Archive for January, 2010

One of Dr. Rieseberg’s graduate students has been studying the wild
Silverleaf variety in trial plots in the UBC Farm’s annual crop
rotation. The CBC has picked up on the work; here is the link to the article.


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This may be of interest to any new farmers out there.

Inventing Tomorrow

Call for Participants – Documentary about Local, Sustainable Farming

“Inventing Tomorrow” is a new television documentary series that will follow people who have decided to take up the task of farming. We are looking for aspiring new farmers (ideally taking on their first or second year of production) who want to share their early learning experience as a way to build awareness around food, farming, and sustainability. Inventing Tomorrow will be an informative, honest, and inspiring look at both the short term and long term challenges facing new farmers and sustainable food production. It will also highlight the diversity of farming operations and farming opportunities across Canada, and the way farmers are supporting each other through the development of grass-roots communities and networks.

Participants can reside in rural, urban, or collective communities. Filming will take place from March to October 2010. We are looking for 3 or 4 individuals, couples, or families to follow for a period of several months (or the bulk of a productive season). Whenever possible, we will facilitate on-farm exchanges with experienced farmers, researchers, and mentors who can assist our new farmers. The final documentary series will be comprised of 6 one-hour episodes. Please see the website below for more information.

If you or someone you know might be interested in participating in this series, please contact us (information below). We will be happy to provide more information and would love to hear about what you’re working on.

For more information, please see:


Steve Suderman or Jess Boyachek
Email: contact@orangevilleroad.com
Orangeville Road Pictures
(306) 205-9282

Kenneth Bell
Email: Kenneth.Bell@uregina.ca
(306) 352-3740

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Climate Change film Screening

Hello Friends of the Farm,

Check out this trailer and info for a screening of the film “The Age of Stupid” and panel discussion at UBC on January 19th. Apparently there are some interesting agricultural references in the film.


UBC Continuing Studies Centre for Sustainability presents…

Watch the Explosive New Film “The Age of Stupid”

Join us for the sci-fi docu-drama described as the best climate change film to hit the big screen. Presented by UBC Continuing Studies Centre for Sustainability, The Age of Stupid follows a man living alone in the devastated world of 2055, looking at old footage from present day and asking: Why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance?

After the film a panel discussion featuring Brian Nattrass of Sustainability Partners Inc, Robert Safrata of Novex Couriers and Elisa Campbell of the UBC Design Centre for Sustainability will examine potential forward steps in the fight against climate change. Vanessa Timmer of One Earth will moderate the discussion. Find out more about the movie and the post-film panel.
Date: Tuesday, January 19
Time: Doors open at 6pm; film at 6:30pm, followed by panel discussion
Place: UBC Point Grey – Woodward Instructional Resources Centre, Theatre 2
2194 Health Sciences Mall (map and parking)
Cost: $10 admission

Tickets only available by calling 604-822-1444 or at the door.

The film was “so powerful and so moving I wanted it to go for another hour.”

“Captivating and constantly surprising… the first successful dramatization of
climate change to reach the big screen.”

“A much sterner and more alarming polemic than “An Inconvenient Truth,
[this film] will be taken by some as an emergency wake-up call to do everything
possible to avert impending catastrophe.”

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2009 Year in Review

As we enter a new year – and a new decade – it seems appropriate to take a quick look back at some of the highlights from the past year here at the UBC Farm (both in pictures and words). It was a busy one with lots of firsts, and some seconds, thirds, and eighths…

The season began with a big bang in April, in the form of over 2,000 farm supporters taking part in the Great Farm Trek. It was a major culmination of the Save the Farm movement.  We also received our first official farm sign from UBC that day! In March, the second generation of Sowing Seeds Apprentices  began their 8 month journey at the farm, spending time in the fields as well as in the classroom as they learned all about organic farming.

Pollan-mania hit the farm in early June when the renowned journalist and food writer Michael Pollan spoke to a crowed of over 600. The event was a collaboration with Barbara Jo’s Books for Cooks and was a huge success.  A few weeks later, the fields were producing enough food for our first market, and we celebrated with a season opener like never before. Over a thousand customers attended our season kick-off event and enjoyed a number of new vendors and activities at the market, in addition to a local pancake breakfast provided by the 100-Mile Diet Society. Highlighting the connections between the food system and climate change was a major theme for the farm this past season and will continue to be into the future as we demonstrate “carbon-smart” farming practices and food choices.

Major events weren’t the only things happening at the farm this year, it was incredibly busy in the fields too. 550 blueberry plants were established in the eastern part of the farm, and although no berries were harvested in 2009, we hope to be enjoying the first harvest this year, yum! The sun shone brightly for what felt like all of July and August, and as some of us wilted in the heat (salads included), the vegetables grew, and grew, and grew. We had some of our biggest harvests ever and  many veggies grew bigger than my head! The heat proved favorable for apples as well, and Sarah harvested the first crop out of the orchard this year, which were all delicious.

A smoke house was constructed on site as part of an initiative through the Urban Aboriginal Community  Kitchen Garden Project (UACKGP), in collaboration with UBC engineering students as part of their Community Service Learning opportunities. This has been a long-standing dream for many members of this community and it was with great ceremony and celebration that several smokes took place during the summer.

Food was the theme of many celebrations in 2009, including Outstanding in the Field and Feast of Fields. As the light grew softer and the colours turned from greens to goldens, we marked the transition into fall and the end of yet another successful – and extremely busy – season with a Harvest Festival and FarmAde. It was a fitting way to give thanks to and to appreciate the fruits of everyone’s labour over the past growing season and all of the incredible food the land produced.

Finally, we ended the year by being chosen as one  Tides Canada’s “Top Ten for 2009”

From the Tides Canada site:

“Each year, we select ten social change organizations that we feel are making huge inroads in building a more just and sustainable world. These groups work tirelessly on the ground, running smart, strategic campaigns and achieving remarkable results.”

Take a look at the Top Ten list and the UBC Farm’s entry. You can read down to the bottom and give us a “thumbs up!

It was a very exciting year and has left us eagerly anticipating what 2010 has in store. The Farm Team and Friends of the UBC Farm would like to thank all of you for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you this coming season!

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