Earth Day Birthday Bash Recap

Last month, in celebration the 10th anniversary of Fresh Roots’ first schoolyard farm, we held an Earth Day Birthday Bash on April 25, 2023 at the Vancouver Technical schoolyard farm, gathering together as a community where it all started.

Our hearts are full after a wonderful family-friendly reunion of old and new friends that have journeyed alongside us in this decade of schoolyard farms. A special thanks to our event sponsor, Orowheat, for helping us make the event accessible, as well as East Van MP Jenny Kwan, the Tiddley Morris Cove dancers, Marc Schutzbank, Malcolm Key, CityReach Care Society, Vancouver Urban Food Forest Foundation (VUFFF), Grandview-Woodlands Food Connection, and Farm to School BC for being part of our community and our event! A big shoutout to our staff and volunteers for engaging the community through storytelling, veggie stamping, boot tossing, farming, and community salad, especially to Chef Tasha, who leads the Total Education LunchLAB program, for making such a delicious cake for folks of all dietary backgrounds!

Finally, thank YOU for not only attending the event, but being part of our community in the last 10 years. To celebrate you and what we do together, here is the thoughtful poem shared by our former Executive Director, Marc Schutzbank, at the Earth Day Birthday Bash:

It’s been ten years since we planted first seeds
Before signed contracts and school board deeds
In that time when the board did ask
If we have cows – can we cut the grass?

In turn thousands have come through this place
This community has nurtured this growing space;
Transforming classrooms, now nature informed
Outdoor learning, sun-kissed and warmed

And as we celebrate this ten-year feat,
We honor the students who made it complete,
Who worked alongside their teachers and peers
And let’s not forget the staff, some who are here!

May these gardens continue to thrive and grow,
Inspiring generations that come to know,
The value of nature, the beauty it brings
And the power of community to grow like spring.

So let us celebrate this grand affair,
Empowering youth and food we can share!

With sunshine,

Fresh Roots


Check out THIS LINK to view our event photos on Facebook, taken by Whitney Tfankedjian Photography.

Grandview Garden

Grandview¿uuqinak’uuh Elementary Garden Happenings

At Grandview¿uuqinak’uuh Elementary School, we are in full swing with spring growth. This is the perfect time to look back at the seeds we’ve planted since the beginning of the year to get to this point where the students are harvesting, cooking, and connecting with the native plants growing.

We are fortunate to receive funding from Vancouver Coastal Health which allows for me to spend two days at the school teaching and cooking with the students. Every student at Grandview¿uuqinak’uuh Elementary School spends at least 30 minutes a week learning outdoors in the garden. Many more spend even more time helping out in the garden at recess!

I’ve been learning right alongside the students. In fall, we learned alongside the school’s Indigenous Education Enhancement Worker how to harvest and dry medicinal tobacco and sage leaves to share with our local community. We noticed how the seasons changed and that nothing is better than raking the biggest leaf pile and jumping in it (teachers included!) We learned that plants make seeds, which we can harvest and save for future years. We celebrated the harvest season by learning to cut apples with knives and making pumpkin granola bites.

In winter, we learned about the water cycle and that we can create creeks and lakes in our schoolyard. We learned what creatures live in the garden and how they store food for the winter. We reintroduced the beloved salad bar and cooked kale chips, delicate squash, and many salad dressings. We shared pride in cooking and sharing a meal together and found joy in trying new foods. We celebrated Lunar New Year by cooking dumplings and thinking about how other cultures ring in the new year.

Class taco lunch! Every student helped make this lunch possible by chopping vegetables, shredding lettuce, grating cheese, and setting the table.

And now, here we are in spring. We’ve planted our garden with old and new favourites. We’ve cared for our worms, making them many houses, and learned to conserve water. Right now, we’re in the midst of watching our strawberries get pollinated and begin to grow their new fruit. We’re learning about our local native plants by making medicinal teas. Soon, we will wrap up our school year with a month of harvesting for salads, spring rolls, and pesto which we will cook outside.

Medicinal plant teas, complete with chive straws and dandelion umbrellas. Tea includes flower red currant flowers, oregon grape leaves, Nootka rose petals, lemon balm, and mint.

Spending time in the garden connects us with the land. Many students share that the garden is their favourite place at school. It’s the place they can get messy, make “candies” to share out of leaves and flowers, care for the plants and animals, and learn hands-on. We’re grateful for the opportunity, time and funding to fully give back, connect, enjoy and engage with the land.

One class is participating in FarmFolk CityFolk’s citizen seed trial. They are growing, observing and collecting data on different types of peas, turnips and radishes. Soon we will do our taste tests to share with scientists which varieties are the yummiest and healthiest.


2022 Impact Report

Our 2022 Impact Report with you is fresh off the press! Click on the image below to view.

Here’s a sneak peak from Alexa Pitoulis, our Executive Director at Fresh Roots:

“An important reflection that repeatedly emerges in our strategic conversations is how Fresh Roots creates inclusive, diverse and safe spaces for youth to fully express themselves, and empowers them to engage in their identities and values. This is core to who we are, and it is in how we create these spaces that allow kids, youth and staff to learn and grow in incredible way

Please join us for one of our 10th year anniversary celebration events! It’s because of YOU and your support that we have achieved so much.”

Thank you to everyone who was part of the community last year. Tickets to our Annual Schoolyard Longtable Dinner fundraiser are on sale now! As we reflect on 2022 and our 10th anniversary, help us continue to create more impactful opportunities for youth and kids on schoolyard farms for years to come.

If you would like to request a physical copy, please email, otherwise, it is available to view online here:


2023 Longtable Tickets are now on sale!

Named “The Most Worthy Longtable Dinner of the Summer” by Vancouver Magazine in 2019, the Fresh Roots Schoolyard Harvest Longtable Dinner is back after a 3-year hiatus. Get your tickets to our most anticipated annual fundraiser before they sell out!

You’re invited for a meaningful, enchanting summer evening on the David Thompson schoolyard farm as we celebrate local food, community, and youth while raising critical funds to support Fresh Roots’ impactful programs.

At $250 per person, your ticket gives your exclusive access to an elegant chef-prepared multi-course, seated dinner, led by Chef TJ of Ono Vancouver and in collaboration with select partner chefs (to be revealed soon!), made with locally sourced ingredients from our schoolyard farms and community partners, and paired with an open bar of a wide selection of wine, beer, and other beverages.

A portion of your ticket supports our youth and kids on schoolyard farms, giving more opportunities for them to connect with their land, food, and community through experiential learning and youth empowerment. Join us as we reminisce on 10 years of impact together while looking forward to what’s to come. Stay tuned for more information about the event!