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KPU's Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems programs host, attend and support many events throughout the year both on our university campuses and beyond. We attended conferences to share research, offer workshops to the students and community, and co-sponsor events with some amazing local organizations.

Upcoming Events

For local and KPU events, please see our online Google Calendar.

Past Events

KPU Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems playlist of past events:


KPU Small Farm Sessions
2016 Sessions
  • Soil-Water Relationships (Dr. Aimee Taylor,  KPU Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems) - The characteristics of a farm's soil have a large impact on how water moves through it and how well crops can grow. This session reviews the basic concepts behind the effects of soil quality on water in the field. Slides: PDF icon Taylor_Soil-Water Relationships_13Feb2016.pdf
  • Plant Water Stress (Dr. Rebecca Harbut,  KPU Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems) - Too much or too little water can have profound impacts on crop growth. This session reviewed how this stress impacts plants, how to recognize it and what to do. Slides: PDF icon Harbut_Plant Water Stress_13Feb2016.pdf
  • Climate Change Adaptation (Dr. Dieter Geesing, BC Ministry of Agriculture) - Climate change is creating warmer summer, wetter winters and more dramatic weather events in British Columbia. Dr. Geesing discussed the expected impacts of climate change and the  programming available in BC to help farmers adapt to these changes. Slides: PDF icon Geesing_Climate Change Adaptation_13Feb2016.pdf
  • Monitoring Soil Moisture (Dr. Rebecca Harbut,  KPU Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems) - Farmers understand that the water stored in their soil is a critical part of successfully growing crops. Dr. Harbut gave suggestions on easy ways for farmers to quantify what they observe with the use of simple soil moisture monitoring tools. Slides: PDF icon Harbut_Monitoring Soil Moisture_13Feb2016.pdf
  • Irrigation Technology & Design (Stephanie Tam, Ministry of Agriculture) - Water conservation is on the minds of many farmers and using the right irrigation for a farm can mean a big savings in water and costs. This session reviewed the essential steps in planning an irrigation system for farm operations and provided resources for farmers to use. Slides: PDF icon Tam_Irrigation Technology and Design_13Feb2016.pdf
2015 Sessions
  • Why Use Organic Seed? (Dr. Michael Bomford, KPU Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems) - Organic seed is the foundation of a profitable, functional organic farming system. This session discussed the merits of using organic seed as it is environmentally friendly, widely available and not as big of an expense as some might think. Slides: PDF icon Bomford_organicseed_31Jan2015.pdf
  • Seed Opportunities for Small Farms (Alex Augustinyak, West Coast Seeds) - West Coast Seeds has been operating in this region for many years and are looking to the future of how to serve their customers. This session reviewed the projects West Coast Seeds is involved in and its plans for its operations, including how farmers can be involved. Slides: PDF icon Augustyniak_WestCoastSeeds_31Jan2015.pdf
  • Seed Saving on a Market Farm (Arzeena Hamir, Amara Farms) - Saving seeds can save money and allow you to adapt and customize your crops. Getting started can be easy, but in this session Arzeena reviews how to approach seed saving on your farm and how to make the best use of your space and time. Slides: PDF icon Hamir_SeedsavingonFarm_31Jan2015.pdf
  • Seed Saving Equipment Introduction & Demo (Mojave Kaplan & Mel Sylvestre, BC Seed Coop) - The BC Seed Coop has been bringing together small-scale seed growers from across the province and in this session Mojave and Mel shared some need-to-knows on collecting and processing your own seed. Mojave brought a winnower and some seed for hands on demo of processing. Slides: to come.
  • Experiences Starting a New Farm (Arzeena Hamir, Amara Farms) - In 2012, Arzeena moved to Courtney from Richmond and started a new farm with her family. In this session she shared her experiences starting up a new site and accessing a new market. Slides: PDF icon Hamir_NewFarms_31Jan2015.pdf
