AquaVerti Farms

The evidence is as clear as the increasingly extreme weather conditions all over the world: we need to get serious about changing the way we do things if we’re going leave behind a livable planet.

It’s a scary truth, but there’s also a lot to be optimistic about because there are so many initiatives working to do just that.

One such initiative is a unique company in Ville St Laurent that’s blending technology from the automotive industry with Dutch agricultural practices to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of lettuce – a crop that typically requires a lot of land, water and pesticides to produce, and experiences a great deal of waste simply due to the delicacy of lettuce leaves and how easily they can be damaged in harvesting, packaging and transporting.

Aquaverti Farms has developed a lettuce growing method that produces 0 greenhouse gases, uses 0 pesticides, and requires 95% less water than traditional farming methods.

Housed in what is essentially a large factory, Aquaverti makes use of the vertical space with hydroponic ponds! How do the farmers get up there to tend to their crops? They don’t! The robots do. This is where automotive technology comes into play. Robotic machines set the ponds into place, monitor conditions and even harvest the crops. Aquaverti uses custom-designed LED lights and nutrients are fed directly into the pools growing the lettuce. It’s an incredibly efficiently process with just 35 days from seed to harvest.

The picture in your mind right now (and in reality) is probably a far cry from that picturesque vision we have of rows of crops growing from the earth, bathed in the natural sunlight. It’s reasonable to wonder if crops grown in a factory can really be as nutritious as those grown traditionally. The answer is, even more so.

Canada is the world’s largest importer of lettuce in the world (way to go on eating your leafy greens, folks!). That’s no surprise though, since our climate makes it a difficult crop to grow locally, and impossible to grow outdoors year round. If we want it, we have to import it. Unfortunately, from the moment most produce is harvested, it begins to gradually lose nutritional value. If it takes several days after harvesting for lettuce to reach your plate, it simply isn’t as nutrient-rich as it was straight from the farm. By producing locally, lettuce can reach your plate literally hours after harvesting, ensuring a fresher, crisper, more nutritious salad.

Aquaverti has set of goal of producing up to 2000 heads of lettuce each day, year round. They are currently focused on growing curly lettuce as it is so easily damaged in transport. Growing it locally mean less transportation, which means less waste. As a bonus, curly lettuce is delicious and makes for beautifully instagrammable salads. Looks pretty good on a bacon double cheeseburger too.

Can other vegetables be grown this way? Some, but not most. The conditions lettuce needs to grow well makes it uniquely suited for this type of farming, so while we likely won’t be seeing carrots or potatoes grown on hydroponic structures, it’s initiatives like Aquaverti that drive the innovation, creativity and passion we need to take our planet in a new, sustainable direction.

Want to know more about Aquaverti Farms? Check out their website or follow them on Facebook.

Y4Y Quebec Helps English-Speaking Youth Thrive!

In 2018, Le Journal de Montreal commissioned a poll that revealed some discouraging figures about English-speaking Quebec youth. According to that poll, about 60% of respondents were considering leaving Quebec due to tensions between the anglophone and francophone communities.

 

That’s bad news for the Quebec economy at a time of record low unemployment rates, when finding top talent is more challenging than ever. Especially since many of the anglophones leaving the province, or considering leaving, are well educated, bilingual young people – people who could potentially fill some of those gaps in the labour market.

 

Y4Y (youth for youth) Quebec is a provincial non-profit youth network aimed at English-speaking Quebecers between the ages of 16 to 30. Their mission is to address the issues and concerns facing anglophone youth in the province, and build a sense of community and belonging among them. Through this mission, Y4Y hopes to help this demographic reach their fullest potential within the province, so that they ultimately decide to stay in Quebec.

Y4Y Quebec Helps English-Speaking Youth Thrive!

So, what of bilingualism and support of the French language? Through their own research, Y4Y has found that anglophone youth are actually big supporters of bilingualism, with over 90% of poll respondents saying they believed that learning both English and French is important to Quebec youth. Over 50% expressed an interest in improving their French proficiency, and several more expressed confidence in their current French-language skills.

 

With such interest in learning French and, in many cases, existing bilingualism, why do so many anglophone youth consider leaving? Both Le Journal’s poll and Y4Y’s research uncovered a disconnect with Quebec society. The Journal respondents claimed tensions between the anglophone and francophone communities to be concerning, while over 80% of Y4Y respondents expressed a moderate to non-existent attachment to Quebec society.

 

This disconnect is what Y4Y is working to remedy.

Y4Y logo

Through their work, they hope to inspire English-speaking youth to build the confidence to begin taking on more leadership roles throughout the province.

 

Despite the tensions (or perceived tensions), many Quebec youth of both communities want the same thing: a vibrant, dynamic society with strong leadership, a healthy economy and a growing labour market, where francophone language and culture are celebrated, and learning both languages is accessible to all.

