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 if you have any further questions.


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.)


Hello from Farmer Charlotte

Howdy Everyone!

Charlotte here, the incoming  Fresh Roots Farm Manager! I am elated to be joining the Fresh Roots team in growing Good Food and cultivating community! I’ll be working closely with Scott over the next few months as we begin the season (we’ve already started planting!)

I grew up in East Van. In fact, Van Tech was my high school. Even from the middle of the city, I always felt a connection to nature and had a curiosity about our role within it. I followed this curiosity to UBC, where I completed a BSc in Agroecology with a year as a visiting student at the University of Alberta in the Range and Pasture Management Program. I then studied agroecosystem evaluation and nutrient mapping for my MSc at the University of Nevada. While I’ve worked in research, for government, on ranches and farms, it quickly became clear that I enjoy teaching, sharing, and exploring sustainable agriculture and food systems most. I’ve found that learning with youth, sharing my enthusiasm and of course, celebrating Good Food is the most fulfilling part of what I do. As a result, my career has shifted to managing education and demonstration farms as dynamic tools for engaging and experiential learning. I am excited about the opportunity to work with Fresh Roots to create these spaces for an urban audience of youth.

Many thanks to the outgoing Farm Manager, Scott Bell, for his tireless work and dedication in establishing these amazingly productive and successful schoolyard farms. I am grateful for all the knowledge and expertise he is sharing with me.

I am looking forward to meeting all of you and getting to know the entire Fresh Roots community!  Keep an eye out for me and Sidney the urban-farm dog, we’d love it if you stopped in to say hello!


Fresh Roots is Hiring a Schoolyard Farm Worker

The Position
The Schoolyard Farm Worker grows Good Food For All. They are outside in the garden planting, harvesting, weeding, and acting as stewards of our ecologically managed urban farms. They will work under the supervision of our Farm Manager to ensure our schoolyard farms are productive and welcoming spaces. The Schoolyard Farm Worker will provide leadership to Farm Interns and volunteers to complete daily tasks on the farm.

Required Qualifications

  • Minimum 1 year growing experience in small-scale agricultural production
  • Physically fit and happy to work outdoors in all conditions
  • Comfortable with spreadsheets, email communication, and record keeping
  • Experience leading co-workers and volunteers in farming activities
  • Able to work with a team and independently
  • Able to communicate with diplomacy and respect with people of all cultures, ages, and backgrounds
  • Have a valid class 5 driver’s license and comfortable driving a delivery vehicle
  • Have a smart phone and access to a computer
  • Able to pass a criminal background check

Position Details

  • Position begins March 1, 2016 and ends October 31, 2016
  • Spring: 10-20 hrs/week, Summer: 30 hrs/week, Fall: 20 hrs/week at $12/hr

Full Position details here.


The Big Help: Volunteer Work Party Round Two!

The Big Help!

The schoolyard farms need your help to get ready for school and to fight off some serious weeds!

The first Big Help at David Thompson Secondary was a huge success, with over 35 volunteers joining us to lend a hand in a big way! Each bed was weeded, the kale freed from a chickweed strangle; the dandelions were finally uprooted.

Join us for round two this Thursday, August 27th from 5-8:30pm at Van Tech Secondary schoolyard farm for an evening of gardening, gettin’ dirty and kicking some grass!


Bring yourself, a bottle of water and your friends. Once there, you’ll find delicious snacks, cheesy veggie jokes and the joy of making friends while farming! Afterwards, we’ll all head for some well-deserved dinner nearby.

Please RSVP on Facebook or by emailing Come for the whole evening or just a couple hours; this is the most fun schoolwork you’ll ever do!


The Big Help! Volunteer Work Party

The Big Help!

The schoolyard farms need your help to get ready for school and to fight off some serious weeds!

Join us Thursday, August 13th and Thursday, August 27th from 5-9pm at David Thompson Secondary schoolyard farm for an evening of gardening, gettin’ dirty and kicking some grass!

Bring yourself, a bottle of water and your friends. We’ll provide the snacks and veggie jokes! Afterwards, we’ll all head for some well-deserved dinner nearby.

Please RSVP on Facebook or by emailing Come for the whole evening or just a couple hours; this is the most fun schoolwork you’ll ever do!


SOYL Summer Internship

Grow Food! Cook! Get to know your city! Build your Resume! Have plenty of fun!

SOYL: Sustainable Opportunities for Youth Leadership is looking for interns for its summer 2015 session! Over the course of the internship, you will build, manage, and advocate for school gardens. Through garden-based learning you will gain knowledge about the environment, community engagement, as well as gain a greater understanding of food production, preparation, and preservation.

SOYL partners with schools across Vancouver to offer students this great opportunity for personal growth and to be leaders in their community.


The internship program is open to all Vancouver youth entering grades 8 through 12 in the 2015-2016 school year. Open to students from across Vancouver. Private School students are welcome to apply.

Schedule and Location

The 2015 Summer Internship runs from July 6th until August 14th. Interns work 5.5 hours each day, three days a week. Locations vary between the different participating schools.

The UBC website offers more details about the program.

Check it out and learn more here

Contact Information

Stacy Friedman, the Program Manager can be contacted at for more information.


Get Outside and Grow with Fresh Roots!

Spring is here in full swing and the gardens are bursting with new growth, meaning volunteer season is back! 

Are you looking to take your first steps into the world of urban farming or support schoolyard-grown produce? Do you want to learn how to grow your own food, or share your existing knowledge with our farms? Whatever the case may be, we’d love to have you join our weekly drop-in Garden Helpers crew!

These shifts are a farm-tastic way to have fun, learn new skills and help grow your community. Check out this recent article in the Vancouver Courier to learn more about why people choose to volunteer with Fresh Roots.

Be sure to visit our volunteer page to learn more about all the various ways you can get involved with Fresh Roots- and then be sure to sign up to attend an orientation! You can always email if you have any questions about the volunteer program.

We look forward to growing and learning with you at the farms soon!

photo credits: Dana VanVeller

Fresh Roots is Hiring!

Good Food for all, that’s what we say,
students, neighbours, elders – eat away!
This summer our team is looking to grow,
So check it out and let us know!

We’re excited to open Fresh Roots’ summer employment options!  We have a number of summer positions that are open to students (ages 15 – 30).  We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

In addition, Fresh Roots partners with the UBC Intergenerational Landed Learning Project to offer SOYL, a program that empowers youth to cultivate their personal power, build resilient communities, and make Good Food accessible to all – all while learning employment skills and financial literacy. During the summer, SOYL youth build and manage food-producing gardens at four secondary schools and participate in service learning with innovative food systems organizations.
We’re always looking to engage with new friends and allies in this work. If you have an idea, a dream, or want to get involved, we’d love to hear from you. Come stop by at our Good Food Markets and chat with us!