Applications Open: Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture

Applications Open: Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture

The Practicum program is an experiential learning program designed for those with an interest in applying their learning about sustainable agriculture and food systems. The deadline for Early Admission to the 2019 program is September 24th!

We Are Hiring: CSA Program Assistant

We are seeking an energetic and reliable person to work with the UBC Farm team to support the growth of and to participate in the success of the CSFS’ production and sales via the CSA Program.

The CSFS operates on a cost-recovery basis and farm product sales are a significant source of operating revenue. CSA is an acronym for Community Supported Agriculture. CSAs connect farmers and consumers in a partnership creating an alternative, locally-based economic model of agriculture and food distribution. In such a partnership CSA members buy a share in the farm at the beginning of the season and then receive a weekly box of produce throughout the growing season. The CSA Program Assistant works under the supervision of the Sales Manager and works collaboratively with the Sales Assistant and other UBC Farm staff to assist with the sale and tracking of agricultural products marketed through the CSA Program specifically, as well as through other direct sales channels (i.e. the Tuesday Evening Markets, Wednesday Campus Markets, and Saturday Markets), and to assist with day-to-day harvest and processing (harvest, washing and packing) operations as required. These activities and associated record keeping for the CSA Program intrinsically form a part of the academic programming at the CSFS and substantially inform production decisions. CSA sales data collected by the CSA Program Assistant provides the raw material that allows the development of an academically diverse range of studies conducted by faculty, staff and students, research projects and agricultural production at the UBC Farm site.

Deadline to apply: 11:59pm September 5th, 2018

Click here to view the full job description.

Market Recipe Blog: Beet Hummus

These market recipe blog posts are linked from our newsletter when they are posted; to get regular updates, make sure to join our newsletter here.

Beet season is in full swing here at the UBC Farm, and we couldn’t be any more excited! Here are some reasons why:

  1. Both the greens and the beetroot are edible.  The beetroot and its greens are both an excellent source of folate, vitamin A and K, and a very good source of manganese, copper, and potassium.
  2. Beetroot juice is one of the richest dietary sources of antioxidants and naturally occurring nitrates (not to be confused with nitrites!) that improve blood flow.
  3. Beets add colour to the plate! There are red, golden, and chioggia (pink striped) beets. They can all be used interchangeably in your favourite recipes!
  4. Beets, with the tops removed, can be kept in the fridge 2-4 weeks, so they are the perfect vegetable to have on hand if you know you’re short on time to grocery shop in the next week. Just make sure to remove the beet greens from the beet root so they won’t draw moisture from the beet.

Beets make a pretty un-beet-able veggie to incorporate into your daily diet, so if you’re still stumped on what to do with those beautiful beets you saw last week at the farmer’s market, here’s one of our favourite ways to eat it!

Beet Hummus

If you love hummus, you’ll love this creamy balsamic beet hummus. It’s perfect to have on-hand in the fridge anytime you have a snack attack with some veggies or crackers, or when you need a spread to fix yourself a quick sandwich for lunch!

Yield: 2.5 cups hummus

Recipe

  • 1 medium beet, diced
  • 2 cloves unpeeled garlic
  • 1 cup dry red lentils
  • 1 tbsp olive oil + more for roasting
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ½ tsp sea salt + more to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Balsamic glaze, to garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Toss diced beet and garlic cloves in a bit of oil and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Roast in oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until fork-tender. When cool enough to handle, peel the cloves of garlic.
  • Meanwhile, cook the lentils in a medium pot with a generous 3 cups of water according to package directions. Once cooked through, drain thoroughly.
  • In a food processor, blend the cooked lentils, roasted beet, peeled garlic, 1 tbsp olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and tahini. Adjust consistency and flavours by adding more oil, lemon juice or balsamic, salt, and pepper to taste.

Pick up beets at any of our three weekly markets: Tuesdays 4-6:30PM at the UBC Farm, Wednesdays 11:30AM-1:30PM at the UBC Bookstore, and Saturdays 10AM-2PM at UBC Farm. Check what’s in season on our seasonal produce availability guide. Learn more about our produce and browse other recipes in our Market Recipe Blog.

Saturday Farmers’ Market Vendor Feature: Wayward Distillation House

These weekly market blog posts are linked from our newsletter when they are posted; to get regular updates, make sure to join our newsletter here.

