Garlic Cleaning

“Can I just pick one leaf to show her what it smells like?”

“Sure, go ahead!”

Shoulders looped with bags–perchance carrying snacks and extra layers for their morning outing–Grandma bends down to pluck a single cilantro leaf, holds it up for her granddaughter to sniff.  

“This is cilantro,” the rolling Spanish sounds like to me.

“Thank you!” A friendly smile from the elder, and a shy glance from the younger.  Grandma and granddaughter continue on their walk.


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Intense Weeding

Danica and her beets #don’t drop the beet

Danica and her beets #don’t drop the beet

We started the day off in the Fresh Roots Garden of David Thompson.

We did some weeding in the carrot club garden by using shovels and forks. The weeds were difficult to pull out and there were clumps of soil at the bottom but in the end we managed to pull most of them out.

After, we transplanted ground cherries. We watered them immediately to restore their nutrients.

We had a lunch break shortly after; during this time, two members of the group brought veggie of the week (which were beets) and got their pictures taken.

After we finished lunch, we planned for the kids workshop and everyone took some basil leaves and brought it home.


Can’t beat this beet dip!

A delicious and colourful dip. Can serve as a pot-luck item full of character, or even a fun and healthy snack for kids!

4 raw medium beets, cut in chunks

2 garlic cloves

1/2 cup tahini

1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt (substitute canned coconut milk for a dairy-free option)

1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 cup coconut oil

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F. Massage beets in coconut oil and salt and bake for an hour or until tender. Add beets and remaining ingredients into a food processor and puree until smooth. Scoop into a small serving bowl and drizzle olive oil on top if desired. Serve with raw veggies, chips, crackers, or bread. Enjoy!


Bombastic Building

July 10, 2015 – First day at Churchill

We began our first day at Churchill with a game. It’s kind of hard to explain but it involved a lot of bunny hopping and shoelace tying.

We next got on with building our new bed and trellis. We got to saw through some planks and level the soil, not to mention using power drills to put it all together. We also tied a lot of knots and wrapped a lot of tomatoes around strings for them to grow taller. It took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, but we pulled through and became champions of building garden beds and tomato trellis’.

After a quick demonstration, we were taught how to turn on the irrigation and were off to lunch! After the delicious lunch including some dishes from veggie of the week (Radishes), we had our first leadership workshop.

We started off with a game, the Human Knot. After fruitless minutes of trying to untangle ourselves, it was clear that the knot could not be undone. So we stopped and had a great talk about leadership and the different types of roles leaders can take. We identified which ones we were and which areas of leadership where we needed to improve. Then we attempted the knot again, trying to push ourselves to step into a different type of leadership role. We still failed miserably but, it was still a lot of fun.

We ended the day off with a rousing cheer. “SOYL!!!”


All Grown Up

I stretch the measuring tape along the length of each wooden beam.  2 feet 6 inches, 3 feet… I mark off increments with a ballpoint pen.  Flipping and flopping, the tape makes a tin-foily sound that reminds me of measuring empty apartments and furniture dimensions with my mom.  Arranging inside the walls of our new home.  

Today, I help build a home of a slightly different sort…


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Welcome to SOYL 2015

Flashback to our very first day! Here are details of our very first day of SOYL, way back 6 weeks ago. Oh the nostalgia!


The adventure has begun. Wednesday July 18 was the first day of the SOYL program, and we started off with a field trip to the amazing UBC farm. Retired professor, Dr. Art Bomke gave us an enriching workshop on the history of the local vegetation in Vancouver and different types of soils.

For most of the youth of SOYL it was our first time exploring the UBC farm. It was a truly mesmerizing experience hiking the enchanted forest. We had the opportunity to see native vegetation of Coastal BC. After, they introduced us the beautiful produce they are growing in their farm. Something peculiar about this farm is their apple orchard.They have more than 30 varieties of apples!!! with very interesting names.

Mmm Garlic <3

Our first day of official gardening started off right and sunny at David Thompson. (◕‿◕✿ We got to get our hands dirty right away by pulling some very enormous heads of garlic. They were so big they almost looked like onions.

Weighing garlic

Weighing garlic

Curing garlic

Curing garlic

After that, we broke off into teams and assessed what needed to be done right away in each garden bed. For some, we did weeding, pruning, or planting. Once each garden bed was cleaned up, we got to put our transplanting skills to the test.ᕙ(⇀‸↼‶)ᕗ


More Transplanting

More Transplanting

There was corn, kale, Brussels sprouts, and even a few beans. Each of us got to pick a special plant that we will plant over the summer and created our master gardening list. This included dragon carrots, kale, chard, kohlrabi, spinach, Pak Choi, Hakurei Turnip, broccoli, onions, scallions, and cilantro. To top it off, we got to taste the veggie of the week prepared in a radish salsa that was extremely delicious! Over all it was a wonderful and productive first day at David Thompson to kick off the program. (●´ω`●)

Our Fabulous Group Photo

Our Fabulous Group Photo