Ecofarm: Spring Fundamentals

Spring is the busiest time for growing food. This course emphasizes skills for building and sustaining soil health, planting with a plan for maximal value and productivity, and ecological restoration. An introduction to regional ethnobotany and food-as-medicine highlight the holistic nature of ecofarming.

EcoFarm Spring Fundamentals - For people, planet, and profit

A five-day intensive, hands-on experience for people wanting to learn how to grow food in harmony with nature, focusing on certified organic agriculture, how to enhance on-farm biodiversity, and relationships between growing practices and human nutrition. The Spring course covers the busiest season for Ecofarmers. Students will be immersed in essential learning - holistic farming, local ecology, and ethnobotany.

After the 5-day Spring into EcoFarming course, students will be able to:

  • Grow a variety of food crops using certified organic methods
  • Use and understand different composting systems
  • Manage soil health effectively for maximizing food quality
  • Apply knowledge of local ecology, native plants, and wildlife to enhance both habitats and productivity of farmlands
  • Explain benefits of native plants, pollinators, and ecosystems for crops
  • Create native pollinator and predator habitats

Day 1: EcoFarming & Sustainability

  • Welcome & Introduction to EcoFarming in the Spring
  • Farming for Biodiversity on Southern Vancouver Island
  • An Overview of Food Systems
  • Organic Farming: Benefits, Principles and Practices
  • Demonstration: Certified Organic Farming Practices

Day 2: EcoFarm - Integrated Systems

  • Composting Systems on Haliburton Farm
  • Soil Health and Nutrition
  • Hands-on: Soil Testing
  • Introduction to Native Plant Communities
  • Hands-on: Ecological Restoration for Farmers

Day 3: The EcoFarm Advantage

  • Hands-on: Care of Organic Seedlings & Young Plants
  • Label Logic: What Do Common Terms Really Mean?
  • Certified Organic Farming - Land, Buffers, Records
  • Demonstration: Certified Organic Farm Audit
  • Business Planning - Lessons Learned   Michael Nyberg, New Mountain Farm

Day 4: Communities & Coexistence

  • Sustainable Water Management: Growing Food in Harmony with Wetland Ecosystems
  • Keeping the Soil Food Web Alive   Christina Nikolic, The Organic Gardener's Pantry
  • Pollinators Plus   Lora Morandin, Pollinator Partnership
  • Hands-on:Hedgerow Havens for Pollinators & Predators

Day 5: Food is Medicine

  • Garry Oak Meadow Ecosystems
  • Plants, Foods, and Medicines of the Saanich Peninsula John-Bradley Williams (W̱SÁNEĆ and Ahousat Nation)
  • Econutrition - Impact of Farming Methods on Health
  • Learning & Networking with Haliburton Farmers
  • Spring Feast & Wrap-Up

Bursaries are available for this course. Contact:

Optional internships are available at Haliburton Farm upon course completion.

Course Location: Haliburton Farm, 741 Haliburton Rd, Saanich, BC

Course Dates: Ecofarm: Spring Fundamentals

For more information about this course please contact Professional and Continuing Studies