Dave at market, talking to shoppers

One of our regular vendors for the last two seasons, Wayward Distillation House, is changing the way people think about spirits in the UBC Farm Market community. With incredible flavours and dynamic uses for drinking or cooking, Wayward sets themselves apart through their commitment to sourcing their ingredients from local growers. We spoke to co-owner Dave Brimacombe about why the honey he uses needs a consistent floral source, why he loves farmers’ markets, and what curious visitors should try (including a garlic and ghost pepper vodka)!

What got you passionate about this business?

I spent a lot of time traveling the world looking into regional booze; like what people choose to spend their time with, in their leisure time. What they want to make, what they want to drink. I was fascinated by the alchemy behind alcohol. Then I started tinkering with home fermentation, making my own wine, beer, cider and mead and then, being inquisitive, it was just a natural progression to start into distilling. Distilling at home is a federal crime so I had to take that step to go professional or be a rumrunner I guess!

How did you end up selling at farmers’ markets? Where did that choice come from and what makes you want to keep on selling here?

Craft spirits are new to the average human being. We’ve been sold “big-budget spirit” for years and years and years and spirits made by hand with local ingredients are just sometimes unapproachable to an uneducated consumer. So farmers’ markets are a chance for me to just talk to human beings and pour my spirit into their hands and talk and educate. So I view markets as an education platform. A place for me to just talk to people. So selling a bottle is an added bonus. And then being here at UBC is great, we’re out here in the middle of the farm, it’s super cool, people are a little more relaxed. And if you consider that I want to talk to people it’s nicer when there’s not 37 people lined up at the end of my booth.

Co-owner Andrea offering samples at market

What about your ingredients? How do you make choices about what goes into it and how does that embody what your values are around your product?

So we use farmers’ market product whenever possible. When I first started doing recipe development I opened my business in December, so I missed the growing season, I didn’t even know, so I went to the store and bought ingredients for recipe development. My very first year, as we started to go through the growing seasons, I started replacing store-bought products with hand-grown products – we’re talking ingredients, flavourings, everything – and the difference was astronomical. I had to re-tool my recipes because the stuff grown with love was just so much better. So I started working with that and now I support other small growers: all of our berries come from local growers, all our garlic comes from local growers, stuff we can’t get from here we buy from ethical growers. So our coffee, chocolate, and vanilla all come from Common Ground.

What about your honey?

One farm. Sole source, it’s not certified organic but he only pollinates organic and pesticide-free crops; likes his bees more than people so that’s super cool. And once again, we can use the same story about starting a business in December and there’s not a lot of honey out there from farmers left over so as we were doing recipe development the real honey just was so much better. And then for me, honey is key, it’s what we make everything out of, and we don’t think about it but those minor differences in floral honeys are concentrated when you ferment and exaggerated when you distill so having a reliable source of honey is key, it’s got to be the same. So that’s why we formed a partnership with one farm in Tomslake and all of our honey’s theirs. It’s unpasteurized and unfiltered.

If someone was new to spirits, or new to craft spirits, what would you suggest as a starting ground from what you have on the table today?

Wayward’s spirit with the most broad appeal

Well every palate is different, every drinker is different. We find the Krupnik, our spiced honey liqueur, seems to have broad appeal: a lot of people like it. If you’re a gin drinker, of course the Unruly Gin, and if you’re into something experimental we’ve got a raw garlic vodka. It might not be the entry-level spirit but definitely something to play with if you’re cooking and drinking. Launched it yesterday: garlic and ghost pepper!

Anything else to share?

Just try it. That’s the biggest thing that I find when I run into guests is that hesitancy to try. Once they’re sampling, they’re good to go, but it’s that first sip or that horrific gin experience from their teens (I love that story, I hear that all the time). Try mine, it’s different!

If you want to learn more about Wayward Distillation House, check them out on instagram, twitter, facebook or their website. They will be at the UBC Farm Saturday Farmers’ Market next on September 1, September 15, September 29, October 13, and October 27 2018. Learn more about other market vendors and topics on our Saturday Farmers’ Market blog!

Sept. 15th: UBC Farm Fall Fair

Join us for an extra special Saturday Market at the UBC Farm, where you can take part in our annual pie contest and pick out a pumpkin at our famous u-pick pile. Live music, kid’s activities and a variety of food trucks and fresh local produce make this an event for everyone!

Saturday Farmers’ Market Vendor Feature: The Raw Guy

These weekly market blog posts are linked from our newsletter when they are posted; to get regular updates, make sure to join our newsletter here.

