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HORT 3270 gets in the dirt

KPU’s School of Horticulture BHS degree students in the Urban Agriculture course popped along to meet with Gabriel Pliska of Frisch Farms on a fabulous fall morning in mid-October. Gabriel uses otherwise unused front- back-yards in the Arbutus-Kitsilano areas of Vancouver. With agreement from the home owners, he grows all kinds of garden vegetables, mostly through the summer season. Today, Gabriel and the students planted up a bunch of garlic for over-wintering and harvest next summer, while chatting through some of the pro’s/cons, rewards and challenges of urban agriculture on this scale.

Design Thinking in Action

Sustainable Landscape Design II students collaboratively planned and installed four visually stunning, functional patio vignettes at West Coast Gardens to successfully complete a unique practical exam. This remarkable example of experiential learning enabled the teams to reflect on critiques by West Coasts’ experts and enhance the designs yet again. According to West Coast, “The patios are being sat in and enjoyed by our customers. A few of them are missing pieces as customers have been inspired to buy and recreate at home.” 

Gold and Silver at Provincial Skills Canada competition

We took home Gold and Silver medals at the Provincial Skills Canada Landscape Gardening competition held in Abbotsford at TRADEX on April 5. Urban Ecosystems degree students Anita Proom and Richard Blackwell (on the left) claimed the silver medal while Erin Stackhouse, 4th year Landscape Apprenticeship and teammate Stuart Albertson, Landscape Diploma, took home the gold (on the right).
The gold medal team by way of their win will be preparing to compete at the National Skills Canada Landscape Gardening competition in Winnipeg on May 31 – June 3.

Design theory meets practice

Our Sustainable Landscape Design II class will experience their first, one of a kind practical exam in a partnership with West Coast Gardens.
The invitation to plan and implement West Coast’s wonderful range of plant materials and accessories in four- 12 ft. x 11 ft. town home patio vignettes provides a unique opportunity to move landscape design theory into practice. Based on their collaborative computer-generated designs for selected plant growth conditions and garden styles, the teams will install and critique the work and benefit from feedback from West Coast staff and customers.
This industry partnership is a first for enabling the Landscape Horticulture Systems Program to incorporate this type of practical element into the course. “Students will explore and be marked on their conventional and sustainable approaches to landscape design challenges associated with residential sites and small scale spaces.”

Horticulture hosts ‘Food Projects in the Langleys’ workshop

Having heard of about seven innovative agriculture/food security related projects being planned by various groups in the Township and City of Langley, the School of Horticulture decided it was time to invite everyone together and share thoughts, visions and ideas. But no-one expected there to be so many projects in development! On February 8th, representatives from a whopping 13 different groups joined the conversations and planning, and new partnerships have hopefully been born. Groups participating included planners from both municipalities, Langley Sustainable Agriculture Foundation (LSAF), Langley Environmental Partners Society (LEPS), Fraser Health, consultants from the Ministry of Agriculture, teachers and administrators from Langley School District (SD 35) and Langley Food Bank and several others. Participants spent a very busy morning of discussion facilitated by Darren Stott of Green Chain Consulting, and after comparing projects and finding common ground, the  tough work of implementing these now begins…..

Branching Out 2017

KPU Career Services and the School of Horticulture hosted the 5th “Branching Out” Horticulture Career Fair at the Langley campus on February 7th. It provided students with an excellent opportunity to connect with potential employers and see what the future holds for them as far as their careers & employability. Just as importantly, it is a fabulous networking opportunity for all in the industry to make new colleagues and future work connections. Interest from all was overwhelming and required a waitlist of employers wanting to meet new potential employees.
Thank you all who made it a success!

Pacific Agriculture Show 2017

The Pacific Agriculture Show featured many important industry meetings including the long running Horticulture Growers' Short Course. These and the various industry conferences that took place at the Show attracted high quality delegates from the agriculture and horticulture sectors as well as it represents the scope and importance of the industry, and let visitors investigate and compare the latest technology, trends and techniques available.

Burnco 2017 Lunch & Learn

Burnco Landscape Centre and the School of Horticulture has organized this remarkable event where contractors and students could mingle and to take a look at how and why vendors can help to grow and improve a business. To make it fun light breakfast, hot lunch, and prizes to win accentuated this event throughout the day.

BCLNA 2016 Supplier of the Year

Awarded at the BCLNA Annual Christmas Party and Industry Awards evening on December 1, 2016, Shelley Murley and Rob Welsh accepted the award on behalf of the School of Horticulture.

Turfies practice for an interview

Students of HORT 1132 - Turfgrass Operations wrapped up their Fall 2016 session with "Interview Day". Purpose is to develop student skills of Resume, Cover letter, Portfolio and Interviewing. 4 industry professionals were the panel for 20 minute individual student interviews while their classmates watched. Each interview concluded with the panel commenting on students' performance.

Awesome Plant ID App!

KPU's School of Horticulture goes global with this innovative Plant Database App that takes plant and pest identification to a whole new level!

This app has been developed to help users quickly identify plants using smart phones and tablets. There are over 1500 plant entries and 20,000 images with close-up details of the leaves, flowers, fruits, or cones taken from the full web version of the KPU Plant Database. There are direct links to search the internet for more information on each plant or pest entry. Plant and pest favourites can also be stored (to review for tests, for consideration in a landscape plan, etc.).

The paid version allows users to upload their own images with searchable descriptions as a means to record where and when the plant was found. These plants can then be found again to observe seasonal changes, to help other users locate the plants, or to monitor plant growth or pests. Students can even create personalized digital herbarium or bug collection to become better prepared for tests!

Volunteering at Pacific Links Championship

"From crisp lined tee-boxes,to laser cut fairways, to mint rolling greens, Bear Mountain Golf Course can be described in few choice words like dialed-in, or perfect. Add some of the world’s top elite players into the mix and who wouldn't want to be involved with the Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship? The fans and volunteers from our Turf Management Diploma program followed these legendary players around the scenic mountain course for a very exciting three day tournament. Volunteering for an event like this is something every student should experience. "
- by Josh Carlsen KPU  - Turf Management Student

An interview with Janis Matson

Her knowledge of trees and shrubs has been developed over 30 years of working in horticulture. She is one of our instructor, an accomplished garden designer and garden builder, certified arborist, owner of Shoreline Landscape Design and someone who has been guiding gardeners to pick the proper tree for years.
- by STEVE WHYSALL – Vancouver Sun