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August 2015 Newsletter

Fresh from Fresh Roots

If we all do a little, we can do a lot.

In the era of the internet, it is totally possible to start a movement with just one person.  The social media hashtag is both a call to action and the action itself. Check out the Eat.Think.Vote campaign for a great example.  And while it’s possible for some to #changetheworld in that way, it is hard for me.

Yes, I was in that photo for #donthaveonemillion and yes, I posted my #KMFace, but while I know that there is power in statements and publicly supporting the issues that I care about – I truly wonder if I can do that much good while taking a short coffee break or hitting ‘like’ while on the beach.  I wonder if doing good can be so easy.

This month, 35 volunteers came out to David Thompson Secondary for the first “Big Help” to prepare the market garden for the school season: weeding, preparing growing beds, turning compost, and moving woodchips.  And they came because they wanted to do something; to make some impact.  Each bed was weeded, the kale freed from a chickweed strangle; the dandelions were finally uprooted.  And while we didn’t end hunger or poverty or injustice that evening – we worked together.  And that’s the start of making a difference.

If we all do a little we can do a lot.

I’m inspired by the work of volunteers, showing up and lending a hand. And it’s no difference for any of the large issues that we face on a daily basis: hunger, racism, poverty.  It’s the showing up that is so critical – and maybe doing it online is a start. I imagine what would happen if we all did a little, and made one action towards change.  We would do a lot.  So whether it’s online or on garden remember that anything is possible, you just need enough people pitching in.

If we all did a little to support Good Food For All – I wonder how much we’d be able to achieve.  So come and join us.  We’ve got another Big Help on August 27th at Van Tech Secondary, learn more and lend a hand.

With a fistful of sunshine and deep gratitude for your contributions,

Marc 
Co-Executive Director, Fresh Roots

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CARROT AND TURNIP MASH

1 bunch Fresh Roots carrots

1 bunch Fresh Roots turnips

2 cloves Fresh Roots garlic, minced

2 tbsp. butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Bring turnips and carrots to a boil until tender. Drain. Add garlic, butter, salt and pepper. Mash. Sprinkle with parsley if desired. Enjoy!

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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.

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Being at Rest

It’s a Pro-D (professional development) Day at David Thompson today.  Oh, how calm it is.

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Guess what?  I got my rainbow carrots photo!

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These past two weeks, we’ve had a bounty of these colourful root veggies.  I can’t help but be in awe of their beauty.

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The Constancy of Change

“I hate change.”  Hanne and I are wheeling back from the compost bin just before lunch.

“I LOVE change!”  Hanne exclaims.  Sometimes I wish that I, too, had a slightly stronger predilection for change and transition.

I remember this brief conversation that we had a few weeks back, with a smile and touch of nostalgia.  

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Harvest News

Remember those rainbow carrots we’d been waiting on?  The first harvest of those guys happened last week!  Sadly, it was also the week that school started, so I missed that glorious harvest day.  But the important thing is… RAINBOW CARROTS!

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This week, we harvested some pretty handsome komatsuna, green onions, and a big batch of beautiful beets!  Amongst other fresh goodness.

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Heart in my hands

Well, school has officially started, and that means that I’ll be at the farms less.

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Oven Baked Balsamic Swiss Chard

Not sure what to do with your Swiss chard? Try this easy recipe for a sweet side dish!

1 bunch of Swiss chard
3 Tbsp of olive oil
1 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar

Chop Swiss chard; make sure the stems are chopped in smaller pieces.
Put the Swiss chards on a large piece of aluminium foil.
Mix the oil and the vinegar together; add to the Swiss chard.
Seal the aluminium foil.
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 350F.

Enjoy!

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Revenge is sweet like beets

Rain Kissed

It’s on cold, wet days like these that I am thankful for the standing water in my tub that drains at the speed of a drunken tortoise.  I am thankful for the extra moments of lapping warmth that my numb feet get to soak in.  I stop, and I stand for a minute to enjoy it.  Wiggle my toes in it.  Ahh.

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Harvest News

The spinach is back!

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We were suppose to be offering it as “baby spinach”, but… after the crazy storm this past weekend, it kinda wasn’t really baby anymore.  More like humungous spinach.  “The spinach got drunk on water,” Gerson said.

Spinach bed post-harvest. This is pretty much how big the spinach was last week, before the deluge...

Spinach bed, post-harvest. The spinach wasn’t much bigger than this last week, and then the deluge poured down over the weekend…

Harvesting spinach this week had a touch of poignancy for me.  Spinach was the very first crop we as interns learned to harvest–pick each leaf one by one near the base of the stem, check underside for ickiness, check for yellowing on the leaf edge, practice a two-handed motion, leave the tiny leaves for regrowth… I remember feeling so sore in my shoulders and back from bending over the beds so much to pluck spinach.  Over the season, my body has gradually gotten used to it.

Dennis and Scott harvest parsley in the sea of green and rain

Dennis and Scott harvest parsley in the sea of green and rain

Big beautiful beets are back, too!

Big beautiful beets are back, too!

Hanne, Gerson, Cass and I reminisced about another wet day early in the season when we harvested spinach.  We took turns going inside the school to run our hands under warm water, and ended up bringing a tote full of it outside.  From March spinach, to September spinach.  The leaves taste of the same heartiness, only rain kissed.  Seasons do come full circle, they do.

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Cass stands triumphantly with our expatriated weeds and retired bean plants

Deep Roots Draw Up: An Epic.

I’ve just returned from a week-long family road trip to Alberta.  

The land of wild roses, giant dandelion-like globes that I am mystified by, and glacial waters that call my heart to calm and new breath.

Returning

The body – in need of a readjusting to the rhythms of the farm.  

To lifting, and bending, and yanking.

The soul – inspired once more by weeds.

They kinda are my thing.

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Kingdom of My Heart

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9 o’clock.

Wheelbarrow filled with buckets hungry for expatriated weeds, hands ready to hit the soil,

I plop to the ground beside the bed of rainbow carrots,

Knees up against the damp alleyway strewn with grass-suppressing burlap.

Ready to weed, I am!

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