Just a reminder that this Friday, October 29th is the closing date for applications for the 2011 Sowing Seeds for the Future Practicum program, a hands-on, season-long practicum in sustainable agriculture at the UBC Farm. Visit the Sowing Seeds page for full program and application details.
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Posted in Apprentices, Daily News, Events, tagged Apprentices, community, Events, industry connections, learning innovation, sowing seeds, sustainability, teaching learning on October 23, 2009 | 1 Comment »
On Saturday Oct 31 all prospective applicants to the 2010 Sowing Seeds for the Future Practicum are invited to attend a drop-in Open House at the UBC Farm between 2-5pm! Come meet this year’s apprentices and farm staff, tour the site and get your questions answered!
For the 2008 and 2009 growing seasons, the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm has been pleased to offer “Sowing Seeds,” a hands-on, season-long apprenticeship-style course in sustainable agriculture. Our second year of the program began in early March 2009 and completes early November 2009.
Now, after two full seasons, Sowing Seeds 2010 is under revision as we consider feedback from our 2008 and 2009 apprentices, our UBC Farm Staff and our Steering Committee. We believe this evaluation is a critical step in the creation of an excellent program, and we are excited about the continued evolution of Sowing Seeds. The 2010 course details (including course schedule, dates, fees and application information) will be available on our website shortly. Updated info will also be available at the Open House on Oct 31. We hope to see you there!
(* Thanks to Nic for sharing his photos!)
Today was the first market of the season…good timing considering that the strawberries were harvested for the first time on Thursday!! This was also the first market for a number of Farm Staff, Market Crew volunteers, and Sowing Seeds Farm Apprentices. With team work and guidance from more experienced folks, it came off as a resounding success for all involved!!
Tents were quickly pitched and humble Rubbermaid produce tubs yielded luscious displays of colour and texture at the market tables. Fresh radishes and strawberries practically glowed, while the garlic scapes, mizuna, mustard, arugula, and spinach looked good enough to, well, eat! Eggs were carefully stacked, and aromas from freshly-cut mint, sage, oregano, and winter savoury wafted temptingly around, as buckets of towering foxgloves bobbed above heads on their way to the flower table.
Spirits were high among farm crew and customers alike, and nearly everyone was able to breathe deeply and enjoy the refreshing experience of finding themselves on a working farm in the middle of the city with the sun shining and the birds singing. However, peace and tranquility were definitely optional with all of the other kickoff events happening around the farm! These included a 100-Mile Pancake Breakfast presented by the 100-Mile Diet Society, a Children’s Area with farm games and activities, farm tours, live music, tool sharpening by Henk Seys (Lee Valley Tools), and bike tune ups courtesy of the UBC Bike Kitchen.
The 100-Mile Pancake Breakfast was especially exciting, since fresh food is practically always on the minds of hardworking farm staff and apprentices! By the time most of us arrived, the farm kitchen was already bustling with multiple portable burners, steam trays, and an apron-clad crew, led by Chef Ian Lai. Since the pancakes were served near the market, there was also a pancake runner, who could be seen sprinting around throughout the morning with trays of pancakes for hungry breakfast goers. The meal itself featured milk from Avalon Dairy, eggs and mint from the UBC farm, soft white wheat flour from the Flour Peddler (Agassiz), yogurt from Olympic Dairy Products Ltd., blueberry honey from James Honey Bees, and strawberries from Maan Farms. The Pancake Breakfast was not only in honour of the season’s first market, but was also celebrating the launch of the 100-Mile Diet Society’s new Foodshed Map, a collaborative piece by local writers and artists designed to educate the public about local and sustainable food systems.
Some of the children at the market enjoyed the farm games, while others practiced harvesting one of the UBC farm’s most plentiful and reliable crops: rocks!! (Note: the staff and apprentices are experts at this task!). Some children also found that rolling down the hill after breakfast was the activity of choice. A few children who were past participants of the Farm Wonders Summer Camp and/or the school-based Landed Learning Program took the time to show their families around the Children’s Garden—it turns out that food knowledge can be passed up generations as well as down!
As the sun rose higher in the sky, produce made its way into a variety of reusable bags and baskets, pancakes ran low, and herbs began their final journey toward the salad bowl, soup pot, or mojito. Staff, volunteers, and apprentices gradually wound down the event and looked forward to an afternoon spent in the field, encouraging growth for next Saturday’s bounty. Hope to see you there!
The 2008 Sowing Seeds for the Future Apprenticeship in Organic Agriculture is quickly drawing to an end, and we are now accepting applications for the 2009 program! It has been an incredible first season and we are looking forward to expanding and improving through our second year. By blending theory with practice, the Sowing Seeds Program offers aspiring growers a unique opportunity to gain the fundamental skills of organic agriculture.
If you are interested in learning more about the Sowing Seeds Apprenticeship there are a few options available:
1) Program and application information is available on the UBC Farm website. Our 10 page Program Overview document (found on our website) should answer most of your questions. You can also see photos of the 2008 program on our Flickr account.
2) Come visit us! We have a few information events scheduled in the coming weeks:
- Drop-in Open House: Saturday October 11, 2008, 3-6pm. Come on by, tour the site, meet Farm staff and the 2008 apprentices, and get your questions answered!
- If you cannot attend the Open House please contact Sarah (firstname.lastname@example.org) to register for a smaller program orientation. Depending on demand we will be offering orientations on Tuesday October 7, 5-6pm and/or Thursday October 9, 5-6pm. Participation in orientations is by registration only.
3) Contact us! If you cannot find the information you need on our website, please contact Sarah at: email@example.com or by phone at: 604-822-5092.
The Sowing Seeds Apprenticeship is Growing Growers :0)
Check out a little video of some of the apprentices at work on the farm. Mike Levenston, of City Farmer, visited the market last Saturday and interviewed some of us for his Urban Agriculture Notes. You can watch the video at: http://www.cityfarmer.info/a-unique-urban-agriculture-course-at-ubc-farm/#more-324
Although this entry marks the first of many Sowing Seeds updates to come, it is difficult to put down all that has been going on and learned by the seven apprentices over the past two months. The farm has definitely changed from a quiet place to a busy network of great people and excitement for the current season. Time has flown by as we have come to learn the basics of what it takes to transform land into a rich and diverse food producing system. Every day that goes by I am humbled by how little I know and realize how much more there is to know about growing food.
This week we finally planted our own plots- an exciting and somewhat daunting process. Will anything actually grow? As I plant these tiny little carrot seeds in my plot, I feel our plots are such a great way for us to learn experientially about planting crops, planning, successes and failures, as well as a way to learn through other’s experiences. As the week continued with bright sun and warm temperatures, we were tasked with various jobs around the farm including laying out aluminum irrigation piping, learned about the different types of cover crop and self-critiqued our last-week’s hoeing around the lettuces.