Open House & Seed Harvesting Party!
Saturday September 23 8:00am - 5:00pm
13840 Gilbert Road, Richmond BC
It's my most favourite time of the farm season - seed harvesting time! The air is crisp, the apple trees are full of fruit, the fall colours are just beginning to show themselves, and all of our seed crops are ready to be collected. Truly a magical time!
Come out to the farm for a visit, get the inside scoop on what seed farming looks like, join in for some harvesting, or just relax and have a wander and soak up some outside time. Stay for an hour or stay for the day, get your fill, whatever that looks like for you.
There will be a bbq, some snacks, and fresh produce and seeds for you to take home! Kids are more than welcome, but unfortunately your dogs will have to stay at home.
What will we be harvesting? Tomatoes, peas, beans, watermelon, ground cherries, cantaloupe, purple orach, and a lot of different types of flowers will all very likely be ready (or continuing) to share their seeds with us
We will be preparing tomato seeds for fermenting, which is squishy, messy and fun! If we collect watermelon and cantaloupe seeds, that means there'll be a lot of fruit that we just have to eat! Depending on how dry the beans and peas are, there may also be a dance party aka a first pass at threshing and removing the pods. If there's time, this would also be the perfect opportunity to remove the irrigation and get it packed away for the winter.
Things to bring:
Sturdy shoes or boots that can handle mud and wet
Long pants and long sleeves - remember, the vile thistle!
A wide-brim hat / ballcap and sunscreen
A desire to slow down and observe the ways of farming and seed collection, curiosity, a willingness to ask questions, an appreciation for the beauty and variety of well-managed, regenerative farms
Things that you could bring if you were so inclined:
Something to cook on the bbq / a picnic / snacks for yourself or to share, and your own dish and utensils
Glass jars to fill with wet seeds
A reuseable grocery bag or two
A notebook for questions or observations
Knee pads or a kneeling pad
A lawn chair or other comfy thing to sit on
Seed envelopes, tape and markers will be provided for you to take home dry seeds. If it's a really rainy day, we may or may not collect dry seeds. I'll source a pop-up tent or three so that we can bbq and break bread together in comfort.
Things to know: Our little slice of heaven aka 1/3 of an acre is located on stolen xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Coast Salish land, and it is our humble duty as uninvited guests to treat the land with the respect and care it has been shown by the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm people for thousands of years. Currently it is KPU property, and our farm is part of the KPU Incubator Program, which means we have access to resources, tools, water, mentorship and community. While not certified organic, the land is stewarded in a regenerative and sustainable way, following organic practices. This is a working farm, which means uneven ground, tall grass (which oftentimes is hiding very random objects), surprise ditches, overhead and drip irrigation, manual tools and machines, and (the worst!) prickly thistle is unfortunately way too abundant. There's also wildlife, most notably a very bold (and beautiful) pheasant, but also voles, squirrels, chipmunks, bees, eagles, and owls among other critters who we are lucky enough to share the land with. Be mindful of where you're going, the property is not a deathtrap, but there are some ankle-breakers and potential ouchies scattered about. The KPU Farm is home to a number of farmers, which means we need to respect the space of others. An invitation to explore my farm is not an open invitation to explore the other farms. Please feel free to admire the other farms, but also please be respectful of their boundaries. We all work really hard to make our farms bountiful and profitable, if you want a closer look at someone else's plot, make sure to ask first if there's someone available. Getting to the farm: The closest bus stop is 2km away, at Steveston Road, so I really discourage folks from taking transit. If you have a car, and want to drive out, that's amazing - that means you can come and go at your leisure. There's also a community garden there with parking, as well as a number of parking lots along Dyke Road, so if you drive out, there's free parking. From the road, it's about a 10-minute walk to the farm, from the parking lot, it's about 5 minutes. If you're in Vancouver, or can get to Vancouver, I'm happy to offer a ride, but that means you're there for the long haul! Check out this Google Doc for Ride Share Coordination. We don't have electricity! We do have two porto-potties at the far end of the farm, and we have potable cold water (generally used for irrigation). Bring a refillable water bottle and be sure your devices are charged before you arrive. We also don't have garbage or recycling collection! Be prepared to pack out your garbage and recycling. We sure do have compost though, food waste can stay behind and be added to next year's soil nutrients. It's vital that visitors to my farm feel comfortable and safe - physically and emotionally. If an activity doesn't feel good for your body, please say so, you know your body's limits best. Similarly, I will not tolerate racism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism or sexism on my farm - full stop. Globally and locally, the folks who face the most food and seed insecurity are those who are the most marginalized, and those are the people whose comfort, safety and well-being are prioritized at Sowing Kits. AAAANNNNND keep your eyes peeled for info about a follow-up event later in September / early October. I'm booking the Farm Folk City Folk Mobile Seed Cleaning Trailer for a day, and I can guarantee that will be hella fun! The trailer is fully equipped with all types of screens, threshers, a winnower, an air separator, air compressors and safety equipment. There's going to be a lot of seed to clean, and having access to the right tools means it will be efficient, but more importantly, a brilliant opportunity to nerd out and have fun with lots of cool machines and of course, seeds! I'm so looking forward to seeing you at the farm! Loki 🌱