Like many cities in North America, Vancouver has experienced a huge resurgence in interest in supporting local agriculture. Many restaurants and stores carry locally sourced produce and farm markets abound as much as nine months of the year. But the UBC Farm is particular gem we have here.
UBC has long had agricultural programs, but in the late 1990s agricultural activitiy had declined to the point that the south end of campus was rezoned for future housing use. Students, faculity, and alumni initiated a "Save the Farm" campaign which ultimately drew enough attention and support that in December 2009, the UBC Board of Governors overturned their decision and declared the UBC Farm a "Green Academic" zone which "will be kept primarily as open areas to support land-based teaching, research and community engagement." Pretty cool, isn't it?
As well as research by students enrolled at UBC, this time of year at the UBC Farm is open to the public for visits. There are numerous classes and after school programs that allow young children to participate in science-based farm learning held there.
There is also a kitchen on the farm so, for example, I recently participated in an Advanced Bread Baking class there that was open to the community.
In the summertime a farm market is held at the UBC Farm each weekend, with many other special events and summer camps for children scattered throughout the summer. UBC Farm is a tremendous place to have within walking distance of the University and yet another example of how special a place Vancouver is.