Event: UBC Farm - Growing Season Workshop Series class 1

Saturday, February 11, 2012 - 13:00 to 16:00
Event Description: 

UBC Farm: Growing Season Workshop Series


Class 1
Introduction to Soil Formation, Texture, and Structure: getting to know where it all begins.
 Soil is essentially the source of all terrestrial life.  The better we understand and manage agricultural soil, the better it can continue to fulfill that role.
 This class is the first in a four-course workshop series on soil theory and related management practices.  We will start this series by taking a look at soil formation and horizons, its characteristics, and soil components.
 Understanding these soil concepts can help us better choose our management strategies and better understand soil and ecosystem dynamics in varying geographical and climatic locations.  The concepts here help lay the framework for further studies on soil concepts and management.
 We’ll spend some time inside the “classroom” covering the topics listed below and then move outside to play a bit in the dirt.  We’ll look at the UBC Farm soil pit to get a good look at soil horizons, do some texture tests, and look at soil structure in various settings on the farm.
 Soil texture is one of the most important factors in determining a soil management strategy - especially concerning cultivation and water management.  Knowing and understanding your soil texture is important in ensuring your soil management strategies and interactions are not damaging your soil and you are making the most efficient use of your water.
 Soil Structure is greatly influenced by texture and greatly impacted by cultivation. Optimizing soil structure is often touted as one of the most important considerations in improving soil quality yet we often employ management strategies which damage soil structure while trying to meet other farming goals.

Date: Saturday February 11, 2012 1pm-4pm
Location: UBC Farm 
6182 South Campus Road, Vancouver BC
Cost: $20/class (+$1.49 registration fee) or $70 (+$2.74 registration fee) if you register for all 4 classes
What to Bring: Pen, note book, snacks, and clothes you can go outside in.

What this first class will cover:
 Introduction to Soils
 ●        What is Soil?
●        5 Factors of Soil Formation
●        Soil Horizons and Soil Classification
●        Components and Interactions of Soil
Soil Texture
●        Mineral composition and its effect on texture
●        Characteristics of sand, silt and clay
●        Methods of determining texture
○        Field and laboratory methods
●        Management Strategies
○        Nutrients and exchange
○        Water retention and irrigation
○        Cultivation
●        Manipulating soil texture
 Soil Structure
○     Aggregation and Aggregate Stability
○     Identifying and Measuring
○     Effects of Cultivation on Structure
○     Soil Consistency
■     Role in cultivation
■     Compaction
 Field Walk
●        Visiting Soil Pit
●        Determining soil texture at UBC Farm
●        Identifying aggregation on various UBC Farm soils
 Presenter Bio: 
Chris Thoreau holds a BSc. in Agroecology from the University of British Columbia where he focused on soils, small-scale plant breeding, and urban farming.  Previous to his time at UBC he operated Influence Organics, a one-acre certified organic farm on Vancouver Island’s Saanich Peninsula.  Here Chris focused on utilizing no-till and permaculture principles to grow a variety of vegetables for local markets, CSAs and restaurants. He also sat on the board and certification committee of the local certifying body, the Islands’ Organic Producers Association.  He is also an IOIA-trained organic inspector.
Chris currently operates My Urban Farm - a bicycle-powered urban farm in Vancouver that specialized in microgreens, and co-owns 24 Carrots - another bicycle powered initiative that works with organic, biodynamic and urban farms to offer one of Vancouver’s most diverse CSAs.

Growing Season Workshops:
This event is part of the UBC Farm Growing Season Workshop Series.  Our goal is to connect sustainability and life-skills experts with our local community through accessible and affordable workshops.   Come join us for a workshop, gain new skills and knowledge, and help support the UBC Farm!