The Assault (My walk through the construction site on South Campus)
Flat beds rattling, brakes squealing, and the hum of the lawn mower. An echo of plywood dropping, nail guns firing, engines knocking, cranes scraping. The buzz of air compressors, knock, knock, knock of nail guns, beep-beep-beep of rear reverse, and delivery truck tires rumbling. Moving vehicles, automatic sprinklers, concrete dust, wire boundaries, gravel pits, and a single uniform line of dusty trees. Everything melds into a single hum of construction worthy of gates and concrete barriers.
The Embrace (My visit to the UBC Farm)
The road into the farm brings shade, coolness, and the fragrance of moss. The quiet sound of wind at the tops of the Douglas firs greets us with the smell of fresh baked bread. The children’s garden offers a scrambled bounty. Ripe raspberries that can’t be resisted. The intense heat of direct south facing sun is contrasted by the cool comfort of the shadows of the outdoor classroom. Diving displays of swallows and industrious pollen collection of bees highlight the spicy crunch of fresh radishes and the sweet color of fresh beets. The leaves are rustling a calm quiet, where the (bio)diversity of sounds hits when the quiet has finished washing over you. A continuous melody of song birds singing, clucking of chickens and rooster calls sends us home with the smell of dirt, heat, and grasses.
I recently walked from my office, on UBC’s main campus, out to the UBC Farm. Interested to hear more about the teaching and research that goes on at the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems, I set out on my walk. The UBC Farm is out on South Campus. Yes, it’s still there. It’s on the other side of 16th Avenue, just past the new roundabout. It took me about 40 min to walk there.
On my walk, I was struck by the contrasts. If you haven’t been out to the Farm, I recommend that you walk out there, past the construction site, so that you can see what’s happening out on South Campus. With the Farmers Market and lots of programming for everyone, there’s lots of reasons to visit the UBC Farm. Diversity is ever present at the UBC Farm but completely lacking at the construction site. After my walk back, I jotted down the notes that you see above to try and describe my reactions.