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Patchwork Farms harvests a successful year
Okanagan College Media Release

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 offering meaningful activities that foster personal growth, strengthen the local food system and enhance appreciation for land, food, health and community.

Patchwork Farms has recently reported on its 2015 activities and the numbers are impressive. 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 over 125 different heirloom seeds.

Integral to the success of Patchwork Farms was a new irrigation system. Thanks to the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) 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 Water Conservation and Quality Improvement 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 cold winter months, Patchwork Farms will be working with the College and its seed library and the Food Action Society of the North Okanagan to bring new food programming, new crops, and more water conservation to the farm in 2016.

To learn more about Patchwork Farms and the Kalamalka Demonstration Garden, visit Okanagan.bc.ca/patchworkfarms.