Campers say Camp Fresh Roots is “Really Fun”

By Kat Vriesema-Magnuson, Experiential Learning Manager

We’ve heard from a number of Experiential Learning staff this year about their experiences on our team. This month, I thought we should turn it over to the most important members of the team: the kids. I interviewed campers during our EcoWonders camp at David Thompson, and here’s what they had to say:

What do you think about Camp Fresh Roots?

“It’s really fun.”- Multiple campers

“It’s very enjoyable.” – Age 9

“I never knew we would be cooking this much and I really like cooking.” – Age 7

What’s your favourite part?

“Cooking. We made curry and rice and brownies.” – Age 8

“The brownies.” – multiple campers

“The Curry. It had swiss chard, potatoes, and carrots.” – Age 10

“My favourite part is that we get to make food and harvest and learn all the types of plants” – Age 7

“We do lots of different games and fun things”. – age 6

“I like the games. My favourite is Fruit Salad. That’s all you need to know from me.” – age 6

What is Camp Fresh Roots about?

“It’s about plants and games and arts & crafts and fun.”- Age 7

“It’s about the environment and helping” – Age 8

“It’s all about nature and plants and learning about them. There’s lots of nature here.” – Age 7

Well, that about sums it up. Camps will be over for the year in just a couple weeks, but we’re already gearing up to welcome field trips in late September and October. After a much needed rest!

Oh, and that brownie recipe the kids all love? It’s easy, vegan, made with zucchini, and extremely delicious. You can find it here:


Silent Auction – Backyard Harvest Dinner with Friends 2021

Introducing the Fresh Roots Silent Auction! This year for the Backyard Harvest Dinner with Friends, we are hosting a virtual silent auction with the event to fundraise for our youth program. All proceeds of this auction directly benefit SOYL (Sustainable Opportunities Youth Leadership), which engages and empowers youth.

Auction will remain open for one hour after the Backyard Harvest Dinner with Friends virtual event on August 19th, closing at 8 PM. Winners will be contacted by Fresh Roots with instructions to redeem their prizes.

Even if you are not able to make it to the Backyard Harvest Dinner, this is a great way to get involved in this year’s celebration. Click on the images below to start bidding!


#1 – Fresh Roots – Week of 2022 Summer Camp

Camp Fresh Roots is the best place for your child to grow next summer. A full week at Camp Fresh Roots lets campers ages 6 to 11 dig deep, ask questions, find answers, and connect with the wider community! All full week programs include a farm fresh snack Monday-Thursday and lunch prepared by staff and campers once a week. Full day programs also take a walking field trip or have a special guest each week. Camps are located at either the schoolyard farm at David Thompson Secondary in Vancouver or Suwa’lkh School in Coquitlam. Click here to explore our different camp options.

Valued at $370.

#2 – Fresh Roots – 2022 Full Season CSA Box Subscription

School your salad with this 20-week program lets you eat fresh and seasonally throughout the season, while also supporting Fresh Roots Schoolyard Market Gardens. For an average of $22.50/box, you get a week’s worth of produce: greens, root vegetables, fruits (like tomatoes and squash!) and herbs. Your Veggie Box will change with the season, containing 5-7 items and providing you with an amazing range of vegetables grown with care using organic practices. This is a chance to eat in an attuned way with our BC seasonality, and to discover new foods and cooking traditions. Our newsletter will provide you with recipes and ideas on how to prepare your veggies, as well as stories about the farm and programs.

Valued at $450.

#3 – Café Ético – Morning Coffee Set

Start your morning by supporting fair trade farmers when you enjoy this delectable dark roast espresso, with dark plummy notes, hints of chocolate and a sweet, velvety finish, complemented with a CoDevelopment Canada mug.

Valued at $25.




#4 – Susgrainable – Cookie & Pancake Prize Pack

Integrate sweet with sustainable with this pancake and cookie prize pack. This includes

  • A re-usable tote bag
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
  • Pancake & Waffle Mix
  • ChopValue Susgrainable Limited Edition Coaster Set.

Valued at $50.


#5 – Coho – Local Businesses Prize Box & $25 Gift Card

Explore a wide selection of BIPOC Vancouver-based organizations with this exclusive prize box that brings to you meaningful brands in the Lower Mainland. The winner will receive:

Valued at $100.

#6 – Backcountry Brewing – Ultimate Prize Pack & $50 Gift Card

Take your drinking experience to a whole ‘nother level with apparel and merchandise, beer, hot sauce and gift card to have the ultimate backcountry adventure. This prize includes one Backcountry hoodie, two IPA glasses, one mixed 4-pack of beer, one ball cap hat, one waffle-knit toque, one t-shirt, one12oz bottle of Backcountry Beer-Infused hot sauce, and one $50 gift card.

Valued at $250.


