Food Asset Map

by Daily Hive Staff

Vancouver Coastal Health’s Food Asset Map is a tool to find places where people grow, prepare, share, buy, receive and learn about food.

And now, it’s inspiring others, like Devon Green, a Vancouver man in his mid-20s who knows what it’s like to be hungry.

“I was living on the streets of Vancouver with no food, no money and no clue how to access resources,” said Green.

Motivated by his experience, and inspired by the Vancouver Food Asset Map, Devon is now trying to help at risk youth who might otherwise go hungry.

The Vancouver Food Asset Map was developed by VCH public health dietitians in partnership with UBC Land and Food systems students and instructors, Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks, the City of Vancouver, and Fresh Roots.

Map features ‘hundreds’ of locations
The map contains hundreds of locations where people can access food—from community gardens and kitchens to convenience stores –and includes locations of free and subsidized grocery items and free/low cost meals.

Specialty food stores, supermarkets and seasonal markets are also included.

“When people are working 12 hours a day, six days a week and taking transit and perhaps don’t have full cooking facilities, they need to know where they can get a litre of milk and a loaf of bread,” said Kathy Romses, Public Health Dietitian, VCH.

“At school, if kids aren’t eating, they aren’t learning,” said Marc Schutzbank, Executive Director of Fresh Roots. “Food is a way for us to engage youth so they can build supportive peer networks and trusting relationships with adults to develop the skills they need to succeed.”

For the full article: http://dailyhive.com/vancouver/food-asset-map-vancouver-2017

Wood Carving

A small but brave group of community members met for the first wood carving workshop. Working with the tool is tricky at first. Some of us muscle it through the wood, others go with the flow of the wood grain. Some even use the wood’s knots for inspiration, such as the little critter. – Sophie Noel

          

The SOYL Program — Much more than simply farm work

What did you first think when you heard about the SOYL Program?

I first heard about it attending the VSB’s 2016 Sustainability Conference.

During the conference’s opportunities fair, Fresh Roots had a small booth in the very corner with a little orange poster. I think I nearly missed it, but fate would have me approaching the Fresh Roots booth while I was waiting for people to clear up around the, quite honestly, much more exciting-looking booth beside it.

There, I was greeted by a friendly girl who gave me the rundown of the program. As she spoke, I began to think: would I be willing to spend my entire summer working on a schoolyard farm? Performing all the laborious tasks needed to grow vegetables? Outside, in the hot summer heat?

Heck yeah I would.

You see, while most sixteen-year-olds would be turned off by the idea of working on a farm, I was in love with it. I started getting involved in environmentally-focused volunteer work in grade 9, and over time I ended up developing a huge passion for environmentalism. Before SOYL, I was an avid volunteer for nature day camps at the Surrey Nature Centre. I was also, at one point, part of something called the Salmon Habitat Restoration Program, which allowed me to spend my last summer removing invasive species and doing industrial education work around the city.

Growing and maintaining a garden was something I had absolutely no knowledge about at the time, and it’s because of Fresh Roots that I’ve been able to learn how to do that. Thank you Fresh Roots.

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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.  

Read More

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Professional Development October 20th

Are you interested in starting or using a school garden as a year-round learning ground, but don’t know how to get started? Do you need tips for working with groundskeepers and administrators? Would you like to meet like-minded teachers with whom to network and share ideas? Join us for the first of a series of courses connecting you to the soil and to one another.

Spend a delightful day at UBC’s Botanical Gardens:
We’ll spend the morning reviewing the VSB’s new garden education guide, Rooted in Place, that details how to establish and use school gardens as year-round learning grounds to cultivate inquiry. You’ll learn the basics of garden care, connect garden learning to curriculum standards, consider seasonal rhythms of the school garden, and connect to helpful resources and local experts.

After enjoying a long-table lunch together, we’ll spend the afternoon immersed in an active experience in Vancouver’s oldest demonstration Food Garden and Greenheart TreeWalk canopy walkway. Our Sustainable Field School experience promotes teamwork, creativity and fun through activities such as exploring the aerial trail system perched in the canopy of the temperate rainforest and tasting food fresh from the garden. We will explore important themes such as interconnection, communication, collaboration, leadership, innovation and mindfulness through:
• Connecting and networking with like-minded educators
• Experiential learning in our 80 acre outdoor classroom
• Enhancing capacity and skillsets for food garden education with experts

To enrol in the course: http://www2.vsb.bc.ca/vsbprograms/Prod/register.htm?page=workshopdetails&workshopid=2872

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South Van 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 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!

Jam, jam, jam

Jam is delicious. What I’m saying is, I really like jam. I also really like blueberries. So what could be better than a nice jar of blueberry jam? Making blueberry jam, of course!  Canning the jars of Blueberry Honey Lavender Jam was an extremely fun and surprisingly tiring experience. We spent all day measuring, boiling, mixing, pouring, wiping, washing, and canning. Not to mention that there were constantly at least three pots of water boiling water and the sun was shining through the windows!

 

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Food Skills Workshops

In July, Fresh Roots had the pleasure of inviting our friends from Collingwood Neighbourhood House to host a food skills workshop in our kitchen at the Norquay Field House. Using local herbs from community gardens, we were able to make a delicious lemon-balm tea, herb butter and pesto. We had a great turn out, and it was so much fun seeing members of the community coming together to share Good Food.

It was so great, we’re going to do it again on Friday, August 25.  The workshop will be from 12pm- 2pm in the Norquay Field House Food Hub, and will involve using fruit from the Vancouver Fruit Tree Project to do some canning and/or jam making. Everyone is welcome to come and share Good Food! Please email david.cnhfood@gmail.com or info@freshroots.ca if you plan on attending so that we can ensure we bring enough fruit to go around!