College farm a success

Located at the Vernon campus of Okanagan College, Patchwork Farms is a community collective farm.

It might be the middle of winter but the work goes on for Patchwork Farms.

Located at the Vernon campus of Okanagan College, Patchwork Farms is a community collective farm.

Patchwork Farms has recently reported on its 2015 activities.

A total of 1,665 pounds of produce was grown and harvested by volunteers and program participants and included a wide variety of berries, vegetables, herbs, and fruits. More than 535 people participated in the farm as volunteers, in various food programs and as attendees at events.

Much of the produce that was grown came from seeds from the Kalamalka Seed Library (located at Okanagan College). The library collection grew this year to more than 125 different heirloom seeds.

Thanks to the Okanagan Basin Water Board grant program, Okanagan College was able to support Patchwork Farms with the design and implementation of an updated irrigation system including new moisture sensor equipment that allowed the farm to save water, demonstrate best practices, and train farm personnel and volunteers on water conservation methods.

“The OBWB’s grant has been a huge help with respect to the irrigation issues faced by the farm and we are very appreciative of their assistance,” says Karen Truesdale, project co-ordinator with Kindale Developmental Association. “The infrastructure provided by Okanagan College is key to making this community farm a success.”

Throughout the winter, Patchwork Farms will be working with the college and the Food Action Society of the North Okanagan to bring new food programs to the farm in 2016.

To learn more about Patchwork Farms, visit Okanagan.bc.ca/patchworkfarms.