Who is “The Raw Guy”? Brian, a gourmet raw food chef and advanced raw food nutrition educator, started the business just over 7 years ago with a passion for community and the benefits of raw, organic and vegan food that everyone will love. The Raw Guy a part of the Feeding Growth progressive food business community and a new vendor at the UBC Farm Market for the 2018 season. These spreads, crackers, sweets and kale chips have piqued the taste buds of many in our market community already so we got a chance to ask Operations Coordinator (and “raw guy pal”) Catherine more about the business.

What is your business name and how long has it been in operation?

Brian started the business just over 7 years ago. Brian attended Living Light culinary school prior to that and truly found his passion. With having his own farm and understanding the full circle of earth to table as well as being an ambassador for Raw BC it just made sense for him to take it to the next level.

Please share a memorable or meaningful interaction you have had with a shopper (at any market or sales venue):

It’s hard to narrow down a memorable or meaningful interaction as one of the best parts of going to markets and events is every interaction that he has. He loves being able to share his knowledge of what a raw, vegan diet can provide and all the delicious options there are.

Among the products you sell, what is your personal favourite and why?

Brian’s personal favorite is the Mesquite BBQ kale chips. Kale chips were the first product we came out with and among the 30 different flavors we offer it is the mixture of spices and the way they react with the rest of the recipe that have him hooked big time.

What do you like best about the UBC Farm Market?

For Brian, the best part of being out at UBC Farm Market is the farm itself, as it brings back so many memories of his days on his own farm. Having said that the thing that really ties it all together is the community feel that makes it one of his favorite venues.

Do you have a recipe that features one or more of your products that you would like to share?

The a perfect way to use one of our newest products, “Vegan Kream Cheeze Spread”, is with this recipe for a raw bagel: this one is my personal favorites!

Raw Bagel & Kream Cheeze Spread

You can also use this basic recipe to make a plain bagel, just omit the onion/garlic powders and the added seeds. Instant gratification – these are not. It will take about 2 days in the dehydrator for a “toasted” bagel, and about 1 1/2 days for a softer bagel. This recipe makes 2 regular-sized and 1 smaller bagel, or a pizza crust.

Ingredients:
1 cup almonds (soaked at least 2 hours)
1 cup carrots
1/3 cup dehydrated onion powder (or flakes)
3 Tbsp whole flax seeds, ground
2 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil (can use 1 Tbsp)
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp dry almonds, ground  — This is the “cornmeal”
sesame & poppy seeds, as needed

Instructions:

In a food processor, grind the soaked almonds and carrots together with the vinegar, olive oil, & sea salt. Add the ground flax and onion/garlic powders and process until sticky dough forms. You will need to keep scraping down the sides of your processor. You may also need to add 1-3 Tbsp water. If dough isn’t quite workable, you can let it sit for a while, possibly in the refrigerator to firm up a bit.

Form into rolls, a bit thicker then the size of bagel you want, and mush the edges together to form the shape of a bagel. Remember it will shrink in the dehydrator, so to get a normal sized bagel, yours should start out a bit bigger. Sprinkle the top, and sides with sesame &/or poppy seeds or… lightly pressing them in. Cover dehydrator trays with drier sheets or parchment paper, and use the ground almonds to dust the surface of where you will be placing your bagels. This will also make them easier to flip.

Dehydrate at 115 degrees until the top is slightly dry, flip over & sprinkle with more seeds, pressing them in. Dehydrate another hour or so & flip back over. Then leave overnight or roughly 8 hours. Carefully with a sharp knife, slice bagels in half. Dry halves until desired texture, flipping periodically.

Raw bagel pizza with sun-dried tomato sauce, cashew “cheeze” (like The Raw Guys Cheddar??), tomatoes, red & cayenne peppers, red onions, fresh basil, and spices or a Blue Cheeze pizza with TRG’s Blue Spread? A pizza crust made with extra dough. I think pizza is always just better on a bagel, even a raw vegan one. =) What do you think?

If you want to learn more about The Raw Guy, check out their Instagram and their website. They will be at the UBC Farm Saturday Farmers’ Market on August 25, September 22, and October 27. Learn more about other market vendors and topics on our Saturday Farmers’ Market blog!

Scale Your Progressive Food Business with Feeding Growth

This series of five workshops provides practical tips for progressive retail and packaged goods companies to reach and maintain success. The series begins in September – register now!

CSFS students Colin Dring and Tori Otenso featured in Richmond News

CSFS Students Tori Ostenso and Colin Dring. Photo by Joseph Boaz.

A local food system defined by us all

CSFS PhD Student Colin Dring was interviewed by the Richmond News about how a local, sustainable food network must recognize the tastes, values, and income-variations of its resident cultures.

“We’ve concentrated too much on the ingredients of a certain culture’s foods and haven’t created a space for other cultures’ food,” says Dring.

For instance, if our food policies inform Chinese immigrants to eat locally but nothing they eat is grown locally then, “How do we create a space and value that?” asks Dring.

The story written by Graeme Wood is part of a Richmond News series focusing on place-based food systems.

Saturday Farmers’ Market Vendor Feature: Growing, Cooking & Eating

These weekly market blog posts are linked from our newsletter when they are posted; to get regular updates, make sure to join our newsletter here.

A chef and farmer; what a perfect combination! Returning UBC Farm Market vendor Growing, Cooking and Eating is a venture started by Chef Carla Hick three years ago, now in its second year selling at the UBC Farm Market. Alongside delicious vegetables grown in Burnaby, teas, and crackers all made locally, your also get the chance to chat with a chef who has incredible ideas for what to create with your produce when you get home! We had the chance to hear more about the business from Carla herself.

Why did you start your business? What motivates you in your work?

I love growing, cooking and eating! Ever since a child eating has brought me great joy. After high school I pursued a career as a chef, then moved into working in a culinary garden fell in love with growing and now I am studying agriculture at UBC. The name Growing, Cooking & Eating started as signing my food related emails with “Happy Growing, Cooking & Eating”, has evolved into a facebook page and website to share the joy of all things growing, cooking and eating. This year, since I have more land to grow I am able to share some of my bounty with fellow people.

Ronde de Nice zucchini at their market stall

Please share a memorable or meaningful interaction you have had with a shopper (at any market or sales venue):

When I first started making my tea blends I received a lot of support! I always remember one lady who was very enthusiastic of taste testing my teas, she always referred to them as beautiful, unique and was stoked over the fact I grew and dehydrated all the ingredients myself.

Among the products/services you sell, what is your personal favourite and why?

Ronde de Nice Zucchini! A round zucchini with delicate stripes, amazing! Lemon Calm Tea! A blend of lemon balm, lemon verbena and yellow violas! Uplifts the soul and calms the mind, not to mention extremely tasty.

We can’t help asking, since you’re a chef: do you have a recipe for your produce to share?

Nasturtium Compound Butter

Ingredients: 1/2 Pound Butter, 25 Large Nasturtium Leaves, 2 Shallots, 3 Garlic Cloves, S & P

Method:

  1. Bring butter to room temperature.
  2. Wash the produce and pat to dry.
  3. Fine dice the shallots and garlic then saute lightly in a tsp of butter. Season lightly and cool.
  4. Stack nasturtium leaves on top of one another, roll into a log and finely chiffonade crossways.
  5. Whip the room temperature butter in a mixer with the paddle attachment (bowl and wooden spoon works too) for 5 minutes on medium speed (about 15 by hand) until it is light, fluffy and slightly more white in colour.
  6. Reduce speed of mixer to low, add the shallots and garlic, mix to combine.

    Carla, second from the left, at the farm site in Burnaby

  7. Add the nasturtium leaves slowly and mix to combine.
  8. Place a large piece of saran wrap on the counter. With a spatula scrape half the butter into the middle. Roll the butter into a uniform log, and secure ends. Important: Do not roll the saran wrap inside the butter, must remain completely on the perimeter. Then wrap the log in aluminum foil, twist the ends at the same time to squish the butter into an even more uniform log.
  9. Repeat step 8 with the other half of the butter.
  10. Freeze the logs.
  11. When you have a nice piece of fish, steak or veggies remove the log from the freezer, unravel partially and slice of some nice medallions to garnish your food! It will look very professional and adds a nice butter and pepper taste to your food. Happy Growing, Cooking & Eating!

If you want to learn more about Growing, Cooking & Eating, check out their Facebook page and their website. They will be at the UBC Farm Saturday Farmers’ Market next on August 18. Learn more about other market vendors and topics on our Saturday Farmers’ Market blog!

Hiring: 7+ CSFS Work Learn positions

We are hiring for 7+ CSFS Work Learn positions  for the 2018 Winter Term! These positions average 10-20 hours of work a week and include hands-on field work, research assistants, children’s programming and more. The deadline to apply is August 19th!