Bombastic Building

July 10, 2015 – First day at Churchill

We began our first day at Churchill with a game. It’s kind of hard to explain but it involved a lot of bunny hopping and shoelace tying.

We next got on with building our new bed and trellis. We got to saw through some planks and level the soil, not to mention using power drills to put it all together. We also tied a lot of knots and wrapped a lot of tomatoes around strings for them to grow taller. It took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, but we pulled through and became champions of building garden beds and tomato trellis’.

After a quick demonstration, we were taught how to turn on the irrigation and were off to lunch! After the delicious lunch including some dishes from veggie of the week (Radishes), we had our first leadership workshop.

We started off with a game, the Human Knot. After fruitless minutes of trying to untangle ourselves, it was clear that the knot could not be undone. So we stopped and had a great talk about leadership and the different types of roles leaders can take. We identified which ones we were and which areas of leadership where we needed to improve. Then we attempted the knot again, trying to push ourselves to step into a different type of leadership role. We still failed miserably but, it was still a lot of fun.

We ended the day off with a rousing cheer. “SOYL!!!”

Welcome to SOYL 2015

Flashback to our very first day! Here are details of our very first day of SOYL, way back 6 weeks ago. Oh the nostalgia!

WELCOME TO SOYL 2015.

The adventure has begun. Wednesday July 18 was the first day of the SOYL program, and we started off with a field trip to the amazing UBC farm. Retired professor, Dr. Art Bomke gave us an enriching workshop on the history of the local vegetation in Vancouver and different types of soils.

For most of the youth of SOYL it was our first time exploring the UBC farm. It was a truly mesmerizing experience hiking the enchanted forest. We had the opportunity to see native vegetation of Coastal BC. After, they introduced us the beautiful produce they are growing in their farm. Something peculiar about this farm is their apple orchard.They have more than 30 varieties of apples!!! with very interesting names.

Mmm Garlic <3

Our first day of official gardening started off right and sunny at David Thompson. (◕‿◕✿ We got to get our hands dirty right away by pulling some very enormous heads of garlic. They were so big they almost looked like onions.

Weighing garlic

Weighing garlic

Curing garlic

Curing garlic

After that, we broke off into teams and assessed what needed to be done right away in each garden bed. For some, we did weeding, pruning, or planting. Once each garden bed was cleaned up, we got to put our transplanting skills to the test.ᕙ(⇀‸↼‶)ᕗ

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More Transplanting

More Transplanting

There was corn, kale, Brussels sprouts, and even a few beans. Each of us got to pick a special plant that we will plant over the summer and created our master gardening list. This included dragon carrots, kale, chard, kohlrabi, spinach, Pak Choi, Hakurei Turnip, broccoli, onions, scallions, and cilantro. To top it off, we got to taste the veggie of the week prepared in a radish salsa that was extremely delicious! Over all it was a wonderful and productive first day at David Thompson to kick off the program. (●´ω`●)

Our Fabulous Group Photo

Our Fabulous Group Photo

Fermenting Fun

A couple of weekends ago, the SOYL family reunited for a Sauerkraut making workshop.

The workshop was hosted by Andrea of Rooted Nutrition. Andrea taught us about the process of fermentation and we got to make our very own sauerkraut!

Just for some context, Rooted Nutrition’s philosophy is: “Empowering people through education and by offering practical tools to come into their kitchens to prepare healthy and delicious foods with love.”

Here’s how we made our sauerkraut:

(Basically, all you need is cabbage and salt, it’s that simple!)

  • Chop up the cabbage
  • We added chopped apples and carrots for sweetness
  • AND we added beets + beet greens for colour
  • We put layers of cabbage and salt in mason jarsThe salt keeps out bad bacteria and helps the liquid come out of the plant cells for juiciness
  • We pounded the cabbage until we got out all the liquids
  • Put a jar weight on top of sauerkraut so that liquid level would come up (refer to andrea pic)
  • Bubbles start to form at the top
  • And that’s it! Now..
  • Wait 3 weeks for it to ferment fully
  • Then you can eat it!
  • Sauerkraut lasts for months, just be sure to put your jar in the fridge once you’ve open the jar, so that it lasts longer and doesn’t become too sour

Check out our sauerkraut journey…

Reasons We Love SOYL

Applications for SOYL Youth Interns is now open: soyl internship 2015

APPLY NOW

In lieu of SOYL Summer 2015 applications being open, we thought it could be helpful to give some personal insight into what the SOYL program actually means to our youth participants.

