On Friday, February 7, 2014, more than 150 students, staff, faculty, and community members gathered at the Old Barn Community Centre to celebrate student-led research and teaching at the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm.
The morning’s presentation topics ranged from developing a business model for UBC Farm’s Hopyard, to creating a culturally-relevant land-based curriculum for the Farm’s children’s programming, to effectively engaging the nearby residential community.
The keynote panel discussion brought together key players in the institutional local food procurement movement at UBC and beyond. In breakout sessions, symposium attendees were given the opportunity to participate in an interactive dialogue, brainstorm solutions to overcome persistent barriers to institutional local food procurement (issues such as cost, seasonality, and distribution), and present these ideas to the experts.
After a delicious lunch prepared by volunteers from the UBC Sustainability Ambassadors, we were treated to more thought-provoking presentations on the pros and cons of organic certification in BC, an analysis of graduate research on the effects of cover crops on pest resistance and farm biodiversity, and an autobiography of one participant’s experiences with the Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture.
The Symposium served as a day dedicated to the innovative, high-level research UBC students are engaged in, and a celebration of the unique learning opportunities offered by the UBC Farm.
(See Symposium website for more information)
Photos by Don Erhardt.