KPU Farm Tour
One of the easiest ways for Jarr to reduce packaging waste throughout the supply chain is to buy local and direct. And, when it comes to produce, it too often comes individually wrapped in plastic or packed bulk in plastic to protect it over the many kilometers it travels by truck to get to us.
Last year, we learned that KPU was offering plastic free long english organic cucumbers (the holy grail!) and so we reached out to them to see if they would be interested in supplying us directly with produce. Now, we order much of our seasonal summer produce from KPU which they bring to us in returnable totes, completely package-free!
Claire and I recently took their July Farm Tour and it was incredible to learn about the inner workings of the farm. I couldn’t miss this opportunity to share some of our findings with you.
The KPU Farm is Certified Organic and is a Teaching and Research Farm on municipal land that is part of the Agricultural Land Reserve (the ALR). It is located just 13kms from our warehouse at The Garden City Lands in the heart of Richmond where students study and practice at the farm while working toward their Bachelor of Applied Science in Sustainable Agriculture.
The 8 acre farm is located on top of a bog (bogs are known for being natural carbon stores). As the bog soil wasn’t ideal for growing, soil was trucked in from sea island (near the airport) to cover the bog and keep the carbon sequestered where it was.
Kale, broccoli, zucchini, cabbage and chard are just some of the Jarr favourites grown out on the open farmland this time of year.
This amazing solar heated dome greenhouse is built to operate off the grid and is the perfect place to grow their seedlings. The round shape allows a maximum amount of light into the dome. An internal pond acts as a heat sink to help regulate the temperature even in the winter and the vents at the top of the dome open and close when wax in the vent arm expands and contracts depending on the internal temperature.
Moveable High Tunnels:
These high tunnel green houses are the perfect place for growing tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers(!), ginger and more! Computers powered by solar panels allow the walls to automatically roll up and down depending on the temperature inside the green house.
As the soil from sea island wasn’t particularly rich in plant matter, crop cover is planted to bring more nutrients into the soil between planting. You can find buckwheat, peas, oats and more covering some of the crops where the moveable high tunnels were previously located.
Pollinator friendly plants:
Along the beetle banks (that surround the farm to encourage beetles to hang out and help eat pesky insects) and throughout the farm, you will see clusters of flowers or flowering plants. Pollinators love this and plants love pollinators, so it’s all a bit of a win-win with the added beauty they bring to the farm.
Emily Sproule is the founder of Jarr, a mom of two young school age children and an environmentalist doing the best she can with the time she has. Emily lives in East Vancouver, is passionate about business as a force for change and is excited to bring package-free grocery delivery to Metro Vancouver.