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May 2016 Newsletter

Fresh From Fresh Roots

Over the past two weeks, Fresh Roots has been invited to speak with teachersfunders and industry membersthought leaders and professors from across British Columbia to explore what we can do to support a sustainable food and education system that focuses on ensuring that everyone has access to healthy, good, and local food. Here are some of my takeaway moments:

1.  Teachers are incredible force for innovation. Check out what’s happening in Chilliwack or Delta, for new farms on school grounds.  We’re excited to support these projects as we can.

2.  The new BC curriculum creates so many opportunities for teachers and students to use experiential learning through the farms – let’s take that opportunity to explore math, science, literature through a lens of indigeneity and sustainability. We had an incredible field trip exploring these themes just this past month. Come and plant with us! 

3.  SOYL (our summer internship program) focuses on providing job skills training, food literacy, and self-confidence.  And it’s in high demand  We had twice the number of applications as we had spots for youth. We’re excited to help provide healthy food for all youth during the summer. Learn more here.

4.  Almost 1/3 of food produced globally is thrown away.  THAT’S A LOT – Even if just one-fourth of the food currently lost or wasted globally could be saved, it would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people in the world.  Learn more through the FAO.

5.  We grow healthy food – and, we help help support an urban connection with food and food systems to remind youth of the intimate connection we all have with land, food, and community. Come and eat with us and with rural farmers who are getting more food to the plate than we ever could.  Cheers to them.

6.  Singing feels good – so come and join Rhythm and Roots Choir for a show where the proceeds are going right back into Fresh Roots.  Get your tickets now.

With a fistful of sunshine,

Marc – feeling like a nice summer kale salad with fresh salmon, and crumbled feta with a mustard vinaigrette – Schutzbank

Chief Poet and Executive Director

 

Salad Rainbow

Farmer’s Log

Thanks to the incredible weather, fertile soil and a little elbow grease, the fields are producing the most beautiful greens and roots in such great abundance we can hardly keep up!  Thankfully, we have some extra help from our new-hires, Allie, our new Good Food Distribution Coordinator and Cody our Schoolyard Farm Worker. With these two on the team we’ll be growing and selling more food than ever before.

– Farmer Charlotte

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New Volunteer Postings – Support SOYL Youth this Summer

Fresh Roots and UBC Faculty of Education’s Intergenerational Landed Learning program have been excitedly collaborating and planning to produce our most exciting year of SOYL youth programming yet!

The SOYL summer employment and leadership program empowers secondary students to cultivate and steward food gardens on school grounds for learning, community building and growing Good Food for All. Through the program, youth develop skills in growing, cooking and selling food, as well as a greater connection to themselves, their community, and the Vancouver food system. They also receive a stipend, community service hours and work experience credit for their contributions. See our SOYL page for more details.

SOYL includes weekly Community Eats lunches, and we have some special volunteer needs to help make this program a reality.

  1. Volunteer Chefs (4 positions) – applications are due June 12th
  2. Delivery for Community Eats Volunteer (1 position) – applications are due June 26th

Click on the above links for more details, and contact us at volunteer@freshroots.ca if you have any further questions.

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You’re invited – Farm to School BC’s Spring Celebration Event April 27th

Join us for Farm to School BC‘s Spring Celebration Event on Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 at Vancouver Technical Secondary School!

This interactive evening includes a chance to network, learn, eat, discuss, and be inspired by local Farm to School programs. This event will include youth from our VanTech Garden Club offering tours of our very own VanTech Schoolyard Market Garden, information on sourcing local food, and contributions from our local Environmental Health Office, Environmental Youth AllianceGrowing Chefs, and Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC)!

Furthermore, there will be delicious produce from Fresh Roots’ Schoolyard Market Gardens to contribute to a healthy and scrumptious dinner!

More details on the agenda can be found here.

Everyone is invited! Make sure to register for this free event by April 21st.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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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.

VSB and Fresh Roots Partner to Create Large School Market Garden at Van Tech

Media Release

VSB and Fresh Roots Partner to Create Large School Market Garden at Van Tech

Vancouver, BC (June 13, 2012) – The Vancouver School Board and non-profit Fresh Roots signed a partnership agreement paving the way for a quarter acre landscaped school market garden. The agreement is the first of its kind in Canada.

“We’re combining local food, urban agriculture and education at our schools,” says Kevin Millsip, Sustainability Coordinator for the VSB. “The work we’re doing on urban agriculture is important and we’re very happy to work with Fresh Roots to take farm to school to the next level.”

The school’s market garden will be specifically designed to provide both an educational space where students can learn about agriculture and gardening while growing Asian greens, salad greens, beets, carrots, garlic and a variety of other vegetables that grow in parallel to the school year. By synchronizing the growing season of the garden with the school year, organizers say students will reap the benefits of a fall and winter harvest.

“Hundreds of children in schools in Vancouver eat our schoolyard grown veggies with huge smiles on their faces because they learn and play in the spaces where their food grows and know their farmers,” said Ilana Labow, a Director with Fresh Roots. “We are so excited to grow a large-scale hands-on learning classroom that will make it possible for thousands of children to share in the same experience.”

School Board officials say the partnership opens up a whole range of possibilities at a time that the district is seeking new ideas to repurpose existing land and facilities in lieu of declining enrolment and fiscal challenges.

“This is a wonderful example of the VSB taking an unusable space and repurposing it into something that’s aesthetically pleasing, educationally engaging and sustainable,” says Rob Wynen, a School Trustee with the Vancouver School Board.

Fresh Roots has already collaborated with the district on a pilot garden project at Queen Alexandra Elementary. The scale of the Van Tech project is expected to dwarf the Queen Alexandra pilot. Fresh Roots organizers say a future market garden is already being planned for David Thompson Secondary.

Photos of the groundbreaking available. For more information or to arrange an interview:
Kurt Heinrich
Public Relations and Media Specialist

Vancouver School Board
1580 West Broadway | vsb.bc.ca
p: 604-713-5074 | c: 778-228-1610 | e: kheinrich@vsb.bc.ca |
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