As the farming season got cooler this year, the Vancouver Urban Farming Society hosted two introductory workshops for new and established urban farmers.
Hosted by The Mighty Oak cafe, and facilitated by Jacob Slosberg, of Osborne Seeds and Boldly Grown Farm, this workshop went over the basics of cover cropping, including why it is important, what kinds of crops to plant for what purposes, how and when to plant them, and discussion on what works best in a small-scale, urban context.
With participants ranging from new urban farmers to experienced farmers to aspiring backyard gardeners, the discussion was engaging and covered a variety of topics. After the cover crop discussion, we went on a tour of City Beet Urban Farm, checking out three of the yards where they grow the vegetables for their predominantly CSA based customers. We discussed the challenges of cover cropping in an urban farming context, which include the difficulties of incorporating cover crops using hand tools, the expectations of urban neighbours that the areas look clean and weed-free (and not bare), and differences in sun and micro-climates.
For tips on cover cropping, check out the Cover crop presentation handout.
Intro to Irrigation Systems
The second workshop in the series took place at UBC Farm with Gray Oron introducing the basics of farm irrigation systems. We covered the pieces needed to set up a basic irrigation system, then delved into more detail on drip vs overhead irrigation and how to keep irrigation systems in good working condition. We toured the UBC Farm fields and looked at the different systems used for each one, comparing the benefits and drawbacks of each.
See here for the Simple Irrigation System image.