 

Bridging the gap between the communities is how this becomes possible, and it is organizations like Y4Y that are leading the effort.

 

If you would like to know more about Y4Y, join the network, or otherwise get involved, visit their website or drop by their offices at 5964 avenue Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.

 

“Y4Y is now offering internships on an ongoing basis for cegep and university students in communications, marketing, political science, social sciences, and related fields. Please send your CV and a brief letter of intent to [email protected] with the subject heading “Request for Internship” ?

 


Tarek RimanFounder | Marketer | Speaker | Best Selling Author | University Instructor

With a passion for exploration and sharing new discoveries, I founded Montrealtips.com, with proceeds going to the UN Refugee Agency, Montreal Children’s Hospital and other causes. I am also involved with NGOs & charities in Canada & worldwide.

Tarek on Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter 

Kids laughing and having fun

Parents, have you ever been to Ikea and found yourself weighing the euphoric joy of shopping kid-free with the inevitable pink eye they’re going to get from the ball pit?

 

We all know that kids mean sacrifice, often of our personal freedoms, social opportunities and even opportunities to expand our horizons, skills and interests. Those sticky, whiny, bouncy, shrieking bundles of absolute joy truly are the most meaningful parts of our lives, and I for one would make the sacrifice over and over again. But boy do I ever love getting a break from them!

 

So when I came across Kidtabulous… holy cow. It’s almost worth planning a wedding all over again just so I can use their amazing service!

 

What is it?

 

Kidtabulous is a mobile child care service specifically for events – weddings, conferences, festivals, workshops, office parties, seminars and more.

 

Many parents don’t have a relative or trusted babysitter to leave their kids with, so offering quality, reliable and FUN child care at events makes them a lot more accessible to parents. It also allows kids to be a part of special events – weddings, christenings, reunions, graduations, etc. – in a way that really is fun for them. Because what four year old has ever sat quietly through speeches?

 

What they offer

 

There are different packages available, all of which can be customized according to the number of kids your expect, the length of time child care will be needed, how involved you want kids to be, etc.

 

You can opt for one of their pop-up playrooms that come with toys, games, craft supplies and activities, and allow kids to run wild without disturbing the event. There is also a kid’s table option that lets kids be part of the event (ideal for kid friendly weddings, family reunions, showers or festivals), but allows them a space just for them with toys and activities to keep them engaged. There is also an animated babysitting service so kids can be part of an event, or stay in the comfort of a hotel room or other personal space.

 

All options come with qualified, caring animators who are “expert nose wipers, sillies-shaker-outters, ‘use your words’ reminder-ers, and fun-stuff-to-do developers.” They take the time to get to know the children and find activities that keep them engaged, happy and having a great time.

 

They bring all the supplies and equipment, you provide the kids!

 

Pregnant woman making a heart with her hand

 

By moms, for moms (and dads)

 

Kidtabulous is owned by entrepreneur, I-yatah Holness. As an entrepreneur and mother herself, increasing the accessibility of social participation for mothers of young children is an initiative near and dear to I-yatah’s heart. Kidtabulous is all about opening doors for parents by ensuring kids aren’t just cared for, but are truly enjoying themselves while parents get the freedom to turn their full focus to the event.

 

She knows that parents want to feel good about where they’re leaving their children, and who they’re leaving them with. She knows they’ll want to check in and will want to chat with caregivers and tell them about their child. She knows they want their children to feel comfortable, happy and as at-home as possible. And that’s exactly what Kidtabulous aims to provide.

 

For your next event…

 

Whether it’s your office team building event, the company BBQ, your wedding or anniversary, annual conference, or any event that parents might attend, check out Kidtabulous, get a free quote, and consider how much you gain by opening up your event to even more people, and providing a truly unique and incredible service. Pink eye ball pits not included ;-)

Inspiring Montrealers: Mirella’s empowering path to pure joy!

Have you ever considered a big lifestyle change and thought… I can’t. It’s too much. That’s not me… Or maybe… I don’t know where to start. I don’t have time. I don’t have the willpower… Or maybe someone else told you it was unrealistic… and you believed them.

If so, you are not alone. Consider the people around you. Those you know, those you don’t. Odds are, every one of them has something they really want, but they don’t even try because of their own negative voices, or the voices of those around them.

Mirella Atallah was one such person. But she proved herself and her naysayers wrong.

 

And you can too, because it doesn’t take superhuman strength to overcome negativity. What it takes is making the conscious choice to say, “No more!” To decide that people can say what they want. Your inner gremlins can say what they want. You’re going to focus on what’s possible and move forward, one step at a time.

Here is Mirella’s inspiring story, in her words:

Life’s road is long and filled with challenges. Along the way, we all accumulate baggage that we drag around with us.

In 2012, I found myself walking around in the freezing Montreal winter. I was far from my home in Lebanon, and asked myself, “What am I doing here? What am I doing with my life?”

