post

Welcome to Fall!

Fall is here, she announced her name
And you can see her in this rain
This is time to harvest crops
and celebrate the bounty that drops.

Although the season on the farm is slowing down, that’s just the time that Fresh Roots is busy in the classroom and working with you to help prepare and grow. October is the time that we harvest the last of the bounty from the year. Beets, carrots, squash – the last of Summer’s sun is harvested in the fruits, stems, roots, leaves, and seeds of our plants on the farm and in the forest.  It’s also a time of mushroom growth – the mycelium that runs throughout our forests like a wood wide web, is pushing forth mushroom fruiting bodies to spread spores and grow.

It’s in this time that we take stock of what it means to have bounty. As farmer educators we try to emulate that in our work and our lives.  That happens in two key ways: First, we share. Whether that’s food from the farm or the infectious excitement about what can grow when youth are empowered.  This year, we’re sharing even more food through a program called LunchLAB, where youth at two schools learn how to grow, cook, and share lunch with 150 of their peers twice a week. (Check It Out). We’re also helping share the magic of the Earth Sprit Healing Forest and Medicine Garden at the Suwa’lkh School in Coquitlam.  Set on over seven acres of land, we’re working with youth to reindigenize that land – remove the invasive species, plant native plants and medicines. We as an organization are learning from both the plants and place. And we acknowledge and are learning what it means to engage as a settler organization supporting and working to grow indigenous food systems. If you’re interested in learning more, check out what’s happening at Suwa’lkh.

The second is that we recognize that bounty exists – not just on the farm, but with the youth we work with. Youth have a tremendous amount of knowledge – both about the world as it is, as well as ideas on how to help make it a better place. Watching the global UN climate strikes, listening to the passion in our youth voices, and seeing the power of youth engagement, we recognize that youth have a bounty of energy and solutions to help make change that is so needed. Whether that is globally when it comes to climate change or at home, when it comes to helping their families, creating thriving communities, or sharing healthy food.  Helping everyone recognize the bounty that they walk with helps everyone to see their ability to affect positive change in the world.

This October, as Thanksgiving beckons and we harvest the energy of the sun, I encourage you to explore where you have bounty in your life. Might you be able to help share that bounty with someone else? You might have a wealth of experience that someone you know could benefit from.  It might mean sharing a favourite recipe with a friend. It might mean stopping by the Press Fest with two jars this year, one to share with a friend!

However you end up sharing your bounty, may this season fill you up.

We look forward to celebrating with you,

Marc and the Fresh Roots Farm Team!

post

Join Us for Our Schoolyard Harvest Dinner!

Join us for our third annual Schoolyard Harvest Dinner.

We’ll celebrate with an elegant dinner of local ingredients sourced from our schoolyard farms and farmer friends, paired with an open bar of amazing wine from Marquis Wine Cellars, brews from 33 Acres, and kombucha from Brew Dr. Kombucha.

Enjoy an inspired multi-course meal created by chefs Karima Chellouf and Kym Nguyen.

Karima Chellouf is a chef, nutritionist, and educator who has been cooking and baking through elevated dining establishments and patisseries in Vancouver for the past 10 years. Karima’s food is bold, flavourful, influenced by lineage, and is often made to promote discussions of health, self-care, and social issues. Follow @gloryandgutsnutrition on Instagram for pop-up events, workshops, recipes, and more.

Kym Nguyen is a self-taught chef from London, England. Over the last 12 years, they’ve developed a huge passion in cooking farm to table across Canada, inspired by using fresh and local ingredients from whole animals to the produce from the ground, recognizing the amazing flavours of food that can be grown locally and responsibly. Kym hopes to keep continue working closely with local farmers and foragers to create new and exciting dishes.
 
We are so lucky that Karima and Kym are returning to cook for us again this year, as many of last year’s attendees said the meal they created last year was the best they’ve ever had!

Support experiential learning by sharing delicious conversations, the best of this season’s harvest, and your own generosity—in addition to ticket sales, our goal is to raise $45,000 at this event to support children and youth in Fresh Roots programs, so please bring your chequebook or credit card along with your appetite!

Proceeds support Good Food at school. You will receive a tax receipt for the charitable portion of your ticket purchase. If you’d like to buy group tickets, are interested in a children’s ticket, or have any other questions, please reach out to Sarah Maitland, our Community Engagement Manager, at sarah@freshroots.ca.

The dinner will be served family style, with tables sharing platters of food, so unfortunately, we can’t accommodate special diets.

Photo Credit: Andrea Fernandez
Special thanks to our friends at the Italian Cultural Centre for the use of their kitchen space to prep this amazing meal.

 
post

2018 Annual Report

We’re so excited to share with you all of the amazing things that happened in 2018! (Hot tip: click the little square in the far right corner to view it full screen and zoom in.)

Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who supported the children and youth in Fresh Roots programs in 2018 and helped grow Good Food for All!

post

Thank you so much!!!

The numbers are in!

  • 1 month
  • 67 super generous people
  • $14,128 of support for kids in Fresh Roots programs this year!!!

Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who helped make this magic happen, from donating to sharing with your friends to cheering us on. We appreciate you so much!!!

post

An Exciting Peek Behind the Scenes at Fresh Roots!

For the past few years, we’ve had a BIG PROBLEM. We’ve wanted to show you all of the awesome things that the youth have been digging into at our farms, but there’s no way we could jam EVERYONE onto the farms at once!

Well, NOW we are thrilled to show you something we’ve been working on since the summer: a short and sweet sneak peek into one of our amazing programs!

We hope that by the end of this heartwarming video, you’ll be inspired to give a little warmth back to the youth in the form of a donation to support 2019 programs and our vision of Good Food for All! We are trying to raise $10,000 before December 31 to support the youth in next year’s programs and ALL contributions are greatly appreciated.

