FarmAde is a 16 year UBC tradition that celebrates the UBC Farm, its place in the community, and its history.
What I found at FarmAde this year was a UBC event unlike any other I’d been to.
Full of square-dancing, good drinks, student club booths, and family-friendly activities (read: epic kid-approved hay-bale obstacle course), this event bridges the gap between UBC students and the campus community. I was impressed by the crowds that turned out despite the weather, many armed with jackets and umbrellas, determined not to let rain get in their way.
I gained a newfound appreciation for the event and the unique place it holds in the history of the farm after speaking with Chiyi Tam, UBC Farm site manager and UBC alumnus.
Chiyi Tam, UBC Farm Site Manager
“FarmAde was started by the food and beverage manager for the student society,” says Chiyi. “She was this super awesome hippy lady named Nancy – a very fiery, hug you with a bear hug kind of person – who was around during a time when it was uncertain if the farm would survive or if they would auction this land off for more housing. She started this event herself, got burgers, corn on the cob, and a whole bunch of donations, and brought people out here [to the farm] just to let people know that there was a farm. Slowly it just became known across campus for the square dancing – that’s what really took over!”
An event run by the AMS for many years, FarmAde is now run by the UBC Farm itself. This development presented a few new challenges to the farm that harkened back to why it started in the first place: “When I worked for the student society, I was really proud of the history of students creating FarmAde to save the farm, and the AMS was a huge part of that. And then last year, UBC saved FarmAde itself… People from Community Planning stepped in, people from Brand and Marketing, central events – all these groups came forward and just asked what we needed and got it done. So it’s still a community event, it’s just that the community has shifted.”
This was the third FarmAde for River Walter, who says she would never let a bit of rain keep her away from her favourite UBC event: “FarmAde brings together not only students, but the entire community. There are people of all ages, and everyone’s just really happy celebrating the end of summer and into the harvest season – it’s just a really beautiful time.”
Check out these photos of what FarmAde looked like this year, and don’t miss the UBC Farm Fall Fair on Saturday, September 15! The Fair is part festival, part farmer’s market, and features U-pick pumpkins for carving or eating, a weirdest vegetables contest, and lots of warm drinks and live music.