#7 – Saul Good Gift Co. – Local Gourmand Gift Basket

Get a taste for Vancouver with these local favourite products. Inspired by the 100-mile diet, this gift basket showcase some of BC’s best-loved artisan products. It has been a perennial best seller for as long as we can remember, and for good reason. The quality, quantity, and composition of these gift baskets make them ultra-easy to take home and enjoy for weeks to come. And equally, if not more importantly, this gift doesn’t just say “thanks,” it expresses how much you truly appreciate everything your clients or co-workers have done.

What’s Included in this gift basket:

Valued at $155.

#8 – Organic Ocean – ‘Bring Your Sexy Back’ Seafood Couples Pack

Dive into romantic seafood dinners with your partner. With approximately 14 servings, the Organic Ocean Couples Pack has you covered impress the love in your life with a good variety of seafood.

You’re getting a lot of seafood, which is why we’ve frozen, and individually sealed each of these items for easy storage in your freezer at home. Additionally, this careful process ensures Organic Ocean’s strict standards for health and quality are maintained.

What’s included with the Couples Pack:

  • 2 pcs – Wild Sockeye Salmon Portions 6 oz, Boneless – Ocean Wise
  • 2 pcs – Wild BC Halibut Portions 6 oz, Skinless, Vacuum Packed – Ocean Wise
  • 2 pcs – Wild BC Lingcod Portions 6 oz, Skin-on, Vacuum Packed – Ocean Wise
  • 2 pc – Wild Albacore Haidacore™ Tuna 1/2 Loin, Hook and Line Caught – Ocean Wise
  • 1 tub – Wild BC Humpback Shrimp Tails, 1 lb tub

Valued at $110.

#9 – Organic Ocean – ‘Set The Table’ Seafood Family Pack

Feast on the fruits of the oceans with your loved ones. Whether it’s for family or hosting guests, the Organic Ocean Family Pack is perfect for when you have to Set the Table to feed a bunch of hungry people all craving a seafood dinner buffet. This pack is also great for seafood lovers who want to prepare a different meal each and everyday. With approximately 40 servings in this pack, we assure you there will be more than enough to go around.

You’re getting a lot of seafood, which is why we’ve frozen, and individually sealed each of these items for easy storage in your freezer at home. Additionally, this careful process ensures Organic Ocean’s strict standards for health and quality are maintained.

What’s included with the Family Pack:

  • 2 pcs – Wild Sockeye Salmon Fillets, Skin-on, Boneless – Ocean Wise
  • 4 pcs – Wild BC Halibut Portions – 6oz each, Skinless, Vacuum Packed – Ocean Wise
  • 4 pcs – Wild BC Lingcod Portions – 6oz each, Skin-On, Vacuum Packed – Ocean Wise
  • 2 pcs – Wild Albacore Haidacore™ Tuna Loin – Ocean Wise
  • 2 pks – Hokkaido Dry Scallops, 1lb/pk – Ocean Wise
  • 2 pks – Wild Blue Shrimp, 1lb/pk – Fair Trade Certified

Valued at $240.

#10 – Vessi – $135 Gift Card

Enjoy Vancouver in any weather with a new pair of Vessi’s famous sneakers. This gift card gives you access to their wide selection of shoes to fit all of your outdoor needs. Using modern tech, they are 100% waterproof, breathable, lightweight, and 100% vegan.

Valued at $135.




#11 – Reusable Bubble Tea Cup – Gift Set Duo

Get eco-friendly with your bubble tea consumption with this reusable bubble tea cup gift set. The set includes two Reusable BBT Cups with bamboo lids, two stainless steel wide straws in a colour of your choice, two straw cleaning brushes for wide straws, two bamboo straw cases, and a greeting card printed on 100% paper to gift to a boba lover in your life.

Valued at $45.


12 – Baaad Anna’s – Beginner Knitting Class

Jump start your new favourite hobby from the comfort of your home with this Online Knitting Class via Zoom. This is a beginner knitting class for anyone who has never picked up needles, or for someone who is looking for a beginner refresher. Participants will learn the basics including casting on, knitting, purling and casting off. The class project will be a choice between a simple cowl or arm warmers. All the materials you need ti get started are included with registration.

Valued at $95.


#13 – 2 Guys With Knives – $100 Gift Card

Meet your fitness and health goals with ease with prepared meals from 2 Guys With Knives. Whether it be paleo, keto, vegan, easily modify your meal to fit your specific dietary needs.

Valued at $100.




#14 – With/On – Kimchi Trio Set

Spice up your everyday meals with this delicious kimchi set. The winner will receive a taste of With/On’s local products – one jar of Traditional Napa Kimchi, one jar of Cubed Radish Kimchi and one jar of House Napa + Daikon Kimchi. Choice of regular or vegan kimchi.