I knew I wanted to change my life, and it had nothing to do with homesickness or frozen toes. I was 34 years old, about 200 pounds, with a malfunctioning thyroid, tachycardia, type 2 diabetes, and to top it all off, I was in a toxic relationship.

I didn’t just need a change. I needed a drastic change.

I started my journey at Tristar Gym in Montreal with two simple goals: to lose weight, and to get in shape.

Mirella Atallah fighting

At the time, I had no idea how drastically even my goals would change!

My first week, I felt so lost and nothing made sense. I was out of my element. A gym full of people who seem to already be in shape and know what they’re doing can be so intimidating to someone just starting out.

To make matters worse, a guy in the gym told me I couldn’t do anything and lacked the flexibility to improve. Not only can I not do it now, but he’s telling me I can’t even improve??!! I had already been dealing with naysayers in my personal life. I can’t count the times I’ve been asked, “Aren’t you too old for this?” So that guy’s comment was a huge blow to my confidence.

But I pressed forward anyway. Determined to shake things up and get healthy, I dropped all my medications, started kickboxing, and eventually added in boxing and Muay Thai. I was so curious about Jiu-Jitsu, but felt I was too heavy to even try.

It took three years before I gave Jiu-Jitsu a try, and once I did… I was hooked!!!

Jiu-Jitsu is like a never-ending puzzle. You are always trying to find the right piece for the right place. Against everything – the naysayers, the wounded confidence, all of it – I kept going back. Just six months later, I received a third stripe to my white belt. A year later, I earned my blue belt.

I went from being told I couldn’t even improve, to kicking some serious butt!

You see, I’m not too old and you are not too old. Nobody is too out of shape, too ‘girly’ or too much or not enough of anything, not matter your naysayers may want you to believe.

The only restrictions you have to getting in shape and finding something you love are the restrictions you put on yourself.

There is always a work around. Always a way to achieve what you want. Because it really does start with a single step. And there is always time, space and energy for one step… then one more… and another, and another… You need to believe in yourself and just BE!

In December 2015, I went back to Lebanon. My first love. My home! I looked so hard for a place to train, but no gym felt right. I was ready to move back to Montreal when I stepped into Atos Lebanon and met Head Coach, Daniel Hilal. I knew I had found my new Jiu-Jitsu family.

Mirella Atallah Jiujitsu

What Daniel has done for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) in Lebanon is unbelievable! Let’s just say he has made an incredible difference. Against all odds, he placed Lebanon on the Jiu-Jitsu map, worldwide, and I have so much respect for this selfless coach. By continually pushing forward, he even attracted another unique Lebanese Jiu-Jitsu athlete, Professor Said Khatib, a black belt from the Mendes Academy.

I can’t help but be inspired by these two outstanding athletes. They are bringing the game to another level in Lebanon and I’m so proud to have had the chance to train and work with them.

Fast-forward to now, I am back in Montreal. My second home!

The search started again, but this time with great focus! A friend recommended Brazilian Top Team (BTT). I went in and it felt right!

I have been so lucky in my Jiu-Jitsu journey. The people I have been fortunate to meet and work with have been so far removed from that laughably negative guy in my first gym.

At BTT, I have had the opportunity to train with top athletes like Leonardo Saggioro. I felt welcome from my very first day, and the level is incredibly good under Professor Fabio Hollanda. There are also so many top female athletes to train with, especially the Head Female Coach, Juliana Mendes Nogueira. What an inspiring BJJ athlete/mom! She is a real role model for women.

At every training session, I’m reminded that Jiu-Jitsu is not just a sport. It’s a therapy; a type of meditation. When I am on the mat, I am ME.

This is a sport that will give you a voice when you feel you have none. Weakness is not an option when you have to be strong. You’ll discover that you are not actually weak. You just are not strong, YET! And you will get there. You will become strong through your own perseverance, and with the support and encouragement of the Jiu-Jitsu community.

On a deeper level, every woman needs to defend herself from any type of abuse, physical or emotional. I know, from personal experience, that Jiu-Jitsu will build you up with the confidence and skills to defend yourself from both types of abuse. Jiu-Jitsu boosts your self-confidence. You will learn to defend yourself, and to use people’s power against them. It’s an entire physical and mental workout. If your main goal is to lose weight, you will lose those extra pounds. But, more importantly, you will train your brain to be calm and to find solutions for the toughest roadblocks on your journey.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu really is a lifestyle. It teaches concepts like respect, commitment, humbleness, persistence, and care. All of which are tools needed for a productive and purposeful life!

Parents, I strongly encourage you to enroll your daughters in these amazing martial arts classes. Teach them to be strong and confident. Allow them to break the norms and gift them with the empowering knowledge that they can be self-sufficient. They will learn that they can stand up for themselves and navigate through the roadblocks of their lives.

