Sowing the Seeds for the Future

For the past two years, The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm has offered aspiring growers, educators and agricultural professionals the opportunity to further their education through a practicum in sustainable agriculture.

The Sowing Seeds for the Future program is a part-time, eight month practicum that offers instruction and daily work experience in small-scale sustainable farm management. In a balanced, hands-on learning approach, students work alongside staff in the greenhouse, gardens, fields, and orchard, and attend lectures, demonstrations, and visits to other local farms. They also participate in a variety of practical and reflective educational activities.

“This Program offers students the opportunity to develop skills through daily and seasonal activities like planning, production, crop care, harvesting and marketing,” said Mark Bomford, the Centre’s Director.

The program runs from March until November. During the growing season, the students spend between 7-21 hours a week on the 24 hectare UBC Farm, gaining experience in the production and direct marketing of a wide range of horticultural crop and animal enterprises in a mixed farm setting.

Brittany Buchanan, one of ten students enrolled in this year’s program, has been blogging about her experience as part of her directed-studies learning objective.

Sowing Seeds 2009“Being a farmer is hard work,’ she said. “It’s a job that demands a huge breadth of skills and knowledge. I wanted to learn more about the inter-workings of an organic farm system, and this program seemed like a good fit for me.”

To read more about Brittany’s experience in the Sowing the Seeds for the Future program, visit

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