We asked SOYL intern graduates to reflect on the reasons they love SOYL so that we can share them with anyone who is considering our SOYL program.

Here’s what our youth have to say…

My favourite experience with SOYL was… harvesting vegetables. I felt a sense of achievement in growing these vegetables with my crew members. – Michelle (2014 intern)

My favourite experience with SOYL was… harvesting vegetables. I felt a sense of achievement in growing these vegetables with my crew members. – Michelle (2014 intern)

I love SOYL because… we visited different places on Community Day such as Hastings Urban Farm & Discovery Organics. – Rico (2014 intern)

I love SOYL because… we visited different places on Community Day such as Hastings Urban Farm & Discovery Organics. – Rico (2014 intern)

 liked to learn about gardening with my friends, I also liked to prepare the salads and then to bring them to SOYL and share with my friends. I also loved to be able to teach about the oyster mushrooms to the little kids. But in reality I liked everything that I did in SOYL. – Veronica (2014 intern)

liked to learn about gardening with my friends, I also liked to prepare the salads and then to bring them to SOYL and share with my friends. I also loved to be able to teach about the oyster mushrooms to the little kids. But in reality I liked everything that I did in SOYL. – Veronica (2014 intern)

I love SOYL for what it did for me. SOYL was a fun group responsibility that taught me many things I never knew about agriculture through a healthy experience in the sun. It gave me an opportunity to meet others and the community and a different way to think of the environment. It also gave me a lot of fresh vegetables, which was awesome. – Sebastian (2014 intern)

I love SOYL for what it did for me. SOYL was a fun group responsibility that taught me many things I never knew about agriculture through a healthy experience in the sun. It gave me an opportunity to meet others and the community and a different way to think of the environment. It also gave me a lot of fresh vegetables, which was awesome. – Sebastian (2014 intern)

I love SOYL because of the people. Everyone was always so kind and I made many wonderful friends. – Iris (2014 intern)

I love SOYL because of the people. Everyone was always so kind and I made many wonderful friends. – Iris (2014 intern)

Winter Market Adventure

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The SOYL year started early with a trip to the Vancouver Winter Farmers Market.

That’s right folks, Vancouver has a WINTER market!

Located at the Nat Bailey Stadium (Main & 30th), the winter market is the largest of the Vancouver Farmer’s markets. At the market there are tons of vendors selling everything from fresh greens, root vegetables, honey, cheese, ginger beer, you name it! There are also food trucks, musical acts, and just all around good vibes that are sure to make you Saturday mornings fun in the winter. Who knew our local food scene could be so vibrant in the winter?!

What did we get up to at the Market?

In fact, one of our very own SOYL employees, Tamara, works at the market and put together a scavenger hunt. We thought a scavenger hunt would be a fun, interactive way for the interns to familiarize themselves with the market. Here’s an example:

Visit the farmers who have CSA shares. What’s a CSA? If you were to get one of the boxes for your family, which would you choose and why?

In case you don’t know…

Community Supported Agriculture, often shortened to CSA, is a prepaid subscription to a farm’s produce for the season. Most CSAs give shareholders a weekly supply of veggies, herbs, fruits and sometimes even eggs and meat. You know it’s fresh and you get to meet the farm and people who grew your food! The prepaid CSA arrangements also makes it a source of financial security for the farmer. Some CSAs also incorporate farm workdays for shareholders. Pickup days vary by farm and some offer pickups at a VFM (Vancouver Farmers Market) location. (retrieved from: http://eatlocal.org/category/markets/winter-market/#csa-share-fair-jan-17)

It’s really incredible (and quite rare) to interact with the people who grow our food, and for the growers to talk directly to their customers!

After the scavenger hunt, the interns received a challenge.

The challenge: to prepare a snack for the group to share on a budget of $40

Here’s what the interns purchased:

2 loaves of bread
Creamed clover honey
Goat cheese
Apples (Ambrosia, Granny Smith, Pink Lady)
Smoked salmon
Mmmmmmm, it was a delicious snack indeed!