You are Invited: Teas for Bees Picnic Party

You are Invited: Teas for Bees Picnic Party

Spend a day at the farm and celebrate bees and pollinators with us! Bring a picnic blanket and we will provide the rest of the tea party ingredients!

Sit, relax and take in the spring air at the UBC Farm. Enjoy a performance and talk by Bee educator Lori Weidenhammer and go on a bee walk and observe the busy activity around the UBC Farm’s flowers.

Spring Pop Up Markets

We will be open for everyone to drop by and pick up some fabulous farm fresh organic eggs every other Tuesday evening until our regular summer markets begin. There will be no limit on eggs per family ($7 per dozen). We will also sell seasonal produce, our seeds, and herbs.

Social Justice and the Law with Margot Young

Allard School of Law
Law 305C: Law, Society and State: Social Justice and the Law

What are some of the key learning outcomes for this course?

Students are expected to gain a basic overview of a wide range of social justice topics and their legal implications, and to start to think critically about social justice issues and goals.

How has the UBC Farm assisted you in meeting these specific learning outcomes?

Two classes were spent engaging with the Carnegie Thursdays Writing collective in creative writing exercises around food security and the right to food. The first class was at Carnegie Centre in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES). The second class was at the UBC Farm. The session in the Farm’s Yurt featured the reading of creative writings (poems, essays, recipes) by individuals from both groups. This was followed by a tour of the gardens. As the sun broke through the clouds, students and DTES community members picked their ways through and around the gardens, talking in small groups, stopping to poke in the mud, and connecting across difference and experience. The kind of conversations, the warmth of exchange, and the release of tensions and guard was made possible by being on the land in the Farm setting.

“Everybody’s spirits were lifted.”

What curricula material, activities or approaches do you utilize in this course that further develop students’ learning of the key learning outcomes?

The prior class was spent in a classroom in the Carnegie Centre doing creative writing exercises. This added to the comfort level the two groups had with each other when we met at the Farm. Students had been assigned a number of traditional legal resources on the right to food to read before the first class to lend formal substance to their experience.

The course has student-led exercises, with student-invited guests and discussants. A number of group exercises and different methods of presenting material (mind maps, group PowerPoints, etc.) help to enhance the experience.

What has been your experience in utilizing the farm with your students?

Simply, a fabulous experience. It changed the character of the class and was so enthusiastically responded to by the students. It was a healthy environment for learning, at a time of the year when pressures were building.


Margot Young, – Professor, Allard School of Law
Margot Young is Professor in the Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia. She teaches in the areas of constitutional and social justice law.  She is faculty advisor for the Social Justice Specialization at the law school and has organized the Law and Society Speakers Series for close to a decade.  Professor Young is in her third term as Chair of the university-wide Faculty Association Status of Women Committee.  She is a research associate with Green College, the Peter Wall Institute of Advanced Studies, and the Centre for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at UBC.



Pharmaceutical Care in Aboriginal Health with Larry Leung and Jason Min

Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
PHAR 457: Pharmaceutical Care in Aboriginal Health

What are some of the key learning outcomes for this course?

The global goal of this course is for students to work effectively, respectfully and collaboratively with Aboriginal peoples in the context of providing culturally-safe pharmaceutical care. Other outcomes include self-reflection and growth of cultural humility, de-colonizing the negative lens with the Aboriginal voice, understanding the historical context and generational issues that occur in Aboriginal health in Canada, enhancing library search skills specific to research in Aboriginal health, and exploring successes and challenges seen in selected health topics in the Aboriginal population.

“Students get to see from the perspective of a knowledge keeper… what medicine means from an aboriginal perspective; how they use the land for healing purposes.”

How has the UBC Farm assisted you in meeting these specific learning outcomes?

The UBC Farm and the Traditional Medicines Walk has been a source of tremendous knowledge for our students while also providing an immersive and impactful experience. Students enrolled in PHAR 457 spend an hour and a half at the UBC Farm and participate in activities including: a song and smudging ceremony, a review and walk-through of the Indigenous plant exhibit led by a knowledge keeper, and an individual activity that highlights the different plants including medicinal/traditional uses, taste, smell and other identifying features.

The decision to bring students to the UBC Farm is made easy by the willingness and availability of the knowledge keepers who are able to share their expertise. Pharmacy students are exposed to natural health products elsewhere in the curriculum, but never with the Aboriginal voice in a holistic and immersive view.

“The experience with the knowledge keeper and Farm is amazing. Students are so excited to see and physically touch and taste the natural medicines that they learn about in class. This creates a very visceral experience that brings the classroom to life.”

