Archive for October, 2011

Dear farm friends,

We hope you’ve been passing a cozy hallowe’en weekend and enjoying plenty of seasonal treats!  Please note the important Public Open House and Q& A Session coming up this Tuesday, Nov 1st, regarding the Revised Amendments to the South Campus Neighbourhood Plan.  It would be excellent if you could attend and help to represent the interests of Friends of the UBC Farm in this process. If you are not able to attend on Tuesday, please take a few minutes to share your thoughts through the online consultation (available from Oct 21-Nov 3).
UBC is in the process of amending the South Campus Neighbourhood Plan for Wesbrook Place such that it concurs with the university’s overall Land Use Plan.  These amendments must take place in order to retain the UBC Farm for sustainability research, teaching and community engagement, as well as creating a thoughtfully-designed South Campus community.  The two key messages that Friends of the UBC Farm would like to emphasize are:
  1. Transferring housing density from the UBC Farm to other parts of campus concurs with Smart Growth principles and will help to create more sustainable, livable neighbourhoods on campus.
  2. Quite apart from the consideration of the UBC Farm, designing compact communities will make UBC a better place to live. For instance, densely-built neighbourhoods help to support:
    • Mixed, affordable housing options
    • Physical activity through walkable, bike-friendly neighbourhoods
    • Well-serviced transit networks, along with associated air quality benefits
    • Environmental benefits, such as efficiently recovering heat, water and organic waste
    • Retail, recreational and child care facilities, enabling people to work, play, and shop in the places that they live
    • A more vibrant sense of community and reduced experience of being a “commuter campus”

Date: Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Place: MBA House, 3385 Wesbrook Mall


  • Public Open House – 4:30-5:45pm,
  • Q&A Session – 6-7pm
  • Public Open House – 7-7:30pm

Please note that the Open House display boards will not be available during the Q&A portion.

Online consultation on the amendments will run from October 21-November 3.


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Warm congrats to all of the entrants in this year’s UBC Farm Pumpkin Carving Competition! Our Harvest Festival and final Farm Market of the year drew out plenty of creative juices on October 22nd. The eyelashed Jack-o-Lantern got our votes for top prize, but honourable mention goes to the double-sided flower power pumpkin.

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Simply put, “We need more farmers.” – Bill McKibben.

The application deadline for the UBC Farm Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture is fast approaching! We are accepting applications until Sunday, October 30. We hope to have a response for all applicants by the end of December 2011.

About the Practicum:

2011 Practicum students processing onions for storage.

Established in 2008, this part-time (600 hour), 8-month practicum offers instruction and daily work experience in small-scale sustainable farming. In a balanced, hands-on learning approach, students work alongside staff in the greenhouse, gardens, fields, and orchard. Students attend complementary lectures, demonstrations, and farm visits, and participate in a variety of practical and reflective educational activities. Direct marketing activities are also a key part of the experience. The practicum has been designed as a beginning point for aspiring growers, educators and agricultural professionals.

Students come from all backgrounds and are expected to be passionate about pursuing a career in sustainable agriculture. A certificate of completion will be issued to students who fulfill the practicum requirements. Further, we support our graduates to make connections within the BC agricultural community, and to seek out mentors to learn with following Sowing Seeds. Although the Practicum is not yet registered as a Credit Course, UBC students can enroll in the program as a Directed Study and receive partial reimbursement for the cost of the program.

For more information, please see the Practicum page on the UBC Farm website.

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Harvest Festival – October 22, 2011!

UBC Farm Harvest Festival – October 22nd, 9am – 1pm

Come celebrate the end of the 2011 season at our Harvest Festival! On October 22nd, our last Saturday market of the season, we invite you to come out to the Farm to stock up on storage veggies for the winter or take home a carved pumpkin just in time for Halloween. Join us for a day filled with activities, including:

– Pumpkin carving competition (win a Cinderella pumpkin!)
– The Great Marrdini: A Magician at the Market (weather pending)
– Face painting & Children’s colouring corner
– Special spooky children’s farm tour at 11am
– Complimentary apple cider
– Hot prepared food from Coma Food Truck
– And live, local music!

We hope to see you out on the 22nd to wrap up this year’s harvest season with fun times at the farm.

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We met up on a beautiful sunny autumn day to explore the UBC Farm for our first farm walkabout this season. Here is some of what we found during our exploration!

We will have more walkabouts throughout the year. Please join us to learn more about all that the UBC Farm has to offer while breathing fresh air – rain or shine!

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On October 15 and 16, 2011 we’re excited to be joining the UBC Botanical Garden Apple FestivalIn addition to a booth on-site at the festival both days, we will be offering tours of the UBC Farm Heritage Orchard on Saturday October 15 at 10am, noon and 2pm.

The UBC Farm Heritage Orchard was designed, grafted and planted as a student Directed Study beginning in 2005.  A sanctuary for apple culture, the orchard is composed of ~120 trees, including ~70 varieties of apples and a handful of plums.  2011 marks our first year of significant harvest for market sales and the orchard is producing gorgeous apples. Come visit this urban agricultural gem for tours with UBC Farm staff who care for the orchard on SATURDAY October 15!  Meet at the UBC Farm entrance gate. No UBC Farm orchard tours will be offered on Sunday.

For more about the UBC Farm Orchard, check out this older post on the blog .

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The fresh autumn air welcome all with the generous harvest of the season.   Acorn, Cinderella, Chucky and Delicata chatter excitingly in their harvest crates- wondering who will enjoy them in craft and cooking!

What a wonderful time of abundance and hunkering down!  Come on out to the UBC Farm Pumpkin Patch and bring home a Jack O Lantern, Sugar or Baby Pumpkin – stop by, the gates are open from 9am-5pm Tuesday through Saturdays.  And of course our campus and farm markets are offering fabulous fall produce in many shades and tastes of green, orange, red, yellow,  and blue!

Enjoy a virtual UBC Farm fall walkabout through these pictures, and hope to see you soon.  With warmth and community!

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