So… without further ado, please watch this lovely video! (It’s only two minutes and totally worth it!)

Watched that video and loved it? Didn’t watch that video but already know you love Fresh Roots and want to donate? Thank you so much! Please go ahead and donate now!

The World’s Saddest Blog Post

With the changing of the seasons comes the changing of our staff, as most of our summer students head back to university. We’d like to take this opportunity to say TTFN (ta ta for now) to some of our Vancouver team, and read on for a special goodbye from one of our longtime Fresh Roots family members, Rosalind Sadowski, Youth Empowerment Manager.

The Experiential Learning Team is saying a fond farewell to three great summer staff. Jauna (aka “Gummybear”) has been a ray of sunshine on our Camp Fresh Roots staff since July. Heidi (aka “Tote”), has done an amazing job making sure we all have what we need, where we need it, since May. And Anna (aka “Worm”), has been with us since January, first as an EL intern helping run field trips, and then helping to plan and run our first-ever summer day camp! It has been such a joy to watch them grow as educators, and see the fun they’ve created for our campers and field trippers. We wish them the best of luck as they return to school and wherever else life takes them.

This summer, we welcomed two members of our original 2016 SOYL crew back as program facilitators! Nicole and Amanda returned to help lead the program, and brought a wealth of creativity, enthusiasm, dedication, and innovation to our group! They are moving on to continue their university studies this fall, and their positive energy and passion for the SOYL program will be sorely missed!

Rosalind Sadowski

And here is a little goodbye from Ros, our Youth Empowerment Manager:
“I am sad to say I will be moving on from my role with Fresh Roots as I pursue my teaching certification at UBC. It has been an absolute pleasure working with this community over the past years, and I thank you for your part in helping youth grow themselves through growing good food. I hope to connect in some other capacity in the future!”

And here’s our goodbye to Ros:
It’s with sadness, and excitement, that we bid farewell to Rosalind Sadowski, our Youth Empowerment Manager. Ros helped to grow the new iteration of the SOYL program, helping cultivate cohorts of youth out on the farm and in the kitchen. Ros, you will be missed, and we’re excited to see how you can help support more youth at schools.

As we say goodbye to these friends, we’re looking forward to making some new ones! Speaking of Youth Empowerment Managers… if you’d like to have just as much fun as Ros and also make a huge impact, you can apply to become our new Youth Empowerment Manager!

Suwalkh’s Freshroots Garden At PoCo Farmers Market.

Suwa’lkh students will be at the PoCo Farmers market on August 23rd bringing awareness to our program! We will be selling our produce and native plants set up for the community. Here at Suwalkh we have been focusing on growing fresh produce for the community. We have been Teaching youth healthy eating, life style, learning about native plants and forest restoration. Our goal is to provide fresh food for all and establishing and intertwining communities. Suwa’lkh is an Alternative Indigenous school, with a half acre garden that was started by Freshroots. At Suwa’lkh we have been growing produce and medicinal plant like Tobacco, Thimble berry, Salal berry, White sage and much more!

The PoCo Farmers Market promotes awareness and appreciation for farm fresh produce and local eating, which supports the economy and increases the capacity of small businesses and non-profit organizations in the community. Suwa’lkh is grateful for PoCo Farmers Market for letting us set up a booth. Feel free to come stop buy August 23rd to see what we are all about here at Suwa’lkh.

 

post

New Volunteer Postings – Support SOYL Youth this Summer

Fresh Roots and UBC Faculty of Education’s Intergenerational Landed Learning program have been excitedly collaborating and planning to produce our most exciting year of SOYL youth programming yet!

The SOYL summer employment and leadership program empowers secondary students to cultivate and steward food gardens on school grounds for learning, community building and growing Good Food for All. Through the program, youth develop skills in growing, cooking and selling food, as well as a greater connection to themselves, their community, and the Vancouver food system. They also receive a stipend, community service hours and work experience credit for their contributions. See our SOYL page for more details.

SOYL includes weekly Community Eats lunches, and we have some special volunteer needs to help make this program a reality.

  1. Volunteer Chefs (4 positions) – applications are due June 12th
  2. Delivery for Community Eats Volunteer (1 position) – applications are due June 26th

Click on the above links for more details, and contact us at volunteer@freshroots.ca if you have any further questions.

post

Salad Boxes Are Coming.

It’s been a long winter. If I measure the nutritional gap in my diet between last Salad Box received, 2015 season, and First Salad Box to be received, 2016 season, it’s been a capital “W” Winter, in the Game-of-Thrones-ish sense of the word. Last summer and well into the fall, I was the amazed recipient of more vegetables than I could name or consume. I had no idea what the end of that bounty would do to me.

The cold months came, and I went to the grocery store–just like always–but instead of skipping the produce aisle, secure in the knowledge that I had more than enough socked away at home, I ventured in. The contents were disturbing. I scowled at the wilted greens, recoiled from the alarmingly flexible carrots.

Who grew these things? No one I know on a first name basis, that’s for sure. So, I abstained. I just couldn’t face it. There were weeks on end when my grocery shopping could most accurately be described as “beige”. The hike in food prices certainly didn’t help. They say the falling Canadian dollar has something to do with it, raising the cost of all those wintertime California imports. If ever there was a time to be thankful for locally grown produce, this is it.

Meanwhile, the seeds are germinating. This year, I’m sure I’ll be just as wide-eyed when I open my box as ever, but I’ll be twice as grateful. I’ll eat what’s in season. I’ll eat what’s local. I’ll preserve more, and plan some winter crops of my own, and next year won’t be quite as beige.

 

– Melissa

 

(Winter food-blues got you making Game of Thrones references too?  You can still sign up for a salad box!  Check out our three different options, here.)