September 30th is the first-ever National Day for Truth and Reconciliation a federal holiday established to honour residential school survivors and the lives of those who did not return. We wanted to share some ideas from our team about how you can recognize the day and take actionable steps toward reconciliation.
Fresh Roots will be closed and will recognize the day as a paid statutory holiday to allow for time to engage meaningfully with this important day.
We’ve compiled a few ideas of things you can check out and explore in honour of the day:
Attend on September 30th
Orange Shirt Day-Every Child Matters 9:00am assemble outside of the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre (1607 E Hastings St) and walk to Grandview Park where there will be a ceremony and activities (lunch, drum circle, crafting and sharing) until 2:00pm
94 calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In a summary report released earlier this year, the commission published 94 “calls to action” urging all levels of government — federal, provincial, territorial and aboriginal — to work together to change policies and programs in a concerted effort to repair the harm caused by residential schools and move forward with reconciliation. The act of reading these recommendations is an important step toward reconciliation. And taking it one step further to figure out ways to actively engage with the calls to action.
Summary of the Indian Act: A brief, plain language explanation of an act which is still in effect today in spite of its initial objective of control and assimilation, to “continue until there is not a single Indian in Canada that has not been absorbed into the body politic, and there is no Indian question, and no Indian department.” Say what??
Metis in Space, What happens when two Métis women, who happen to be sci-fi nerds, drink wine and deconstruct the science fiction genre from a decolonial lens? Molly Swain & Chelsea Vowel break down tropes, themes & the hidden meanings behind the whitest genre of film & television we’ve ever known.
Take the Indigenous Canada Online U of A Course. Indigenous Canada is a 12-lesson Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from the Faculty of Native Studies that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada. From an Indigenous perspective, this course explores key issues facing Indigenous peoples today from a historical and critical perspective highlighting national and local Indigenous-settler relations.
Donate directly to The Indian Residential School Survivors Society. The Indian Residential School Survivor Society (IRSSS) is a provincial organization with a twenty-year history of providing services to Indian Residential School Survivors. They strive to provide physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual growth, development, and healing through culturally-based values and guiding principles for Survivors, Families, and Communities.
Please let us know if you have any resources we should know about and we hope our list provides you with some ideas about how to engage with and make acknowledging this important holiday meaningful for you.
Hey Vancouver youth! Take action about climate change with this workshop from Fresh Roots with CERBC as a part of Science Literacy Week.
About Roots of Change
In recognition of Science Literacy week, Fresh Roots, in collaboration with Climate Education Reform BC, and Dave Robinson, a Timiskaming carver and educator, is hosting two community, youth-focussed workshops. Join an engaging, hands-on, 1.5 hour workshop exploring our relationship to climate change, regenerative agriculture, food systems through storytelling and connecting with the land through cedar carving. Open to youth in grades 8-12.
September 21st from 4:00pm-5:30pm at David Thompson Secondary (sign up here)
September 23rd from 4:00pm-5:30pm at Vancouver Technical Secondary (sign up here)
This year’s Science Literacy theme is climate. They are partnering with Environment and Climate Change Canada and organizations from across Canada to offer content that will inspire you! Check out more events on their website.
Climate Education Reform BC is a student-led movement advocating for climate change education in British Columbia. Our organization mobilizes students, parents, and teachers toward a common goal of climate justice literacy and empowerment, centring on the Reform to Transform campaign, which outlines 6 specific Needs for change directed at the Ministry of Education.
David Robinson is an Algonquin artist from the Timiskaming First Nation. Robinsons ‘style can be understood by the way he considers time, space and ways in which the sculpture form is created. Although Robinsons’ contemporary sculptures bring to mind visionary sculptors Constantin Brancusi, Henry Moore and traditional First Nations carvers, Robinsons’ work is not fashioned directly by their works. However, Robinsons sculptures share a way of exemplifying the simple forms that reflect archetypal representations of their subject matter.
In juxtaposition to elements of sculptor Constantin Brancusis’ pieces, Robinsons’ work shares the aspect of direct carving in such a way that the carving out of the forms make known their concealed truths. Brancusi said, “The artist should know how to dig out the being that is within matter” Brancusi’s work was fueled by myths, folklore and primitive cultures modernity and timelessness. Brancusi meticulously polished pieces for to achieve a gleam that suggested infinite continuity into the surrounding space. Robinson shares in the close attention to his own technique of rigorous polishing the pieces but where Brancusis’ technique intends to integrate the surrounding space, Robinson further develops a departure from Brancusi as the space informs the piece but is not intended to permanently set in the space.
In juxtaposition to elements of Henry Moores’ pieces, Robinsons’ work shares the aspect of understanding important structural principles that contribute to the balance and form of the piece. Henry Moore said, Bones are the inside structure that nature uses for both lightness and strength…so in bones you can find the principles which can be very important in sculpture. Robinson shares in the adherence to the inside structure, however Moore fashioned the sculpture from objects in nature such as for the bones of animals, for Robinson there is a strong emphasis on directly using the knots. Moores’ surface treatment often revealed the wood grain and Robinsons’ pieces reveal the wood grain in a unique way that reminds one of the way time is revealed in the language of nature.
