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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.

 

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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.

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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.)

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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!
Charlotte

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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.

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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!

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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 volunteer@freshroots.ca. Come for the whole evening or just a couple hours; this is the most fun schoolwork you’ll ever do!

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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 volunteer@freshroots.ca. Come for the whole evening or just a couple hours; this is the most fun schoolwork you’ll ever do!