What’s For Lunch?

It’s a question asked every day, thousands of times by students everywhere. What’s for breakfast? What’s for lunch? What’s for snack? And food is critical. It’s essential to students who are growing, learning, playing, and beginning their journey to adulthood. It’s especially important for those students who receive a majority of their calories through school. School is where students, on average, receive 35% of their calories. For food insecure students that increases to 50%. And for youth here in Vancouver it’s incredibly important. Over 2000 students go hungry every day. And many, just under 50%, do not receive the daily recommended amount of fruits or vegetables. Teachers, school districts, cafeteria staff, non-profits, and parents are working together to rethink school food.

This past week the Vancouver School Board, Fresh Roots, and the BC Food Systems Network hosted an event, Rethinking School Food: Cultivating a Healthy School Food System, to hear from Debbie Field of FoodShare Toronto. FoodShare believes that everyone should have access to affordable, high-quality fresh food – Good Healthy Food For All. They have been putting that vision into place for the past 30 years – transforming the City of Toronto and in particular their school food system.

Fresh Roots is working with FoodShare and the BC Food Systems Network, along with organizations across Canada through the Coalition for Healthy School Food, for a universal healthy school food program – where every student in Canada has access to healthy meals at school every day. We learned how FoodShare has been able to rethink school food, change the menu to increase healthy options, and empower youth to do it themselves. We’re gearing up here in BC to work together to ensure that every student has access to delicious, healthy, local food. We hope you’ll join us.

Take a peek at the presentations that

Brent Mansfield – Rethinking School Food – A Whole School Approach.

Debbie Fields – FoodShare Toronto – Rethinking School Food- Cultivating a Healthy School Food System.

Fresh Roots – Good Food For All – Rethinking School Lunch

During the event, we asked attendees what inspires them most from the event. Below you can find a list of what was said.

  • Strategic Systems Approach to change…B.C. Fridays
  • Things can change quickly with the right people.
  • A call to action partnered with a clear, justified plan to make dignified, healthy food universal to all youth.
  • School food systems, gardens as a connector and generator for student employment skills.
  • Further connector to socio economic sphere of community!
  • Empowerment!
  • Creating a broader movement to reach as many kids as possible with nutritious foods.
  • Photos of fresh foods and happy faces.
  • I am inspired by Debbie’s vision of universal school meal program.
  • Shift in viewing food, health and education – it’s everyone’s business!
  • What inspired me most from today’s session: The possibility of addressing so many of these important issues(empowerment, access, physical, mental/ecological, health, etc.) in an integrated way.
  • The benefits that they youth experience: mental healthy, employment experience, interest n healthy food, etc.
  • Food is universal and food can solve many issues by just understanding a system, and eating well.
  • A new minister of Food Security – YES! Looking at the current food environment in schools: what is the hidden curriculum?
  • The potential for a universal school nutrition program connected to SEL (Social-Emotional Learning)
  • The role the Vancouver Food Policy Council will play in advocating for universal school food.
  • Every child in the school could be hungry and need good food to eat.
  • How working with school food programs can also fix ‘problems’ that affect the youth.
  • Giving the knowledge to children where food comes from, teaching how to cook, healthy eating.
  • Feeding all children
  • Possibility for collective impact with common goals from a variety of levels of government.
  • Making it universal and a focus on healthy.
  • For ALL KIDS.
  • All Kids should eat for free!
  • Poverty is solved by Feeding ALL Children!
  • Focus on access as prerequisite to hands on engaged learning opportunities.
  • That BC needs to change our focus from food literacy to food access.

Thank you for learning with us – we are looking forward to rethinking school food together.


Third Annual Press Fest!

Come one, come all to the 3rd annual Apple Press Festival!

Participants try their hand at crushing, grinding, and pressing apples. In addition, there are activities like an apple home-run derby, a pressing competition, and old-time games like corn-hole and juggling.The festival aims to bring the community together not only to celebrate the harvest, but to roll up their sleeves and actively participate in it. The Press Fest raises awareness of the great potential of local apples as a readily-available nutrient source, sweetener, fermenting ingredient, and all-around fantastic fruit. In doing so, we support local orchardists who utilize integrated pest management (IPM) and organic farming practices. Many apple varieties, which may not store well as fruit, are normally left to rot in the orchard. By processing them, we are creating value for both the community and the farmers.

It’s a BYOJ sort of event, so bring your own jug, because participants can fill up a mason jar or their own container with the sweet sweet juice!

Where: VanTech’s Schoolyard Market Garden (Map)
When:  October 26th; 12-4 pm
RSVP: @ facebook

Huge thanks to the tremendous sponsors: Duncan Martin with; Rick Havlack with Homesteader’s Empourium; and Fresh Roots!


South Vancouver Harvest Festival

With great excitement we’re announcing our South Vancouver Harvest Festival! Taking place at the Schoolyard Market Garden at David Thompson Secondary on October 18th, 2014, the event is part of Vancouver’s Sustenance Festival, a city-wide celebration of local food culture and sustainability. Together with the South Vancouver Neighbourhood House – we will be throwing 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 lantern making. Celebrate the season with a bowl of hearty harvest stew, and cast your vote in a multicultural dessert contest (or enter your own!), or simply bring a blanket and watch the action unfold.

Let us know that you’re coming by getting your tickets here.  There is no charge for this event but there will be opportunities to contribute ‘by donation’ to help cover costs. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. 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!


A Lovely Summer Evening at David Thompson

Plant. Harvest. Eat. Celebrate. You’ve been with us for the first two steps – come join us for the rest!

On July 12, Join Fresh Roots for a Summer Evening in the Garden. Our good friends at FARMACIE will be hosting their third installment of their Long Table Dinner Series, and you’re invited!

To reserve your seat, sign up here:

All you need is your appetite: a hunger for delicious conversation, dancing, music, and of course, fresh food (grown right on site). Chefs Marika Richoz and Juno Kim will be working alongside other local lovers to satisfy your taste buds. 100% of the proceeds will go directly to support Fresh Roots Schoolyard Market Gardens. We’re looking forward to sharing our harvest with you!

Meet Your Farmer on May 2nd

Hello Fresh Roots 2012 CSA Members!
We are so excited you are joining our 2012 CSA! We are anticipating an abundant growing season and enjoying delicious veggies with our neighborhood community.

This year we will have forty-five members for our weekly CSA (community shared agriculture) program. We are thrilled that you are one of them.

We will be hosting a second Meet Your Farmer evening, for those of you that were unable to attend the first, introducing Fresh Roots farmers, staff, growing plans, etc. to all of you. There will be light refreshments available. Feel free to bring food, or wine and beer. It will also be a chance for CSA members to meet one another before the season begins.

When: Wednesday May 2
Time: 6:30pm-8pm
Where: 1595 E 14 (btw. Commercial Dr and Woodland)

If you have any questions, please call Ilana at 778-862-FARM.

Looking forward to sharing a delicious growing season with you! There are still a few CSA shares left – it’s not to late to join.

The Fresh Roots Farm Team

More photos from our Meet Your Farmer Night #1…