bachelor of Science Program and took courses related to plant and soil science. Along the way, she joined Permaculture workshops to work with Sustainable Practices and growing local food in Ottawa. Angelina joined the Master Gardener of Ottawa Carleton this year to continue lifelong learning and teaching workshops in the community.
Life is like a rose, it is very pretty flower with its thorns.
In 2014, a thorny event culminated her not-so-happy marriage, and she ended up in a woman’s shelter with her 3 children. Angelina had nothing but a bag with identification and few diapers. Angelina’s first concern was food security for her children. She joined Carlington Community Garden and become an advocate for the community garden. She brought her children in the garden for picnics and they grow food together. Kenneth, Karlina and Kiernen were very proud of their harvest. However, it was short lived, and the community garden is set to be destroyed to be replaced with a building. Angelina joined the pioneer gardeners in search of another viable spot to moved our community garden. The Carlington Community Center, in partnership with Councillor Riley Brockington and the garden committee found a spot and moved the garden to Carlington Park. It is now a work in progress and they hope that we can plant our garden in Spring 2017.
In Angelina’s words… “Starting with nothing is not a bad idea, but it is very hard. I settled in the neighbourhood of Carlington and moved my kids to a school nearby. I decided to make my part time gardening work into a full time business. I hired friends and other single mom to join my business venture. We grow into a crew of 6 to 7 gardeners in 2 seasons. We support each other, having arrangement to watch each other kids when needed. We heal together, by weeding and planting flowers and vegetables in Ottawa communities. I am very thankful to the whole community who have been there to support me during the lowest moment of my life.”
Currently, she’s a volunteer for the Interval House of Ottawa. It is a very important component of her survival and for her children. The shelter staff she met were very supportive and helped her put her life back together. They have forged a lifetime connection.
To honour her stay in the shelter, she also dedicated one plot of her garden produce to donate to the women’s shelter. The Carlington Community Centre serves as bridge, and pick up location for our donations to women’s shelter. She will continue this endeavour every season.
To support Angelina’s healing and to care for her mental health, she joined as Board of Director for Women Warrior Healing Garden, a local non-profit for PTSD patients and those suffering from trauma. They are serving women veterans and women in the community that needing healing. They work in collaboration with The Well, also a drop in centre for women and children. We bring our produce in “The Well” kitchen during the season, so that we can share it back to our community.
Angelina’s next goal is to set up a foundation to help woman and children to attain food security. She will accomplish these goals by training single moms, young moms, teen as apprentice for my horticulture business. In the fall, Angelina wants to host lectures for food preservation, and canning. She also want to promote Seed Libraries. In winter, Angelina will hold workshops for seed propagation and garden designs. By helping moms, she can help to provide food security for their children and become productive members of Canadian society.
Angelina’s personal goal is to heal herself through work and being authentic to the clients in her community. You can see her smiling among flowers and gardens. Angelina believes that her children will acquire caring skills though hard work and dedication.
“I believe that great things happen when dedicated women forged a community.” Angelina
CONGRATULATIONS Angelina. Our team is inspired and so honoured that you won The Moxiest Work Woman 2017!!!!
Find Your MOXIE… We Dare YOU!