  • Integrating Livestock into Small Farm Crop Rotations (Corine Singfield, KPU Tsawwassen First Nation Farm School) - During her time in Bella Coola, Corine had experiences integrating hogs and chickens into her difficult site. She shares what she learned and provides some tips on how to approach added livestock into your arket farm. Slides: PDF icon Singfield_livestock_31Jan2015.pdf
  • Coastal Cover Cropping (Christine Terpsma, Delta Farmland & Wildlife Trust) - Cover crops often behave differently on the mild west coast and Christine shares the research the Trust has done into cover crops and their effects on soil quality, bird migrations and crop success. Slides: PDF icon Terpsma_CoverCrops_31Jan2015.pdf
  • Enterprise Budgets for Production Planning (Ermias Afeworki, KPU Institute for Sustainable Food Systems) - Over the past 2 years, ISFS has developed a series of enterprise budgets for small farms to provide insight into the production costs of field crops, livestock and other products. These budgets can be used for effective planning on farm and Ermias reviews his research and the tools, which are available online. Slides: PDF icon Afeworki_EnterpriseBudgets-31Jan2015.pdf
  • Food Hubs (Darren Stott, GreenChain Consulting) - Distribution of local produce is a bottleneck for both producers and consumers. Darren shares his research into food hubs, which centralize food distribution and processing for the benefit of the local food system. Slides: PDF icon Stott_foodhubs_31Jan2015.pdf
2014 Sessions
  • Soil Management for Small Farms (Dr. Rebecca Harbut, KPU Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems) - Well managed soils are at the foundation of sustainable production systems. This session focuses on some fundamental soil characteristics and provides strategies for developing a soil management plan to maintain healthy soils and productive systems. Slides: PDF icon Soil_Management_Harbut_1Feb2014.pdf
  • Small Scale Mechanization (Dr. Carol Miles, Washington State University) - As production expands beyond an area that can easily be managed by hand, growers will need to decide whether to increase the number of people to provide hand labour or to mechanize. Small-scale equipment can be difficult to find and expensive and growers should consider the cost-benefit, and innovate as needed to meet production goals. PDF icon Farm_Mechanization_Miles_1Feb2014.pdf
  • Record Keeping for Small Scale Farms (Chris Bodnar, Close to Home Organics) - This session provides an overview of software options for record keeping and farm management on small-scale farms. The session will focus on tools that provide multiple purposes, from crop planning and managing production tasks to ensuring data is recorded in organized and useful manners. Slides: PDF icon Record_Keeping_Bodnar_1Feb2014.pdf
  • Why Wheat and Small Grains Have a Fit in Diverse Farming Systems (Dr. Stephen Jones, Washington State University) - Wheat and barley are low value crops but they can fit into diverse high value farming systems because of rotational value, animal integration and a growing demand for non-commodity crops. Slides: PDF icon Wheat_Farm_Diversification_Jones_1Feb2014.pdf
  • The Bread Lab: Breeding Non-Commodity Wheat (Dr. Stephen Jones, Washington State University) - Commodity wheat and barely was not developed for craft milling, baking, malting and brewing. Heirloom grains were but in many cases do not yield well because of disease and other issues.  This talk will focus on efforts to develop grains that work well for diverse farming systems and craft end-users. Slides: PDF icon Bread_Lab_Jones_1Feb2014].pdf
  • Financing Opportunities (Moira Teevan, VanCity & Nicholas Scapilati, Farm Folk City Folk) - Financing options for local small scale farms to upscale food production.  The session will focus on Vancity’s Small Growers Loans and the Vancity/FarmFolk CityFolk Local Food Micro-Loan Fund, a zero interest micro-loan for local food producers. Slides: PDF icon Financing_Local_Food_Teevan_Scapilati_1Feb2014.pdf
  • Small Scale Poultry Production in BC (Mark Robbins, K&M Farms) - This session will explore the challenges and opportunities of small scale poultry production. Slides: PDF icon Poultry_Robbins_1Feb2014.pdf
  • Growers Panel - A very big thank you to the fantastic farmers who shared their experiences: The opportunities and challenges of small farms with local farmers Bill Zylmans (W&A Farms)Emily Robertson (TrueNorth Hertiage Hatchery)Lydia Ryall (Cropthorne Farm) and Jordon Sturdy (North Arm Farm)