Archive for October, 2009

Fall Colours on the Farm

It’s that time of year when the days are shorter and colder and growth on the farm has slowed. Many crops are finished for the season and cover crops have been sown to protect the soils from th winter rains and replenish them for the next season’s crops.  Mother nature is giving the few crops that are left a colourful sendoff.

This week's CSA Box

This week's CSA Box

Fall Colour 24 Oct 2009Brassicas 24 Oct 2009


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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!

Sowing Seeds field trip to Salt Spring, June 2009*

Sowing Seeds field trip to Salt Spring, June 2009*

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!)

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A message from the event organizers:
There is an amazing event coming up this Saturday, Oct.24th: Bridge to a Cool Planet. It will be Western Canada’s largest day of climate action (2nd only to the one in Ottawa). It is also part of the http://www.tcktcktck.org | http://www.350.org campaign: 3000+ events happening all around the world!

October 24 is a crucial time for us to show we care about this issue. World leaders are meeting in Copenhagen this December to agree on a treaty to stop global warming. If they fail, we are all in big trouble. Canada needs to be strong leader at these talks,but instead it is obstructing progress at advance meetings and laying the ground work for failure at the talks themselves.(1,2) This is not acceptable.

It’s clear that mass public mobilization is the only thing that will make our government take action. We need your help to make that happen next weekend! Please come to this amazing event and show you care! Invite your friends, family and colleagues too!

With city support we are closing off Cambie Bridge for a massive gathering and banner drop at noon on the 24th. Then we’ll take part in a spectacular march/parade to Science World — come in costume and bring a sign! Around Science World there is an eco-fair with music, kids performers, salsa dancing, and informative and inspiring booths set up by various groups. It’s going to to be a powerful call to action and a fun party all rolled into one!

Full details are on the the web site: http://www.BridgeCoolPlanet.ca. You can also get involved through facebook: http://bit.ly/B2CPonFacebook and follow us on twitter:http://twitter.com/b2cp

We want to have fun on October 24th, but the situation is critical. Our government needs to take action on global warming, and they are only going to do that if we tell them to. Please come to the Bridge next Saturday. Ask all your friends to come too — in person, by email, on facebook and through twitter. Please forward this message!

This is our chance to turn things around on climate change. Join us next week to make climate action history!

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Hey Farm Friends,

check out this video recently shot at UBC farm by the “Farm Virgin.” It’s called “episode 9″…just in case you’re confused about the lack of a more descriptive title.

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it's harvest... it's harvest time!

it's harvest... it's harvest time!

In the dark, cold, exam-filled winter of 2005/2006 I huddled in the UBC Farm Centre kitchen, surrounded by grafting knives, tape, bundles of unlikely looking twiggy things and mugs of hot tea.  Keen students and volunteers joined me, and thus began the UBC Farm Heritage Orchard!

We grafted 155 trees, including 60 different apple cultivars – over 50% of which  originated between 1600-1899 A.D.  (Very very old.  Very very cool).

I held my breath through till the spring when, miraculously, the buds on the unlikely little twiggy things (which were stored in pots  in an outdoor  shelter) began to break… Bright green leaves, which unfurled into perfect little flags of life. We cared for them over the summer, planted them into the UBC Farm soil in the rainy fall of 2006, established irrigation and trellising, pruned them, trained them, talked to them (at least I did) and weeded them.  And now, nearly three years later, we are harvesting gorgeous fruits from these  un-twig-like, lovely trees.  I fully admit my bias – but I think they are ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!!

AND NOW FOR THE EVENTS!! This weekend the UBC Farm is participating in the UBC Botanical Garden’s AppleFest, Oct 17-18.  AND!!!  On Saturday October 17 – you are cordially invited to join me (Sarah Belanger) on one of three tours of the UBC Farm Heritage Orchard: 10am, 12pm, 2pm. We will meet at the UBC Farm gates and, though it may rain, it will be a lovely time.  A great outing for those interested in apple production and culture! For a little more info, please check out the UBC Farm Website.

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Giving Thanks

Thank you sun and summer heat, that brought us sweet winter squash.

Thanks, colours of fall, intense beyond our senses, that prove nature’s supremacy in the realm of art.

Thank you grasses and flowers, crimson clover and vetch, that protect and enrich the soil.

Thank you kind hearted souls who have come to the farm and given a helping hand.

Thank you, bounty and abundance, as you manifest in the field. There is enough for people, birds, coyotes, and aphids too!

Thanks, fresh morning dew!!

Thank you winter, when you come, for a little rest you might provide.

Welcome fall, and thanks to all.

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