What curricula material, activities or approaches do you utilize in this course that further develop students’ learning of the key learning outcomes?

We use a variety of different approaches to diversify our student learning experience including:

  • Educational trips (e.g. UBC Farm, Museum of Anthropology, Xwi7xwa Library)
  • Podcasts and video recordings made specifically for the class (e.g. library search tutorial, impact of colonialism on health
  • Live, technology-enabled video conferences with elders and community members across BC
  • Guest lecturers from knowledge keepers and experts
  • Student-led and peer-marked journal clubs
  • Reflexive photography assignment to build self-awareness and growth of cultural competency
  • Community-based final projects that are linked to current opportunities available upon graduation from the First Nations Health Authority

Larry Leung, BSC (Pharm), RPH, Lecturer
Larry is a lecturer and pharmacist in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC. As a pharmacist, he works at the Faculty’s Pharmacists Clinic, a licensed, pharmacist-led patient care clinic. His responsibilities include providing direct patient care and leading innovative projects in collaboration with First Nations communities in British Columbia. As a lecturer, his academic interests include interprofessional education, Aboriginal health, and contemporary issues in pharmacy practice.





Jason Min, BSC (Pharm), RPH, Lecturer
Jason joined the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC in 2013 in both an academic role and as a pharmacist clinician with the Pharmacists Clinic. Having coordinated and lectured a variety of topics, Jason’s academic areas of interest include First Nations health, interprofessional team-based care, and technology in health care. In his work, Jason specializes in developing, implementing, and managing innovative community pharmacy services and team-based care.








Geography Vancouver Summer Program with Julian S. Yates

Faculty of Geography
Geography Vancouver Summer Program (VSP): Environment, Resources, and Sustainable Development

What are some of the key learning outcomes for this course?
As a summer course for international students, mainly from China, the course was designed as an introduction to thinking about sustainable development in Canada. Field trips were organized to help students think through sustainability problems in real-world contexts. They were expected to conduct research during the field trips in order to write a field trip report that engaged critically with that week’s theme. The UBC Farm visit was included in a week where the focus was on the politics of land and food.

How has the UBC Farm assisted you in meeting these specific learning outcomes?

Given that this was the first time in Vancouver for the students, the UBC Farm trip gave us the opportunity to explore the UBC campus and the wide variety of grounded research being conducted at UBC. The trip helped to develop an understanding of some of UBC’s history, in an intellectual and political-economic sense. It also helped to give a sense of what Canadians think is important in the context of food production and agricultural research, and enabled the students to engage directly with UBC Farm employees and researchers.

What curricula material, activities or approaches do you utilize in this course that further develop students’ learning of the key learning outcomes?

The field trip was designed as part of a critical investigation for the students. Although UBC Farm employees were unaware of this, the students were asked to be proactive in asking questions so as to help develop a critical field trip report on the theme of land and food (we also visited the Sole Food Street Farms and the Yale Town Farmer’s Market). So the trip was designed to help teach research methods and critical thinking while in the field and in placing field observations into broader debates and contexts.

What has been your experience in utilizing the farm with your students?

The tour provided by the farm was a good introduction to the farm’s activities, and engaged in some useful, relevant topics – such as how UBC Farm has been defended against urban development over the years. The Farm was a particularly useful destination, as we could walk to the farm and back within the 3-hour class time period.


Julian S. Yates, PhD – Sessional Instructor and Post-doctoral fellow
Julian is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability and a member of the Program on Water Governance team. Julian has more than a decade of experience working in the field of international development geographies, including graduate level research and employment with international development NGOs. Julian’s work focuses on the intersection between the politics of knowledge and social mobilization for overcoming poverty and inequality. His current work explores the rollout of small-scale water filtration facilities among BC’s First Nations communities – an approach that gained political expediency due to the recently introduced Water Sustainability Act.




Yurt Photo: Exterior

UBC Farm Hop Rhizomes For Sale

The UBC hopyard—a sustainable, organically grown, small-scale, and community centric hop farm—is located at the UBC Farm.

Get your 2017 organic hop rhizomes from the UBC Farm!

Every year a small gathering of brewing enthusiasts gather at the UBC Farm for first come first serve organic hop rhizomes. Carefully grown by Mel Sylvestre, local hop enthusiast and biodiversity expert on staff at the UBC Farm. This year we have more available than usual so we are opening up sales beyond our hops mailing list and setting up a pop-up market on Tuesday 21 March 2017 at 4:30 pm.