In juxtaposition to elements of traditional First Nations pieces, Robinsons’ work shares and understanding of the relationship of nature all living beings and the need to acknowledged the land and the people who inhabit it. As traditional First Nations carving employed mythical figures and ceremony, Robinson also pays attention to their relationship. Robinson regards his pieces as contemporary sculptures that are imbued by his First Nations philosophies.
Robinsons’ current public art sculptures located in Vancouver include John Oliver Secondary –Many Beings 2016, UBC Indigenous Garden – Thunder Child 2016, UBC Pondersossa Building –Dancing Flames 2017, Vancouver School Board – Medicine Bowls 2020, Lord Byng Secondary -Great Whale 2021, Kilala Lelum Health Center – Alter 2020, Bean Around the World – Bench 2020, East Vancouver Education Center – Emergence 2020, Medicine Wheel Puzzle Project 2020, UBC Longhouse – Bench 2020, UBC Farm – Benches 2020, Red Cedar Heartwood River – Lord Byng 2020, Medicine Snake 2020, Beaver 2020, Ecole Jules Quesnel Elementary – River Bed 2021, UBC Robert Lee Alumni Building – The Protector 2019.
Led by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Science Literacy Week showcases the many ways kids and families can explore and enjoy the diversity of Canadian science. From September 20 to 26, 2021, libraries, museums, science centres, schools and not-for-profits are coming together to celebrate this year’s theme, Climate. They are highlighting the books, movies, podcasts and virtual and in-person events that share exciting stories of the science, discoveries and ingenuity shaping our lives. Feed your curiosity and explore science from across the country and within your region.
Consult the full list of Science Literacy Week activities.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This spring, we saw a much higher demand for the SOYL (Sustainable Opportunities for Youth Leadership) program in Vancouver alone. 130 youth applied for 25 spots in our unique SOYL program for 2021. We need extra support to pay for an increased cost for supplies and workshops this summer and to grow the program to meet the overwhelming demand for next year.
In British Columbia, 1 in 6 kids lives in households experiencing food insecurity.
Canadians spend more time indoors than ever before—approximately 90% of each day—and most of that time is spent sitting in front of a screen.
B.C. youth are reporting an increase in mental health conditions, including anxiety disorders, depression, and PTSD. The COVID-19 pandemic has made these numbers even worse.
With so many opportunities and programs for young people cut or canceled this past year, we’ve become acutely aware of Fresh Roots’ unique position to fill the gap with much-needed time spent outside on the schoolyard farms we steward.
How You Can Help
Sponsor an item (or two!) from our wishlist
Register as an individual or a team to spread the word with your own sub-campaign
Contribute a one-time donation with a custom amount
Become a MONTHLY DONOR and provide steady & predictable income to ensure we can consistently run our programming in addition to being able to plan ahead and grow our existing offerings.
Share with your friends and family, tagging us @freshrootsfarms and using the hashtag #makeitsow
Help us GROW!
WHAT WE DO
Create and steward Schoolyard Farms
Facilitate outdoor experiential learning with teachers and students
Mentor youth through field trips and classes on the schoolyard farms, after school clubs and summer programming,
Host work experience opportunities for high school-aged youth and young adults
Connect community to growing food through our volunteer opportunities
Share food with the community —through food-access programs and to our neighbours and community through farmers markets and our CSA veggie box program
Provide support for school gardens and associated programming through summer support and teacher professional development
There’s an eagle nest at the farm site that Fresh Roots stewards with Delta Farm Roots—a farming mini-school program located on the unceded and traditional territory of the Tsawwassen and Musqueam First Nations. Perched high above in its treetop nest, I wonder what the eagle observes of us. What does it see that we can’t—in how we go about working on the land, and how we navigate working with each other? 2020 was a year that forced new ways of being, but also encouraged new points of view.
At Fresh Roots, this has meant examining what it means for our work to be regenerative. Working from a regenerative approach means to be constantly re-assessing and mindfully evolving. We already know our work is more than just growing food—it’s engaging with and building our community. With that in mind, it’s important for us to learn and listen, to become better allies, and to be stronger and louder advocates for anti-racism and justice. As an organization, our goal is to develop those values and ways of being in our team and in the youth with whom we engage. We are all training to be our own observant eagles, looking out for ourselves and each other. We’re committed to noticing, addressing, and evolving systems that were created with colonial, racist and oppressive mindsets.
At Fresh Roots, we’ve always known the richest learnings for kids and youth (self-confidence, self-awareness, sense of belonging) have come through the medium of growing, preparing and sharing food. Our path to becoming a regenerative organization reinforces the “roots” we have been nourishing. Every moment out on the schoolyard farms is precious. We are so excited for this growing season and invite you to join us!
