Fall seemed to come rather early this year, being colder and wetter than I remember in the past. Being born and raised in Ontario I am accustomed to the sunny, cool and crisp fall days of my youth. I suppose for the first time in my 5 years in BC I have been forced to pay more attention to the weather. As an apprentice, my day to day routine has been noticeably affected by the seasons. I can’t just run to my car and crank the heat or dash into the nearest Tim Horton’s, wait in line, and order a medium single single when the weather starts to take a nose dive. For the last 6 months, 4 days a week, I have experienced and will probably never truly appreciate how much farmers are at the mercy of the weather. “Insert tractor jokes here”
Fall is my favorite season, the leaves change into a brilliant array of colors, the weather becomes cooler, students return to school, we return to a regular work schedule and it gives us a reason to find someone that we enjoy being cozy with. Fall signifies the return to routine, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Remembrance day, family, friends, the all too early marketing for the holidays, and squash!!!. On the farm as an apprentice, fall is the time to harvest the plethora of squash that we planted earlier in the year (Mark May 28 on your calenders as the sowing date for Neon Pumpkins). Squash soup, pumpkin pie, roast squash and pumpkin carving! I was very proud when I carried a pumpkin that I had planted, grown and harvested onto BC ferries to gift to my friends in Victoria for Thanksgiving. No matter the weather these large cucurbits densely packed with caloric energy linked my Thanksgivings in Ontario to my Thanksgiving here, not to mention the turkey…but I digest. I’ve made great friends here in UBC’s pumpkin patch, learned more about myself and have seen what true conviction and character exists in the young farmers that are critical to the future of our food supply. As we set aside some pumpkins for children to harvest in the near future, the rain subsided and the sun presented itself, I hoped that many more will pass through the farm gates and will be allowed this amazing opportunity that I am thankful for having been afforded. These squash represent the end of my apprenticeship at UBC, the great people that I have befriended and new beginnings.
While I should probably end my first and only blog entry with an inspiring quote by an iconic farmer I will resist and use my own words: No matter where you spend the fall there will always be squash and great people to surround you, your biceps may even get a little bigger.
UBC Farm Apprentice 08