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Grow Something Good!

If it’s something you’re looking to plant
But your farming knowledge feels rather scant.
No worries for you
We’ve got a ‘how-to’
So get ready for your garden and transplant!

You’ve just stopped off at your Victoria Drive Vancity Branch, and now you’ve got your own seedling to take home to take care of.  Now what?

Don’t you worry, Vancity and Fresh Roots have all the tips right here on how to grow it.  If you’re looking to get out in the garden and learn more about healthy schoolyard farming – come and get involved with Fresh Roots!

How to Grow Kale

Before planting, make sure to add nutrients to your soil.  You can easily do this with any compost or fertilizer – we recommend a mushroom compost that you can pick up at any garden centre.

The recommended space for planting seedlings is 12 to 15 inches apart in rows 18 inches to 24 inches apart. When you plant your seedling, be sure to set the plant deep enough in the soil to support the plant, but generally no higher than than the base of the first leaves. Remember that this is a general suggestion that helps to make sure that your plants have enough space to grow nice and big!

Harvesting

Your kale should be ready in roughly 45 days from transplanting – yay! Harvesting is easy.

You can begin to cut individual leaves off the kale when the plant is approximately 8 to 10 inches high, starting with the outside leaves first.

If you decide to harvest the entire plant, cut the stock two inches above the soil and the plant will sprout new leaves in 1 to 2 weeks.

Make sure to harvest kale leaves before they become too old and tough. If you can’t eat the kale leaves fast enough and they begin to turn brown, pull the old leaves off and compost them.  This helps to create more airflow and reduces pest pressure.

You can also pick kale regularly and store it in the fridge for up to a week. If you choose to do so, keep it lightly moist and place it in a bag, but unsealed, in the crisper bin.

Eat and enjoy!

 

 

Canada Summer Jobs Eligibility

Canada Summer Job Eligible Employees

We’re excited to bring you onto our team for the summer. In order to us to be able to hire you under the Canada Summer Jobs Grant, you’ll need to: 

  • be between the ages of 15 and 30 at the start of employment,
  • have been registered as a full-time student in the previous academic year with the intention of returning to school in the next academic year,
  • be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or to whom refugee protection has been conferred, and
  • be legally entitled to work in Canada.
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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.

~~~~~

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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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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The Constancy of Change

“I hate change.”  Hanne and I are wheeling back from the compost bin just before lunch.

“I LOVE change!”  Hanne exclaims.  Sometimes I wish that I, too, had a slightly stronger predilection for change and transition.

I remember this brief conversation that we had a few weeks back, with a smile and touch of nostalgia.  

~~~~~

Harvest News

Remember those rainbow carrots we’d been waiting on?  The first harvest of those guys happened last week!  Sadly, it was also the week that school started, so I missed that glorious harvest day.  But the important thing is… RAINBOW CARROTS!

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This week, we harvested some pretty handsome komatsuna, green onions, and a big batch of beautiful beets!  Amongst other fresh goodness.

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Heart in my hands

Well, school has officially started, and that means that I’ll be at the farms less.

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Revenge is sweet like beets

Rain Kissed

It’s on cold, wet days like these that I am thankful for the standing water in my tub that drains at the speed of a drunken tortoise.  I am thankful for the extra moments of lapping warmth that my numb feet get to soak in.  I stop, and I stand for a minute to enjoy it.  Wiggle my toes in it.  Ahh.

~~~~~

Harvest News

The spinach is back!

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We were suppose to be offering it as “baby spinach”, but… after the crazy storm this past weekend, it kinda wasn’t really baby anymore.  More like humungous spinach.  “The spinach got drunk on water,” Gerson said.

Spinach bed post-harvest. This is pretty much how big the spinach was last week, before the deluge...

Spinach bed, post-harvest. The spinach wasn’t much bigger than this last week, and then the deluge poured down over the weekend…

Harvesting spinach this week had a touch of poignancy for me.  Spinach was the very first crop we as interns learned to harvest–pick each leaf one by one near the base of the stem, check underside for ickiness, check for yellowing on the leaf edge, practice a two-handed motion, leave the tiny leaves for regrowth… I remember feeling so sore in my shoulders and back from bending over the beds so much to pluck spinach.  Over the season, my body has gradually gotten used to it.

Dennis and Scott harvest parsley in the sea of green and rain

Dennis and Scott harvest parsley in the sea of green and rain

Big beautiful beets are back, too!

Big beautiful beets are back, too!

Hanne, Gerson, Cass and I reminisced about another wet day early in the season when we harvested spinach.  We took turns going inside the school to run our hands under warm water, and ended up bringing a tote full of it outside.  From March spinach, to September spinach.  The leaves taste of the same heartiness, only rain kissed.  Seasons do come full circle, they do.

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Cass stands triumphantly with our expatriated weeds and retired bean plants

Deep Roots Draw Up: An Epic.

I’ve just returned from a week-long family road trip to Alberta.  

The land of wild roses, giant dandelion-like globes that I am mystified by, and glacial waters that call my heart to calm and new breath.

Returning

The body – in need of a readjusting to the rhythms of the farm.  

To lifting, and bending, and yanking.

The soul – inspired once more by weeds.

They kinda are my thing.

~~~~~

Kingdom of My Heart

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9 o’clock.

Wheelbarrow filled with buckets hungry for expatriated weeds, hands ready to hit the soil,

I plop to the ground beside the bed of rainbow carrots,

Knees up against the damp alleyway strewn with grass-suppressing burlap.

Ready to weed, I am!

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Big and Small

Big and small.  

Small and Big.  

Never one-size-fits all.

~~~~~

Harvest News

A smaller harvest this week meant enjoying the unfamiliar feeling of being unrushed.  ‘Twas much appreciated!

Getting ready to swish-swish frisee

Javi and Cass – getting ready to swish-swish frisee

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Harvest blades

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