With great excitement we’re announcing our South Vancouver Harvest Festival! Taking place at the Schoolyard Market Garden at David Thompson Secondary on October 19th, we will be celebrating our local food cultures and sustainability. Together with the South Vancouver Neighbourhood House – join us for an all-ages farm party to celebrate our community’s bounty.
Join us for an afternoon of harvest exuberance and a celebration of food and community! Activities will start at the farm at 3pm and include pumpkin carving, apple pressing, and lawn games! Celebrate the season with a bowl of hearty harvest stew, and cast your vote in a multicultural dessert contest or simply bring a blanket and watch the action unfold.
Bring your family, bring your favourite friend, or just bring yourself!
Stay tuned at @freshroots (Twitter & Instagram), our Facebook page, and our website as the full party plan unfolds. Start sharing your #SouthVanLove pictures with us!
ATTENTION NORQUAY NEIGHBOURHOOD:
The power of good food has once again bonded people together. Fresh Roots is excited to announce that we have teamed up with Together We Can to grow food in Norquay Park! This calls for a celebration- a FEAST of yummy, healthy food which will become ready for harvest in the summer. Attendees of this celebration will be: broccoli, fennel, herbs, rhubarb, strawberries and YOU! Also in attendance are some fruit tree saplings. Come stop by to watch these babies grow as they turn into beautiful flowering, fruit bearing trees.
Fresh Roots is a non-profit organization working with school communities towards Good Food For All: Everyone deserves access to healthy food, land and community. To do this, Fresh Roots cultivates engaging gardens and programs that catalyze healthy eating, ecological stewardship and community celebration. We currently have two schoolyard market gardens which grow food to be distributed to the community and sold at markets.
Fresh Roots believes in Good Food For All. As part of a community group partnership with Renfrew Collingwood Food Security Institute (RCFSI), Fresh Roots has agreed to support community food security initiatives in the Renfrew-Collingwood community. This awesome project at Norquay park will support increased agricultural land use while giving access to local food. It is so exciting to see our vision extend beyond schoolyard farms to the wider community.
Together We Can was founded in 1993 in Metro Vancouver and since has become one of Canada’s leading treatment centres for men. TWC’s mission is to educate and support men and families who struggle with the challenges of substance misuse and desire a new life in recovery. The charity recognizes that long-term recovery is most successful when people are provided health and wellness supports for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing.
This partnership empowers men to give back to the community by growing nutritious and delicious produce. Anyone who is hungry or needs a snack is welcome to enjoy the food grown in the park. Another awesome part of this project is it is conveniently located by the treatment and community center, allowing opportunity to reorient these men back into the community! The ultimate goal of this program is to have cross pollination by planting flowers to encourage more bees- because beauty is in the eye of the bee-holder.
Together We Can do this with Fresh Roots to provide soul food for Norquay community! We’ll keep you updated for harvest news.
Check out what BC Business has to say about Executive Director Marc Schutzbank. (Photo Credit Evaan Kheraj)
Marc Schutzbank, 29
by Marcie Good
Life Story: Marc Schutzbank completed two bachelor’s degrees at the University of Pittsburgh, one in politics and philosophy and one in finance, before he won a Fulbright scholarship to UBC in 2011. The American was studying the economics of urban farming as part of his graduate work in the university’s land and food systems program when he connected with Ilana Labow, a member of a group called Fresh Roots, which grew food in backyards. After an elementary-school principal invited Fresh Roots to start a garden, the project expanded to other schools. Putting his knowledge of finance to work, Schutzbank helped turn Fresh Roots into a non-profit.
In 2013, after completing his M.Sc., he negotiated a working agreement with the Vancouver School Board to establish and manage educational farms at two schools. Food grown is sold to school cafeterias and to local families that sign up for a weekly box of produce. In the summer, Fresh Roots employs high-school students to garden, sell the food at farmers’ markets, and prepare and sell jams and chutneys. “It’s a ridiculous miracle that this tiny little seed can grow into this gigantic plant,” says Schutzbank, now a permanent resident of Canada. “What the students see is that from small actions come significant change.”
The Bottom Line: With an annual budget of $280,000 (which includes grants and revenue), Fresh Roots grows 3,600 kilograms of food and employs 30 students. About 3,340 students visit its gardens annually.
Read the online version here.