Metro Vancouver, B.C. – Calling all aspiring farmers!
The Tsawwassen First Nation Farm School will welcome its first crop of students this spring in a program that blends theory with practice on an eight-hectare (20-acre) working farm at the Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN). A partnership between Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Institute for Sustainable Food Systems (ISFS) and TFN, the 10-month program will cover the science and business of farming plus perspectives on indigenous food systems.
The actual farm will include market crops, small livestock and organic practices.
“The Tsawwassen First Nation Farm School fuses sustainable agriculture and traditional indigenous food systems as vital tools to build community and create the kind of critical dialogue and action around the future of food and earth stewardship,” says Kent Mullinix, director of ISFS.
Once fully in production, the farm will boast a traditional medicine garden and food forest, an orchard, an organic market garden and incubator plots for farm school students who have completed the first year of instruction and practicum. Ultimately, the teaching farm will be a gathering place to raise awareness around human-scaled alternative food production systems linked to community.
TFN demonstrated its commitment to securing a future for agriculture in Delta more than a year ago when it announced 25-year lease agreements with local farmers on 156 hectares of farmland in Ladner.
“TFN has been working hard to create a strong and sustainable community for our members and future generations,” said TFN chief Bryce Williams. “All our developments – commercial, industrial, residential and agricultural – work together to support our vision.
“TFN supports local food production, job creation and stewardship of farmland resources. We are proud to have partnered with KPU to create the TFN Farm School.
The Tsawwassen First Nation Farm School is now accepting applications for its 2015 program, which starts in March. Students can expect to be integral parts of a working farm growing a variety of market crops and animals.
The learning occurs on the farm with the guidance of skilled and knowledgeable agriculturists. The program offers classes in crop production, soil and water management, animal husbandry, small farm carpentry and welding, tractor and equipment maintenance, business planning and marketing and indigenous food systems.
Successful students, after the first year of instruction, can access up to one half-acre of incubator farm land for up to three years to hone their crop production and farm business skills with mentoring and access to shared tools and resources. After three years, Farm School incubator farmers will be ready to independently farm.
For more information and to register, visit http://www.kpu.ca/tfnfarm.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 250,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs, including business, liberal arts, science, design, health, trades and technology, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 124 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at www.kpu.ca.
Caption: TFN youngster Makayla Morgan enjoys an apple on the site of the new Tsawwassen First Nation Farm School.
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