For all the times I’ve heard, “Oh, you are so strong! I wish I could be like you!” I have to say, “Of course you can! You just have to believe in your capabilities! Be patient and never give up.”

I didn’t start out strong. But it’s where I am now. And I am happier now than I have ever been.

It is not an easy path. There were so many times I felt frustrated and wanted to give up. Instead, I found myself on the mat doing those drills again, and again, and again…

Your Jiu-Jitsu community is supportive and empowering. You will gain friends from all over the world, and will never be alone. The numbers are growing and the community is getting bigger, with more and more women enrolling. Why not you? Why not your daughter?

I’m now 41 and received my purple belt in December. I train 6 days a week and compete as often as I can.

Whenever someone asks how I do it, I say age is a state of mind. The only limits are the ones we set for ourselves. It’s not to late. Now is always a perfect time to start! I know that if I can, you can too.

If you are looking for a place to train in the Middle East or Montreal, please reach out to me and I’ll give you the right contacts.

Follow me on Instagram. I’ll be happy to answer any questions and welcome you into the community!

 


Tarek RimanFounder | Marketer | Speaker | Best Selling Author | University Instructor

With a passion for exploration and sharing new discoveries, I founded Montrealtips.com, with proceeds going to the UN Refugee Agency, Montreal Children’s Hospital and other causes. I am also involved with NGOs & charities in Canada & worldwide.

Tarek on Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter 

 

Rise With Happiness: How to Celebrate Life (FUNDRAISER)

This Workshop Will Teach You to CELEBRATE Life

Everyone wants to be happy. But what does happiness really mean? It isn’t unicorns and rainbows. It isn’t fleeting. It isn’t flash-in-the-pan moments. It certainly isn’t things.

So what is it?

True happiness originates within you and is a beautiful combination of self-acceptance, meaningful pursuits, healthy relationships with yourself and others, moments of joy, genuine self-care (not just face masks and bubble baths) and an overall feeling that you are moving in a direction that’s right for you.

Derick Fage

Source: Derick Fage Facebook Page

This combination empowers you to move through stress, fear, frustration and even anger (because those are part of every life, both happy and unhappy), keeps your mind open and alert to new possibilities, guides healthy decision making, strengthens relationships and even leads to greater career success, whatever that may mean for you.

How does all that sound? If you’re like most people, probably easier said than done! And you’d be right. It isn’t easy. But it is so incredibly worth it.

That’s why we, at Montreal Tips, are excited about an upcoming workshop presented by Ivan Rubio, a licensed psychotherapist, and Robert Wise, a certified coach. You may know Rubio and Wise as the founders of the RISE Anxiety & Depression Clinic.

Rise With Happiness: How to Celebrate Life is an interactive workshop that will guide you to be happy, right here, right now.

The workshop promises that you will come away with tools and guidance to:

  • Embrace yourself as you are and make better choices for your health, family and career;
  • Understand the difference between pleasure and meaning, and why both matter;
  • Create a realistic action plan for bringing more happiness into your life;
  • Develop effective practices for overcoming stress, anger, fear and frustration, so you can live more fully.

Who couldn’t benefit from that level of guidance and insight?

Now, one thing we do know brings meaning (a key happiness component) to life is giving back, which makes this workshop extra special, as it is also a fundraiser. 25% of all the ticket sales will go to benefit the Lakeshore General Hospital Foundation!

The workshop is made up of powerful anecdotes, insightful research, exercises and actions. It takes place in the evening and includes a selection of catered hors d’oeuvres. There will also be a surprise live band and DJ, and the icing on the cake? The event emcee is none other than Breakfast Television Montreal’s, Derick Fage!

Are you ready to rise with happiness? Here’s what you need to know:

What: Rise With Happiness: How to Celebrate Life workshop & fundraiser

When: Thursday, March 28, 6:00 PM – 9:30 PM

Where: Complexes funéraires Yves Légaré – Pierrefonds

14370 Boulevard de Pierrefonds

Montreal, QC, H9H 4R7

Tickets: Right here.

 

BONUS: There will also be a raffle of great prizes, including copies of The Camino Within by Montreal Tip’s own Tarek Riman, and I Attract What I Am: Transform Failure Into An Orgasmically Joyful Life & Business, by CEO of Your Life founder, Melissa Dawn. Two deeply inspiring books that will guide you to see the world and yourself in new ways, and begin to take your life in the direction you truly want.

 

Don’t miss this incredible event! Reserve your tickets here.

 


Tarek RimanFounder | Marketer | Speaker | Best Selling Author | University Instructor

With a passion for exploration and sharing new discoveries, I founded Montrealtips.com, with proceeds going to the UN Refugee Agency, Montreal Children’s Hospital and other causes. I am also involved with NGOs & charities in Canada & worldwide.

Tarek on Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter