Farm School – 1 month in

So my original plan for writing after every practicum day so far hasn’t happened, so I’m acknowledging defeat now, because once we’re at 4 days a week, I know it will get worse! But one month into the practicum, and Saturdays are by far my favourite day of the week. It is so great to be outside, getting my hands in the soil, feeling the sun (that’s right – so far, even here in rainy Vancouver, the sun has come out every practicum day so far), and learning lots of new and fascinating things.

Nicely turned spring fields

Spring fields

The farm is changing every time I visit right now. With the dryer weather we had in late March and early April, many of the fields have been turned. Although I have yet to see the tractor in action, the results are great. It amazes me that even after several years of cultivation, large rocks get turned up every season and have to be hauled out of the fields.

At the UBC Farm and in my own kitchen, sprouts are coming up all over the place. My tomato seedlings are thriving so far, even in my ground-floor, North-facing apartment. A few short weeks, and things will be going out into the ground.

2013-04-06 10.18.20

Salad greens at the market

This past weekend, our practicum group visited the Winter Farmers Market, a place I’ve been frequently on many wintery Saturdays. But this time, the goal was to look around with the eye of a producer, not a consumer. We were to pay attention to what farmers sell in this season to generate  year-round profits, asks questions about production, and notice the best displays. Because I’m interested in having chickens (on a small scale), and because the egg and poultry vendors were a little less busy setting up, I chatted with a few of them, and learned what SPCA-certified eggs means, and about how K & M Farms uses llamas, donkeys and miniature horses with their ranging chickens to scare off predators.

This week, we also got an orientation of the tool shed, and the many different hoes that are there to assist with every large or tiny job on the farm. Pretty sure I still don’t know the difference between any of them, but I know I will learn!

Farm Manager Tim demonstrating the hoe

Farm Manager Tim demonstrating the hoe


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