Valued at $35.




#15 – Dirty Apron – Hands-On Cooking Classes for Two

Sharpen your cooking skills with your foodie friend or partner in this unforgettable culinary experience. During the hands-on classes, our experienced and engaging chef instructors walk students through each step required in crafting a complete meal of appetizer, entrée and dessert. After the preparation and plating of each dish is finished, students gather at the communal dining table in the stylish dining room to enjoy their creations alongside a glass of wine, while the staff takes care of the dirty dishes. Students use only the best tools of the trade thanks to partnerships with All Clad cookware, Wusthof knives, Wolf ranges, and Sub Zero fridges.

Check out the calendar of upcoming classes here for more information.

Valued at $380.

#16 – The Pie Shoppe – Date Nite Package

Date night has never looked so ‘ap-pie-tizing’ with this perfect romantic bundle. Included is one savoury pie (choice of fish, meat, vegetarian, or vegan), one bottle of BC Natural Wine by Rathjen Cellars in Vancouver Island (choice of red or white), two slices of seasonal fruit pie, and one locally-crafted chocolate bar.

Valued at $80.



#17 – Tantalus Vineyards – Wine Tasting for 4 with Prize Package

Experience the the fine wines of the Okanagan Valley with a Flagship Tasting Experience for 4 people. There, the winner will also receive a bottle of Tantalus’ 2020 Bear Chardonnay, a bottle of their 2019 Pinot Noir, a jar of Arlo’s Honey farm honey that is farmed on their vineyard site, and a Tantalus merchandise market tote bag.

Valued at $150.


#18 – Backyard Eden – Garden Installation

Create the backyard garden of your dreams with this in-ground garden installation to convert up to 100 ft2 of grass into garden space. What’s included – soil, organic soil amendments, mulch, and material for a crisp edge liner.

Valued at $400.



#19 – Granville Island Broom Co. – Essential Set of Handcrafted Brooms

Get swept away by local handmade, long-lasting brooms. This set comes with three of the essential brooms you’ll need to make your home fabulous:

  • The Compact Sweeper (53” long) – their smaller sized floor broom, great for all purpose sweeping.
  • The Small Cobwebber (40” long) – their short handle cobwebber is meant for reaching into hard to get places and clearing away cobwebs.
  • The Turkey Wing Style Whisk – their most versatile whisk broom, for cleaning up messes in a home or workshop, great for use with dustpans

Valued at $105.

#20 – Vancouver Water Adventures – Kayak or Paddleboard Rental for Four

Glide through False Creek on a water adventure with friends and family. The winner will receive 2-hour equipment rentals, kayak or paddleboard, for up to 4 guests.

Valued at $190.



#21 – The Learnary – The ‘Bookworm’ Prize Kit

Curl up with a good book over your perfect of tea with this prize pack, perfect for the nature bookworm in your life!

The pack includes:

  • a sturdy canvas “be curious” tote bag
  • a ceramic chalkboard “be curious” mug
  • a Field Guide to Bats
  • “I Love Dirt: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature”

Valued at $65.

#22 – YVR Cookie – Signature Gourmet Cookies Gift Box


Discover the hype and bring out your inner cookie monster with these delicious, jumbo cookies that will make you running for more. Enjoy five locally-made Gourmet Cookies of your preference, packaged in a two-piece box set along with a personalized message and satin ribbon.

Valued at $45.


#23 – Academie Duello – Longsword, Rapier, or Archery 1-Month Course


Unleash thy inner knighthood with this fundamental course for either Longsword, Rapier or Archery. This is a 1-month beginner course that give you a basic skill in either of these weapons. There are eight 1-hour classes per course. Click here for more information about each type of program.

Valued at $180.





How to Register for the Silent Auction

Text: freshroots followed by your full name

To: +12267980488

Example: freshroots John Smith



Click on the ‘Register’ button

Enter your details and click ‘Register’


Scan the QR code below

Get your dinner event tickets by August 13: 





#SOYLyouth 2021 – Austin

by Austin Webber, SOYL Vancouver Mentor

As a mentor in SOYL, I have witnessed so much growth in a short time of three weeks. Members and mentors of the program have grown so much in this packed three weeks of the program and will continue to learn and grow. In the beginning, members and mentors, including myself, were a bit shy and didn’t want to introduce themselves. But, by the end of the first day, everyone got more comfortable and talkative. As a team, we have gained knowledge about different plants, vegetables, nutrition, and cooking. Everyone in SOYL this year is working extremely hard and getting so much done, which is a huge contribution to making the farms successful.

