Archive for July, 2008

Heyo, we won!

Thanks to all of your wonderful support, we are one of the five winners of the Tyee’s “Green Your Campbell Cash” contest. Our page received over 1,000 votes, with an average of 4.9 stars – pretty dang good! Lisa from the Tyee announced the winners last night at the Green Drinks BBQ at Jericho Park. Here’s a lovely photo of myself, Mark (UBC Farm program coordinator), Samara (big-league friend of the farm), and a representative from the Tyee – what is your name, Tyee man? Thanks for the prize!

We really appreciate all the work the Tyee put into this contest. The other projects were all awesome, and the site generated a huge amount of attention and support (more than 88,000 page hits!). Over 200 people pledged their $100 directly to an organization; many thanks to those of you who sent your cheques to us. You support goes a long way to help our operations.

You can heck out the story on the Tyee here.


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As the rising price of gasoline drives up the price of food, more consumers are seeking out what is local, fresh and in season. More than ever, restaurants are incorporating this ethic into the menus they serve, and the results are fantastic. In contrast to seeking out strange and exotic ingredients flown in from around the globe, working with the goodness that is available locally has created a stronger connection to the place where we live and enjoy eating.

In this summer season, there is no end to the amount of delicious local products that grace the menus of some of our forward-thinking restaurants. Robert Clark of C Restaurant, co-founder of the Ocean Wise program, has been championing this theme for years, with his inspired take on our local seafood catch. John Bishop of Bishop’s restaurant is another local, seasonal, food pioneer and Aphrodite’s Organic Café began as a solid link between the diners of West 4th Ave, and the produce and meats supplied by the Glen Valley Organic Farm in Abbotsford. These establishments continue to showcase the interesting and different types of produce, meats and cheeses that are part of a particular season in the Lower Mainland and feature their use of local fare at this year’s Feast of Fields.

A recent conversation with Feast participant, Boneta’s Executive Chef Jeremie Bastien, showed that these ideas are also part of the guiding force of new restaurants. Having celebrated its first anniversary last week, Boneta restaurant (1 E.Cordova St.) focuses on freshly prepared, homemade meals, with clean, delicious flavours. Often their produce is locally supplied through Very Berry, an Okanagan-based distribution centre. A peek through their ever-evolving menu consistently reveals a number of new and interesting items. Even though they can be easily grown and found locally; celeriac, beet greens, kabocha squashes, sea asparagus, sunchokes; are not typically found on most menus, or on our supermarket shelves. By incorporating these local goodies, chefs are helping to continue the trend towards enjoying more of what is available to us, fresh and in season.

For the upcoming Feast, prepare to be amazed by the creativity and care which goes into showcasing all of these great seasonal products. Some chefs have hinted that we may see a number of takes on a more conventional fruit, which we eat all year-round, but should be truly celebrated in September: the tomato.

Don’t wait to buy your tickets for the Feast on Sunday, September 7th; you will be amazed at what is available right in our own backyards! Tickets are $75 and are selling fast! Available online at http://www.feastoffields.com and at all Choices Markets.

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Did you know that the UBC Farm has started a part-time, season-long Apprenticeship in small-scale organic agriculture?  It’s true!   We are now 4 months into our first 7 month program, and it has been amazing.  Our fabulous Apprentices are finding their place within the UBC Farm Team, developing solid farming and gardening skills, and gaining a theoretical understanding through classes, workshops, and field experience. Come meet the Apprentices at one of our Saturday Farm Markets!  Also, check out the 4 minute flick about the Sowing Seeds Apprenticeship now posted on the City Farmer website (starring Sarah Mac and Niki).



Interested in the 2009 Sowing Seeds Apprenticeship?  Know someone who might be? Updated program information is coming!  Read on…

Course dates: Mid February-mid November 2009

Course fee: Estimated at $2400. (Tuition may be subject to change, but all costs will be finalized prior to apprentice acceptance into the program)

Program information: An updated 2009 Program Overview document will be posted on our website by August 16, 2008.  Course details will change following feedback from our 2008 apprentices; Updated versions of the Program Overview will be posted in the fall of 2008.

Applications: The 2009 application will be available on the UBC Farm website by Aug 16 2008.  Applications will be accepted until October 15 2008 at 5pm.

Capacity: We will be accepting 12 apprentices.

Contact information: If you can’t find the info you need on our website, please contact Sarah Belanger at: ubcfarm.interns@gmail.com

See you out at the Farm, and thank you for supporting local agriculture and local education!

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In the News

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

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Free winter gardening workshop

photo by flickr user ptamas33

photo by flickr user ptamas33

The Environmental Youth Alliance (EYA) is hosting a free workshop on winter gardening. They’ve even got some hearty veg starts for participants to take home:

Saturday August 2nd, 1-2:30, RayCam Community Centre
Friday August 8th, 2-3:30 p.m Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House.

Visit www.eya.ca or call 604-689-4446 for additional details.

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Monsanto film screening, Vancouver

If you’ve got some time in early August, the Vancouver International Film Centre is screening The World According to Monsanto from August 1st through the 7th. I plan on attending, because nothing’s more heart lifting than the story of an agri-chemical giant’s escapades terrorizing the world. The VIFF description promises a film full of “misleading reports, collusion with the US government, pressure tactics, and attempts at corruption.” Fun for the whole family! See you there.

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Below is the text of a letter submitted by Jen Ardiel to the Vancouer Sun, printed this Sunday. Jen does a wonderful job of illustrating why developing the farm is so unnecessary.

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UBC can meet building needs without further development


Published: Saturday, July 26, 2008

I would like to thank Murray Isman and Stephen Owen for bringing current thinking about the UBC Farm to the public’s attention (Issues & Ideas, July 22.)

In March, I participated in a University of B.C. design workshop at which planners, architects, administrators, designers and students were given the task of meeting UBC’s residential and academic building requirements over the next 100 years. What was exciting was that the university’s building needs could be met within the area that is currently developed. Older buildings, parkades and badly designed green spaces and corridors could be redeveloped to create a more sustainable campus. If the farm is developed, we would lose something that needn’t be lost. The need for agricultural research will explode in coming decades and UBC, if it doesn’t make foolish changes, will be hailed for the foresight to secure the farmland.

Jen Ardiel

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