Archive for February, 2009


Oh, The Province, you so funny.


(Tuesday’s editorial cartoon)


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Thanks, Environment Canada, “Snowfall warning continued” is just what I wanted to hear on a dreary Wednesday. So the forecast has been cast, fine, but I am fairly certain that if I ignore the warning it will never materialize.

Just in case we get a few feet in the next few hours I ran outside and braved the sideways rain to bring you – yes you! – this dose of farm shots.

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Sustainability survey for UBC students

If you are a UBC student, filling out this survey and highlighting the importance of the UBC Farm to sustainability education on campus will be a key way to show that the Farm is an important part of UBC’s sustainability education. This survey will inform the President’s Academic Sustainability Plan, so it is important to have the Farm be a strong component of the feedback they receive. Please take a moment to fill it out. Also, please take a minute to forward the link to any student listservs that you may be a part of and let them know this is a key way to show their support for UBC Farm and its importance to sustainability research and learning at UBC.


Friends of the UBC Farm



UBC aims to improve its current academic offerings on sustainability. Both UBC and the Faculty of Land and Food Systems would appreciate your input to help us do this. We want to hear your voice and know what aspects of sustainability are important to you.

Please take 10 minutes to provide feedback through completing an online survey.

The survey is jointly conducted by the Working Group on Academic Programs of the President’s Advisory Council on Sustainability and the Campus Sustainability Office. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Jean Marcus (E-mail: jean.marcus@ubc.ca).

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Springtime = more public access

Things are starting to speed up around here as we gear up for the 2009 season. From February 16 – March 31, the Farm will be open to the public from 9am-5pm, Monday through Friday. Staff assistance may be limited, though, so please be understanding.

Remember, the Farm is closed to the public on weekends, and all dogs are required to be leashed while on site. (Your dogs included!) As always, please respect that the Farm supports its operations through sales of our produce, so please do not disturb any plants.

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All of these photos were taken on the gorgeous, sunny afternoon we had yesterday. Workers on the farm strolled around in tank tops and t-shirts, reveling in what we could call the lack of bone-chilling cold. We’re also in the midst of Reading Week at UBC, the 5 day break whose name is a bit of a laugh, as most take advantage of the week to travel, sleep in and generally escape from all things academic. Some, however, choose to engage in community service learning (CSL) projects coordinated by the University, and the UBC Farm was lucky enough to host to 3 of these groups this week. Thanks to these hardworking students, we now have new fencing around our irrigation pits, ramps we call “speedbumps” which enable us to drive the tractors around the Farm without crushing our irrigation pipes, and a new outdoor sink and tote storage system. So glad that all of these students were able to come out and join us, and provide these improvements to the Farm.

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Plant-related happenings…

The UBC Botanical Garden has some good looking events coming up this month, including a day-course on “friendly” gardening, and talks about the Garry Oak ecosystem and killer fungi! While those all sound fascinating, my dollars would probably go to the backpack weaving course.

Details below…


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Colleen and Patrick, the wonderful folks behind Stellar Seeds, are looking for an intern for this growing season. This is quite the opportunity if you’re interested in farming, or have an interest in seed production. Stellar shares their beautiful Sorrento property with none other than Crannog Ales, makers of the best darn stout in all of BC.

More details about the internship are below, in a message from Colleen:



My name is Colleen and my partner, Patrick, and I are offering an apprenticeship position on our farm this season. Together we run the company “Stellar Seeds”, so much of your work would be focused on seed production, market gardening and garlic production. Your duties would include working the field (seeding, planting, weeding, harvesting, collecting seeds), sharing the duties at the local farmers market on Saturday mornings, as well as some animal care and general farm maintenance.

Our farm is located in Sorrento, BC, between Kamloops and Salmon Arm on the Trans-Canada Highway. We are living on a 10 acre property that we share with two others. The farm is about a ten minute walk to a beach on Shuswap Lake.

The apprentice would live in a cabin on the property that has electricity and running water and basic kitchen appliances. The apprentice also has access to a shower, full bathroom, etc in our main house. We share most of our meals when we are working together. We expect the apprentice to work 40 hours a week (8 hours/day, 5 days a week). We are able to pay an apprentice a small stipend of $300/month, as well as room and board. We are looking for an apprentice from about April until October, but those dates can be flexible.

If you are interested in an apprenticeship at our farm, please email us at info@stellarseeds.com or call us at (250) 675 0076

We’re looking forward to hearing from some of you soon,


Colleen O’Brien
Stellar Seeds
(250) 675 0076
RR1 S6 C5
Sorrento, BC
V0E 2W0

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