After the first half of the program, I have gained so many new friendships by working with the crew members and mentors and getting to know them better. I have learned much more in my second year as a mentor. For example, there are tons of plants used for medicine like Nettle which can lower symptoms of allergies like hay fever. A field trip that really stood out was going to VanDusen Botanical Gardens to walk around and explore nature at its fullest. This field trip really stood out because I learned how plants live the same lives as humans – by growing, eating, reproducing, and moving just like humans. Not only is SOYL such an amazing opportunity, but it also flourishes to connect the community to learn, and grow.

Learn more about the SOYL program HERE.


Farmer’s Log, Seed Date August 1, 2021

You know what I like about August? There are actually very few seed dates this month. This translates to two things: one, there isn’t enough time left in the season to plant much; and two, I get to focus on making flower bouquets instead of seeding in the greenhouse. 

When Galen (the SOYL – Sustainable Opportunities for Youth Leadership Program Manager) told me that flowers were a big program at Fresh Roots, I was like, “pffffffft can’t eat flowers.” But then, one morning, I covered Isobel’s early shift harvesting and bunching blooms and now, I cannot get enough. I’m kind of obsessed. They fill me with colour and joy and I see it extend into the hands of our market goers. Flowers are amazing. 

While very attractive to humans, flowers don’t appear to interest many pests besides insects, which is a huge bonus in the urban landscape. I cannot say the same for our veggies. We lost a full planting (about 60 heads) of kohlrabi, 90% of our broccoli and about 75% of our cauliflower to rodents. The disappearances happen almost over night. They’ve also started munching our ripening tomatoes but we have implemented some tech to try and prevent such massive losses. Other pressures unique to urban farming resulted in the loss of our entire snow pea crop, an average loss of about 60% of our kohlrabi plantings, and about 30% loss of our butter lettuce. Naturally, I expect some cream skimmed off the top with hands reaching through fences for a tomato or zucchini here and there, but I’ve witnessed people show up to the farm with huge buckets and knives, expecting to reap in the bounty of veggies planned and paid-for by our CSA members. 

In addition to having our veggies taken, the Fresh Roots truck catalytic converter was swiped the day-of our last ICC market in July. This meant we couldn’t finish our harvest for the market so our shelves and CSA Veggie Boxes were a little scant. 

Another pressure that is kind of funny has been a fisherman! We call him “worm dude” because he digs for worms in our freshly seeded beds. I had been wondering what was causing these circles of failed germination all over our beet beds, so when I saw him digging the other day I was relieved to learn we didn’t have another weird fungus on top of our ongoing club root and lettuce drop. That said, it has resulted in about 30% failed germination in our beets and carrots. Strangely, the crop circles have continued since I explained to him the effects of worm digging. Maybe he is not the only fisherman looking for bait.   

It sounds like I have a lot to complain about right now, but it’s only because July and August are our busiest, and most productive months. With harvest comes reaping, and work, and sweat, and competition. These frustrations also come in-hand with growing food in the city. In permaculture we say farmers have to work with what we have, rather than against it. Stolen food and catalytic converters is an indication that our city is rife with food insecurity, poverty, and desperation. Right down the road from our flagship garden at Van Tech is the mobile home city that was recently threatened with eviction. Meanwhile, free-range rodents up the hill are living an organic lifestyle foraging our fields. The discrepancy is gut-wrenching. 

Recently, the entire staff of Fresh Roots were invited to a workshop on anti-oppression. It was an impressively comprehensive guide to the key concepts and terminology used in identifying oppression, and was scheduled a couple weeks after Canada Day. This July, I witnessed the farm team digest what’s happening in the world around them and really apply their thoughts and feelings to it all. We have spent many of our harvest hours with our hands busy while our mouths discuss weird movies, what our band name would be, and also the continuing effects of Colonialism. Watching these ideas grow in the minds of young people, and then to witness them take action on them is nothing short of inspiring. 

As an organization, Our Lady Fresh Roots is proactive and progressive in the way that it creates intern opportunities for youth and connects children with the source of their food. That said, there is so much space to grow! Recently, in an interview with the BC Association of Farmers Markets, Alexa (our Executive Director) and I were asked what it is like to be doing land-based work in light of the recent residential school findings and this incredible Indigenous Uprising that is happening. To be honest, it was hard to find the right words to answer that question. It means a lot for me, as a white person of mostly settler descent, to be doing land-based work to heal my own ancestral trauma. Doing land-based work also reminds me of my responsibility to commit to the process of interrogating my own complacence with colonialism, and challenges me further to work into allyship with the forever-keepers of this land I inhabit. Land-based work in a fraught and hectic urban environment highlights the inequity of food accessibility even further. 

Once the tomato harvest is done in October and I have a moment to enjoy the cool fall breeze, I’ll tuck into some tea and commit time to taking the teachings the young folks on the farm team have offered me to the core team. That is what the off-season is all about. Until then, we shall continue to ruminate in the fields on gnarly turnips and heartfelt ideas about justice and equity. 

-Farmer Camille