You are invited to join Fresh Roots as we take part in Science Odyssey, a ten-day celebration of discovery and innovation that engages and inspires Canadians of all ages with activities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics!
Sky, Sun, Seasons & Shadows
Date: May 11, 2021
Time: 3:30 to 4:30 PM (PST)
Location: Online via Zoom
Description: How can we use schoolyard farms as a space for garden-based learning to promote science education? Susan Gerofsky – an associate professor at the University of British Columbia (UBC) with a background in mathematics and experiential education will walk us through a workshop filmed on one of the Fresh Roots Schoolyard Farms located at David Thompson Secondary School in Vancouver, BC. Targeted at elementary and high school educators, this online event will be recorded and presented over Zoom and hosted by Fresh Roots youth empowerment and experiential learning specialists with plenty of time for questions throughout!
Description: To celebrate this year’s Science Odyssey, Canada’s biggest science and technology festival, we are highlighting amazing scientists from across the country! Young adult staff members at Fresh Roots interviewed inspiring individuals contributing to science, to learn more about their personal and professional journey, career, and what advice they have for youth. These scientists surprise and delight us with their unique topics and backgrounds, and the unexpected ways their work connects back to healthy food systems and a healthy environment.
Led by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Science Odyssey brings together hundreds of fun and engaging activities across the country from Saturday, May 1 to Sunday, May 16, 2021. Events range from science in the streets, visits to labs, science fairs, talks and conferences, school field trips, encounters with scientists and engineers, special exhibits at museums and science centres, scientific events at community organizations, online activities, and much more.
We are excited to share that we will be offering a 12 – week CSA Veggie Box in DELTAthis summer! Our new Delta Field Lead, Jack (back from his role as last year’s Market Lead), is spreading compost and starting & planting seeds getting the Farm Roots schoolyard farm ready to share delicious ultra-locally grown produce with folks in the Delta area.
Each week, you’ll receive an average of $22.50 worth of veggies. (12 weeks x $22.5/week = $270)
2 pm-6:00 pm (passive pick up until 6:30 pm) every Wednesday from June 17th -September 2nd
Starting April 1st, when you post your inspired actions to protect the planet you’ll be entered into our Earth Day draw to win locally- produced, planet-friendly prizes, including fine art prints, printed journals, along with other gifts donated by local businesses.
Our goal is to ignite our sense of collective power to make a difference during these times of isolation. #EarthdaySeedingChange2021 is about inspiring each other with all the creative ways we can care for the Earth. Actions are like planting seeds – they contain their own life force, and can take root and grow in places we might least expect.
How to participate:
Take an inspired action between April 1st and Earth Day, April 22nd (see examples of actions below).
Post a photo and caption of yourself taking the action on either our Facebook page or Instagram/Twitter with the hashtag #earthdayseedingchange2021 to enter a draw*.
You’ll be able to check out the photo gallery of posts between April 1st and Earth Day by visiting this page:
Randomly-selected winners will be announced on Earth Day (April 22nd).
Prizes will include colourful, sustainably-printed art prints, journals, and postcards donated by local artistAmanda Suutari (printed byHemlock Printers, one of the most progressive and sustainable print providers in North America), as well as random green-leaning goodies from local businesses (TBA).
You get to feel awesome about taking action, feel inspired watching the gallery on this page fill up with images, and get some new ideas about how you can live a more Earth-friendly existence!
What kind of actions? Some examples:
Picking up plastic from a beach or forest
Planting pollinator wildflowers on your lawn or roadside (West Coast Seeds has some great pollinator mixes)
Collecting coffee grounds from your local cafe to add to your compost
Going plastic-free for a day (or longer!)
Making a phone call or writing a letter to a local MP about an environmental concern such as old-growth logging
Patching or altering an old garment to extend it’s life
Making a donation to a local indigenous, environmental, or local food organization
Do you remember the first seed that you planted? The way that it sat in the palm of your hand until you tucked it in the soil? How about feeling like a proud plant parent when finally, its little green head groggily peaked up through the ground?
As scientists, we live for those little moments. In those moments the words in our textbooks germinate and come to life. No longer just a thought but a shared experience. Little moments like these breathe life into our scientific curiosity – to branch out from the first seed of knowledge that was first planted in us to reach beyond ourselves.
We at Fresh Roots want to recognize the generous contributions of the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). It is through supporters like these that we are able to facilitate these little moments for teachers and students, where science learning leaps out of the pages and into nature, through our field trips, workshops, and SOYL (Sustainable Opportunities for Youth Leadership)! We aim to empower youth as citizen farmers and scientists by growing, cooking and managing schoolyard farms, to excite youth about agricultural and environmental sciences, to assist teachers in inspiring science learning through place-based learning.
Please share your memories of the first you remember being a part of something growing. We’d love to hear from you!
We acknowledge the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).
Nous remercions le Conseil de recherches en sciences naturelles et en génie du Canada (CRSNG) de son soutien.