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Horticulture

Greenhouse Vegetable class get insight into the future.

organic vegies
As an alumnus of the Horticulture diploma program himself, Calais Farms General Manager Jacob Kerkhoff can provide current students with insights into the diverse industry that is the modern world of greenhouse crop production. With a grower and assistant overseeing a sizeable summer workforce, he is now responsible for helping take care of 20acres of modern greenhouses specializing in three colours of delicious sweet bell peppers. Although he is clearly more than able at sharing a depth of intricate technical information about growing the crop, it’s Jacob’s demonstration of the breadth of other managerial skills, such as time and financial matters, that comes home to the class of industry hopefuls. Just as importantly, Jacob’s appreciation and respect of his staff as people is something that should not be taken for granted. This is a valuable lesson in some of the ‘intangibles’ that need to be grasped to be successful in the industry.

Kwantlen Organic class offered pearls!

organic vegies
"Hope is not a strategy!" Chris Bodnar, owner of ‘Close-to-Home Organics’ (http://www.closetohomeorganics.com/ ) shares one of his trademark pearls of wisdom with the HORT 2490 Organic Production class who are visiting from KPU. A PhD in Communications, Chris bailed out of his secure academic position into the very uncertain world of farming, and has learned much in his near decade of getting his hands dirty while feeding his 135-strong CSA members and two farmers markets in the Greater Vancouver area.
With his wife and young family, Chris farms one part of the 50acre co-operative that is Glen Valley Organics located on the banks of the beautiful Fraser River. Jeremy Pitchford, his agricultural partner, farms Pitchfork Organic Farm (http://www.pitchforkorganicfarm.com/ ) alongside Chris, and they are both very conscious of their roles and responsibilities of stewarding the earth for the future.

Horticulture Hosting Young Agrarians Meeting

 

young agrarian meeting
KPU School of Horticulture hosted the last in the series of the "Rockstar Farmer" workshops at their Langley campus recently. Organised by Sara Dent and Kristen Nammour of BC Young Agrarians, in partnership with Langley Sustainable Agriculture Foundation (LSAF), the full-day event welcomed 90 delegates to listen to Kelowna horticultural entrepreneur Curtis Stone share his experiences of what it means to use SPIn farming techniques to build about $85,000 in sales from about 1/3 acre of land. Delegates were presented with an open and honest appraisal of 'how to's' (and how not to's!) for this relatively new model of urban agriculture from Curtis' 5 years' experience.

It all starts with the soil!

starts with the soil

Steve Trotter of 'The Answer Garden Products', in Abbotsford BC, recently hosted our students to discuss the use of municipal green-waste as an ingredient in sustainable, renewable growing media. Taking 'waste' from a number of local municipalities (as well as other sources), The Answer spend about 3 months of careful management composting a wide range of bio-degradable inputs into high quality products for use in the landscape industry.
"Being able to visit industry partners such as 'The Answer' is invaluable for students in KPU's horticulture programs as it brings the classroom theory and school practicals into real-world application” says Gary Jones, department Co-Chair and instructor of the Organic Greenhouse Production course. "It also provides our students with opportunities to network with potential employers and to decide where their future personal careers may be headed in such a diverse and rewarding industry that horticulture is. We love to visit commercial businesses like 'The Answer' and connect with people like Steve who freely give back to the next generation of horticulturists. Likewise, industry partners like this have opportunity to connect with future potential employees – it's a win-win for all concerned."

Horticulture Career Fair 2015 - Branching Out

carrier day
February 5th saw KPU’s School of Horticulture present its annual ‘Branching Out’ Career Fair. 25 employers met with around 60 students in short ‘speed-dating’ sessions where each could explore the suitability between career opportunities and graduates of the Horticulture Diploma programs. What a time to network!


Thank you for all the care, the time, and dedication ...

"Thank you for all the care, the time, and dedication you put into your teaching. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to attend KPU’s  School of Horticulture. I have spent quite a lot of my adult life in continuing education as I had to adopt to life circumstances  and constant technological changes but I have never felt so well prepared as now to apply what I have learnt from my studies.
The diversity of your teaching styles of your personalities and interest have made the last two and a bit years a lot of fun while your different expertizes have provided me with a deep respect for the natural world."
Anne Worall
Diploma program graduate, 2014