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August 2015 Newsletter

Fresh from Fresh Roots

If we all do a little, we can do a lot.

In the era of the internet, it is totally possible to start a movement with just one person.  The social media hashtag is both a call to action and the action itself. Check out the Eat.Think.Vote campaign for a great example.  And while it’s possible for some to #changetheworld in that way, it is hard for me.

Yes, I was in that photo for #donthaveonemillion and yes, I posted my #KMFace, but while I know that there is power in statements and publicly supporting the issues that I care about – I truly wonder if I can do that much good while taking a short coffee break or hitting ‘like’ while on the beach.  I wonder if doing good can be so easy.

This month, 35 volunteers came out to David Thompson Secondary for the first “Big Help” to prepare the market garden for the school season: weeding, preparing growing beds, turning compost, and moving woodchips.  And they came because they wanted to do something; to make some impact.  Each bed was weeded, the kale freed from a chickweed strangle; the dandelions were finally uprooted.  And while we didn’t end hunger or poverty or injustice that evening – we worked together.  And that’s the start of making a difference.

If we all do a little we can do a lot.

I’m inspired by the work of volunteers, showing up and lending a hand. And it’s no difference for any of the large issues that we face on a daily basis: hunger, racism, poverty.  It’s the showing up that is so critical – and maybe doing it online is a start. I imagine what would happen if we all did a little, and made one action towards change.  We would do a lot.  So whether it’s online or on garden remember that anything is possible, you just need enough people pitching in.

If we all did a little to support Good Food For All – I wonder how much we’d be able to achieve.  So come and join us.  We’ve got another Big Help on August 27th at Van Tech Secondary, learn more and lend a hand.

With a fistful of sunshine and deep gratitude for your contributions,

Marc 
Co-Executive Director, Fresh Roots

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Negative Food Stories: Opportunities for Relationship

Food is nourishment.  Food is connection.  

Good days, bad days, celebrations, mourning.  Food is there.  It can be a burden, an obligation met by busybody, overstressed workers, parents, caregivers.  It can be a relief, a comfort, a joy; a refuge to hide away, to spend all the time one’s heart desires to craft the shapes, and flavours, and undertones of a remembered but distant dish–of remembered people, places, experiences.  

And of new ones.

Food can be the poverty of an empty table.  It can be the extravagance of waste and excess.

Food can be dreaded.  It can be hoped for.

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I attended a [food-]storytelling workshop yesterday.  Parts of the words above came from my scribbled thoughts to the free-write prompt: What does food mean to you?

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Food is fundamental and vital for life.  We need it (and we need to grow/gather/cultivate it) to survive, to live, to thrive.  Food can be a source of nourishment not only physically or biologically, but also for the soul.  Traditional foodways and meals can bring back good memories and warm fuzzy feelings.  We like to eat.

These things we know.  And often we hold them as universally applicable to all.  After all, everyone eats, right?

Enjoying a potluck lunch with the crew

Enjoying a potluck picnic lunch with the crew

Talking with a friend at the storytelling workshop about our personal stories of food and “food stories” in general, the topic emerged of Hey, wait a minute.  Not everyone has a positive relationship or association with food.  

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CARROT AND TURNIP MASH

1 bunch Fresh Roots carrots

1 bunch Fresh Roots turnips

2 cloves Fresh Roots garlic, minced

2 tbsp. butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Bring turnips and carrots to a boil until tender. Drain. Add garlic, butter, salt and pepper. Mash. Sprinkle with parsley if desired. Enjoy!

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Roasted Beet Salad with Beet Greens and Feta

3 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1-2 cloves minced Fresh Roots garlic
3-4 Fresh Roots beets, with greens
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoons chopped drained capers
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375°F. Whisk oil, vinegar and garlic in small bowl to blend. Season dressing generously with salt and pepper.

Cut green tops off beets; reserve tops. Arrange beets in single layer in a baking dish; add the water. Cover; bake until beets are tender when pierced with knife, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Peel beets while warm. Cut beets in half and slice thinly. Transfer to large bowl. Mix in capers and 1/4 cup dressing. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut stems off beet greens; discard stems. Wash greens. Transfer greens, with some water still clinging to leaves, to large pot. Stir over high heat until just wilted but still bright green, about 4 minutes. Drain greens; squeeze out excess moisture. Cool; chop coarsely.

Transfer greens to medium bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Arrange beets in center of platter. Surround with greens; sprinkle with feta. Drizzle with any remaining dressing.

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Being at Rest

It’s a Pro-D (professional development) Day at David Thompson today.  Oh, how calm it is.

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Guess what?  I got my rainbow carrots photo!

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These past two weeks, we’ve had a bounty of these colourful root veggies.  I can’t help but be in awe of their beauty.

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