Posts Tagged ‘learning innovation’


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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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The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm is delighted to offer:

Sowing Seeds for the Future

A hands-on, season-long practicum in sustainable agriculture

We are now accepting applications for our 2010 program!

Sowing Seeds 2009

What? ~ The Sowing Seeds Practicum 2010:

Established in 2008, this part-time (600 hour), eight 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. Please note, Sowing Seeds 2010 is a non-credit course and therefore participants are not eligible for student loans. However, in 2010 we are offering a fee discount for UBC students who register, and successfully earn credits, for a directed studies based on their Sowing Seeds Practicum.

Where? ~ The UBC Farm:

Located at the southern end of the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver campus, on the traditional territory of the Musqueam people, the UBC Farm stewards a 24 ha site as an integrated, working farm system. The UBC Farm is student driven and all practices voluntarily adhere to COABC standards for organic production.  In a given year, we cultivate up to 250 different varieties of annual and perennial crops.

What’s new for 2010?

Following two full seasons, the Sowing Seeds practicum is making several changes to its structure to reflect feedback from our 2008 and 2009 students, our UBC Farm Staff, and our Steering Committee. The information contained on the website and in the Program Overview reflects the current direction of the project .

Sowing Seeds 2009


Course Logistics:

Course dates : March 13 – Nov 6, 2010

Course hours : Vary throughout the growing season from 7-21 hours/week. See our Program Overview for details.

Course fee : $3,000

**(UBC Students who register, and successfully earn credits, for a directed studies course based upon their Sowing Seeds Practicum are eligible for a $400 refund)**

Capacity : 10 students

Application information is available on our websiteApplication deadline: December 1, 2009.

For more information, please:

  • Visit our Website and download our Program Overview
  • View photos from the 2008 practicum
  • Watch a short video about the practicum in 2008 (scroll down: “A Unique Urban Agriculture Course at UBC Farm”)

Contact information:

If you can’t find the info you need on our website, please contact Elaine Spearing at: ubcfarm.seeds@gmail.com

We look forward to hearing from you!

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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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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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