Work Learn Profile: Timothy Wong, Market Sales Worker
What did you work on in this role?
Running of the Tuesday/Saturday weekly Farmers Markets at the UBC farm, including set up of produce displays, processing harvested produce for sale, general set-up/take down of stalls, and general cashiering duties
What did you learn in this position?
I learned a lot about food systems in general, more specifically the pipeline through which produce gets from the farm all the way to the table. This included learning about the seasonality of different items, how they were grown, how they need to be harvested, and how they can be consumed/used. I also gained insight on what a sustainable food system would look like in practice, and the adjustments and loopholes needed to maintain an organic farm as opposed to a “regular” one.
Why does this work matter?
Many people living in urban environments do not have steady access to fresh, organic produce. This could be due to location, time, or monetary restraints. This market is an opportunity for members of the community to buy locally grown, organic produce while also learning about sustainable food systems by touring the farm. It also provides an opportunity to educate people on sustainable food systems and the benefits of organic farms, such that they might change their consumption habits upon recognition of their benefits.
What would you tell a new student taking on this role? Or what do you wish you had known?
Make sure to talk to as many people on the farm as possible. You will see many people in passing, and even a short conversation can be very insightful, as many people have their own projects or areas they manage and will have a lot of knowledge to share.
What should people know about the UBC Farm that they probably don’t know?
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?
What’s your favourite thing to do at the UBC Farm?
Honestly, just walking around and seeing all the different plots. It sounds cheesy, but the sheer vastness of the farm never gets old. You can walk by once a week and see how certain things have grown, or how projects have progressed, it’s quite inspiring.
What other roles have you held at CSFS at the UBC Farm?
I occasionally help with the harvests, but otherwise this is my first role I have held at CSFS at the UBC Farm.