Archive for September, 2008

Hello Friends of the Farm,

We know that you are all very busy with school right now and approaching mid-terms, but we’re putting out this plea on behalf of the farm, that you take the time out to be an active participant in the Campus and Community Planning public consultation events that deal with the UBC farm. There are various opportunities coming up for feedback throughout the month of October, all of which will be critical events in determining the future of the farm and we will keep you in the loop about when and where they are happening.

This particular email is just to remind you that the last day for you to submit your feedback to Campus and Community Planning about the principles that will guide discussion of the UBC Farm is TODAY, SEPTEMBER 30.

It will be very important for us to get as many people as possible submitting their feedback on the  principles to get a clear message out about the farm. CCPhave asked we suggest principles that do not predetermine any outcome, that will be broad enough to get everyone in this debate agreeing to sit down at the same table together. That being said, opportunities for feedback are few, so we can’t stop you from saying what you need to say.

Key points include:

  • We need a LONG-TERM land use decision that guarantees certainty of land tenure so that we aren’t in this limbo-ish situation of only knowing the Farm will exist in the present configuration for the next few years;
  • We need to be located on soils with immediate agricultural capability that will allow us to offer the same quality of programming that we currently offer;
  • We do not want our current level of programming compromised in any way by a decision, and ideally the decision should accommodate forecasting for future growth of the farm’s teaching, research, and community service programming based on growth trends of the last 8 years of the farm’s operations;
  • We need to mainatain the ecological complexity of this piece of land and the functioning interactions between cleared spaces, intensively cultivated cleared spaces, and forested spaces.

Also, I have uploaded to the google group a DRAFT of the version of the principles we will send on behalf of Friends of the UBC Farm [see bottom of this post for attachment]. Feel free to look to it for ideas, but it will be important for you to express your feedback in your own thoughts and words.

Thank you all for your help! We can only manage to keep the farm in its current location at its current size with active participation in this process from a wide range of stakeholders, so please forward this information far and wide.

I have uploaded a copy of the feedback from as well [see bottom of this post for attachment] and as it says at the bottom, you can submit your feedback form to Stefani Lu at stefani.lu@ubc.ca. If there isn’t enough room on the form for your comments, please just send another attachment with your comments.

Thanks so much,

Andrew Rushmere

Friends of the UBC Farm

Andrea Morgan ~ President
Beatriz Ramos  ~ Vice-President
Sarah Stevenson ~ Treasurer


Principles response letter, draft (Word Doc, 42 KB)


Read Full Post »

Landed learning kids in their slickers

Mucky out there, isn’t it? We’re all hiding in the office this morning, but we’ve made a pact to brave the outdoors this afternoon for a brassica harvest. If you thought Farm employees were braver than this, you were mistaken. In fact it’s quite within our nature to choose tea and computers over wet socks and cold hands. We do know that the work needs to be done eventually, and we are brave enough to own up to that. But first, maybe I’ll have just one last cup of tea…

News for today:

  • Our Thursday evening volunteer shift is being discontinued – effective TODAY! It’s getting dark much earlier now and today’s sogginess is serving as impetus for the cancellation. Our schedule now looks like so:
    • Thursdays: 1:30-5pm (evening shift discontinued for the season)
    • Fridays: 9:30am-12:30pm and 1:30-5:00pm
    • Saturdays 9:30am-12:30pm
  • UBC Photo Society has issued a call out for your best Farmade 2009 photos. They will be holding a photo show in Sprouts, the natural food co-op on campus, and want your photos to be included. The photos will be sold by donation, with all proceeds going to the Farm. If you’re attending tomorrow’s gonzo-good time-party that is Farmade, take a few moments to capture them good times on film to help support our work. More details here.

Enjoy the drizzle, folks…

Read Full Post »

Crossing my fingers for good weather for Farmade on Friday…

Read Full Post »

Once again, Campus and Community Planning is holding a series of workshops to engage the public and solicit feedback on their proposals for campus development. These workshops are crucial for the future of the UBC Farm. Please consider attending one and voicing your opinions regarding the threats to the Farm’s land base.

Please register now to ensure a spot; these events typically fill up quickly.

Consultation Events

Sign up for one of the Workshops (same format for all workshops):

October 16, 12pm to 3pm. GSS Ballroom
October 16, 6pm to 9pm. Michael Smith Rm101
October 20, 3pm to 6pm. GSS Ballroom
October 23, 12pm to 2pm. GSS Ballroom

Please register. Phone 604-827-3465 or email stefani.lu@ubc.ca

Drop in to one of the Open Houses:

October 22, 11:30am to 3:00pm Student Union Building
October 28, 11:30am to 3pm Student Union Building
October 28, 4pm to 7pm UNA Old Barn Community Centre

Read Full Post »

When I was a child and asked the question “What do you want to be when you go up?”, becoming a farmer was not an option. Even while my grandfather was an orchardist, my own father was encouraged to attend university so that he would not have to face the hard work of continuing the family farm.  Farming was not a valued profession.

At last, I think this might be changing.  Recently I was inspired when I came across an article about the “face of new farmers” in Colorado.  It was interesting to read the profile of this group as they closely resemble the apprentices at UBC Farm.  Like us, the new farmers described in the article come from a  wide range of backgrounds; often from urban areas, often women, often with university degrees, professional credentials and years of work experience in various fields.  I found this comforting because I will accept any and all reassurance  as I finally set out on this journey towards becoming a farmer.

As autumn sets in and our apprenticeship at UBC Farm nears its end, we have been talking more and more about our future plans.  For me, starting a farm is not only daunting for all the challenges of organic agriculture, but also because of social expectations and ideas around what it means to be successful. I hope I can reconcile this by managing a farm that brings me both a livelihood and joy in my daily work.

To read to full article about new farmers in Colorado go to: http://www.ediblefrontrange.com/pages/issues/spring08/pdfs/theFace.pdf

Read Full Post »

FarmAde 2008!

On Friday, September 26th, 2008 from 3pm-7pm Rain or Shine!

Please join us for an All Ages, Free Admission, Open-Air Festival featuring Live Local Music:  The Showgears, BPM, and The Agora String Band. Check out the performance art of the B:C: Clettes and hear guest speakers discuss the importance of supporting local, sustainable agriculture.  Come help support awareness of this important campus asset!

FarmAde features live music, a BBQ with burgers and farm fresh corn, a 19+ beer garden, farm tours, a supervised kids’ area with face painting, games and activities.  Other participating organizations include:  SPEC, BEST (who will be offering free bike checks)   Friends of the Farm and the Student Environment Centre/Food is FUNdaMental conference and more!

For more information on the FarmAde festival and the free shuttle service to the UBC Farm please visit www.ams.ubc.ca

Read Full Post »

We have 3 Growing Season Workshops coming up this month:

Seed Saving and Plant Breeding with Dr. Andrew Riseman (Sat Oct 4, 3-6pm)

Canning One with Rosy Smit (Wed Oct 1, 6-9pm) *

Canning Two with Rosy Smit (Thurs Oct 2, 6-9pm) *

On-line registration is now open for the Seed Saving and Plant Breeding Workshop and the Canning workshops will open for registration on Tuesday Sept 23.  Fabulous things are afoot at the UBC Farm!  Get involved!

* Canning workshops will be very similar, but will can different items.  It is not recommended to register for both.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »