Place-Based Education

The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems offers place-based and experiential learning opportunities to a diverse community of people.

We are helping to cultivate a new generation of solution-makers who apply systems approaches based on agroecological principles to address the overlapping challenges facing our food system. Our work engages with UBC students and faculty, teachers, children, youth community programs, current and future farmers, and Indigenous partners. We offer programs, classes and resources from student work placements, children and youth education to the UBC Farm Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture.

Our Goal

To develop the next generation of food system leaders and be an inclusive space for sustainable food systems teaching and learning, for UBC students and beyond.

Find out more about our Strategic Plan for Place-Based Education.

Rei Clarissa, Children’s Program Assistant

"As someone who didn’t grow up surrounded by nature, I think this summer really hammered it home to me what it is that is at stake with global warming. It also made me realize how important our connection with nature is, and to never lose it."

Emi Durfeld, Perennials and Seed Crop Worker

"I have been lucky to have had a flavorful taste of different tasks throughout the seasons. In the fall, I spent time harvesting perennial herbs for Saturday markets, helping out with farm harvests and harvesting seed from crops. In late fall and early winter, I transitioned more of my work to processing harvested seed, which consisted of threshing, winnowing and sieving to clean the seed thoroughly."

Kate Dunne, Saturday Farmers' Market Worker

"Saturday Market Workers serve as the link between the public, vendors, and farm staff. We work closely with all three, making connections and learning about the struggles each group faces. This allows the UBC farm to operate as a strong community, supporting new vendors by sharing knowledge, and improving sustainable small scale food systems for everyone."

Natalie Hamilton, Farm Ambassador

"I learned how much I enjoy being able to engage with and talk to various people at outreach events and how wonderful the UBC farm community is. I also learned a lot from the awesome staff and students I was able to work with. Additionally, I valued being able to further my graphic design skills and to understand the process of designing materials for a large organization."

Bowen Wright, Saturday Market Worker

"Going to Friday Harvests was one of the highlights of my summer; I loved spending time working in the fields chatting, laughing, and getting to know the Practicum students and Field staff. While the physical work itself can be hard, it is also rewarding and fun!"

Mackenzie Dorsey, UBC Farm Ambassador

"The Farm is a great asset to UBC, and it is important that students, professors, and the community know about this “hidden gem” at the bottom of campus!"

Timothy Wong, Market Sales Worker

"I think most people don’t quite understand the sheer size of the UBC Farm. It’s often advertised as being 24 hectares, but you really can’t grasp the sheer scale of it until you visit in person. I also think that people underestimate the number and type of projects that are on the farm. It extends far beyond just growing produce, and there are numerous research projects and unique undertakings. For instance, did you know that there’s a project that’s aiming to grow truffles?"

Camille Lyu, Saturday Farm Market Worker

"One important aspect and mission of the UBC Farm is connecting land, food, and community. The Saturday Farm Market is an essential piece of building that connection. The market offers an opportunity for community members to connect to the land that grows the food."

Ashley Bell, Vegetable Field Worker

"Everyone has each other’s best interest at heart and make sure to help each other out whenever possible."

Ally Cheng, UBC Farm Ambassador

"Before this position, I had little knowledge about UBC Farm and sustainability work in UBC. it is great to dig into all the amazing work that UBC Farm is doing and all the sustainability efforts that have been made!"

Mairead Norton, BC Food Web Science Communication Assistant

"The research that the CSFS is producing has the ability to change the way we do agriculture, to restructure our food systems, and to make significant strides towards a more sustainable future."

A drawing of a landscape with flags.

How students can get involved

The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems provides many for-credit and not-for-credit opportunities for students to get their hands dirty and learn about the food system. Get information below on internships, courses, volunteering, student groups, and more.

A drawing containing several rows of crops.

Instructors and Faculty

Bring your class to the UBC Farm

Planning to bring your class to the UBC Farm? Looking to book a tour? Fill out our Booking Form for Academic Visits and Guided Tours! We need to know when classes are on site for safety reasons, and it helps us plan our educational programming appropriately to make sure your class has the best experience possible.

Academic Space Bookings

The CSFS provides indoor and outdoor spaces such as agricultural fields, conservation forests, and classrooms for teaching activities at the UBC Farm and MacMillan 170A.

For information on research and teaching space booking fees and policies, please see Academic Space Use Guidelines. To book space contact our Site Coordinator.

Food Systems Learning Resources

Just Food Educational Resource: Food Justice Learning Modules

The Just Food resource was born from a group of students’ desire to incorporate an equity lens into their learning, and to address the injustice they saw in their daily lives. It consists of learning modules on food systems and a facilitator’s guide. A diverse range of topics are covered, including agriculture, food studies, nutrition, and more.

Find the Learning Modules here.

Food Systems Case Studies

The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems created open educational resources that can be adapted to any discipline, by anyone at UBC or elsewhere. These case studies provide an experiential and place-based learning opportunity by exploring and understanding a food system asset at UBC.

Find Food Systems Case Studies here.
A drawing of the Farm's chicken field.
Children's Programs

What are the kids learning at the UBC Farm?


Day camps and school field trips bring thousands of K-12 students to the UBC Farm each year. From gardening their plots in the children’s garden, to identifying bugs along the agroforestry trail, there is a bounty of hand-on activities for kids in our child and youth programs. Field games, seeding in the greenhouse, baking with farm produce, fort-building, composting, apple picking, chicken feeding, berry picking, potato hunting and medicine making just to name a few.

Learn more
A drawing of the Farm's Indigenous garden.
Indigenous Gardens

Indigenous Initiatives at the UBC Farm

The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems (CSFS) at UBC Farm is located on the unceded ancestral territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓-speaking xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people, whose guidance and collaboration is vital to all activities on the Farm. Several gardens run educational programming autonomously at the UBC Farm.

Learn more
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