All hop rhizomes are $5, certified organic. We have Cascade, Fuggles, and Mount Hood hops.

Email if you would like to join the UBC Farm Hopyard list and be notified when our hops are available.

Tagged under: Vancouver Local Organic Hop Rhizomes For Sale Market Store Hops Brew Hopyard

Applications Open for 2017 Seasonal Student Positions

We have posted seven paid student positions for this season in our farm operations, outreach and children’s programs. The application deadline is March 26th.

UBC Farm Seasonal Positions 2017 Application

Intern Supervisor Profile: Mel Sylvestre, Perennial & Biodiversity Coordinator, and Seed-Hub Coordinator

1. What is your position at the UBC Farm?

I am the perennial & biodiversity coordinator and the seed-hub coordinator.

2. How did you get involved with the UBC Farm? (When did you start working here?)

I arrived here five years ago so this is my sixth season starting. I was then a student in Land and Food Systems (LFS) in the soil science program. I started as a Work-Learn at the UBC Farm. I worked part-time until I graduated and after I graduated, I moved into full-time. Back then, the farm had a small team so there was a lot to be done. Now, we have many positions for volunteering, internships and Work-learn. So many opportunities for students to get involved.

 3. What makes the UBC Farm different from other farms?

The community here is quite different. We attract a wide spread of people from students, researchers and community at large but on any other farm you would only have your small community popping by here and there. The fact that it’s a public farm makes it unique in terms of spread of people but also the spread of the tasks you may end up doing in the day. In terms of fields operations, three quarters of our work is probably is quite similar to what other farms do but then there is 25 per cent that you end up doing that you would never do on another farm, such as supporting  the research and education programs that is constantly going on here.

4.What is your favourite/most important part of your job?

I think the uniqueness of this position is that I get to discover a love of teaching, which I didn’t know I had before. I always trained my staff but when I have genuine teaching opportunities, I really take pleasure to see people learning and see people absorbing and changing. That, I think, is my favourite part of my job, after the actual farming.

5. What does a typical day for you look at the UBC Farm?

In the summer, a typical day is very fast-paced. Plans tend to change on the spot so it is quite difficult know what the day will end up looking like. It’s really hard to explain day-to-day farming activities because it varies so much. For my team, I usually try to find 2-3 hours  tasks, such as weeding or harvesting, and then move to another 2-3 hours task.

6. You also live as a caretaker at the farm, what’s it like to live here, at your place of work?

To live here is fantastic. I love it more than I was expecting. I think part of it is to be able to have both worlds. I love the countryside and I know ultimately, I will end up there. In the meantime, to live a partial countryside life while being in the city  puts me at  peace with my current job and lifestyle.. I think the best part is at the end of the day, when the gate locks and the construction outside is over, you can  start hearing  owls or birds  flying around and just the quietness. This place is keeping me mentally happy.

7. What do you want people to know about the UBC Farm?

I want people to know how good our team is. The fact that we always work with each other and with the community around us. We’re not just a department where everybody has their cubicle or works in the corners. We eat together, we share. You really need to like people to work here.

There is also a good spread of age and interaction. We are surrounded with kids that bring us hope about the future, we have the elders that bring wisdom to the place and we have the working team showing us the importance of collaboration.

8. What internship position do you supervise?

This term, in the fall, I will supervise the Orchard and Seed production positions and in the summer, I will supervise the Field Intern position.

9.What kind of tasks did you assign?

For most of the summer, it was mostly seeding, weeding, building structures, transplanting and many other practical farming tasks. Moving into fall, there was a lot of seed production. With interns, I’m careful to offer a learning opportunity whenever there is a moment.

10.What do you look for when hiring an intern?

I’m looking for someone who is flexible and really wanting to learn. You can learn so much more if you are a learner-type. I want to see the fire in them, see fascination and have someone that has some initiative too.

11. What do you think the interns gain at the end of their internships?

I think a farm is a place of self-growth. You are learning about yourself but are also learning what you actually want to do.  There are many opportunities for growing  in ways you may not imagine. Some people come and realize they cannot do this and some are eager to take farming to next step and internships are great tools for that.

12. What message do you have for the next crop of interns?

Be bold! If you are curious about farming there is no other way of finding out than trying it out. You need to have the physical contact to know so be bold and try it out.

13. What’s your favourite thing that grows at the UBC Farm?

I have this love affair with tomatillos, just because they are so weird and I also love salsa. I have a connection with them that made me start saving seeds. So that’s why tomatillos are the first ones that comes to mind. It’s not that I eat a lot, it’s just a weird emotional connection.