ATTENTION NORQUAY NEIGHBOURHOOD:
The power of good food has once again bonded people together. Fresh Roots is excited to announce that we have teamed up with Together We Can to grow food in Norquay Park! This calls for a celebration- a FEAST of yummy, healthy food which will become ready for harvest in the summer. Attendees of this celebration will be: broccoli, fennel, herbs, rhubarb, strawberries and YOU! Also in attendance are some fruit tree saplings. Come stop by to watch these babies grow as they turn into beautiful flowering, fruit bearing trees.
Fresh Roots is a non-profit organization working with school communities towards Good Food For All: Everyone deserves access to healthy food, land and community. To do this, Fresh Roots cultivates engaging gardens and programs that catalyze healthy eating, ecological stewardship and community celebration. We currently have two schoolyard market gardens which grow food to be distributed to the community and sold at markets.
Fresh Roots believes in Good Food For All. As part of a community group partnership with Renfrew Collingwood Food Security Institute (RCFSI), Fresh Roots has agreed to support community food security initiatives in the Renfrew-Collingwood community. This awesome project at Norquay park will support increased agricultural land use while giving access to local food. It is so exciting to see our vision extend beyond schoolyard farms to the wider community.
Together We Can was founded in 1993 in Metro Vancouver and since has become one of Canada’s leading treatment centres for men. TWC’s mission is to educate and support men and families who struggle with the challenges of substance misuse and desire a new life in recovery. The charity recognizes that long-term recovery is most successful when people are provided health and wellness supports for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing.
This partnership empowers men to give back to the community by growing nutritious and delicious produce. Anyone who is hungry or needs a snack is welcome to enjoy the food grown in the park. Another awesome part of this project is it is conveniently located by the treatment and community center, allowing opportunity to reorient these men back into the community! The ultimate goal of this program is to have cross pollination by planting flowers to encourage more bees- because beauty is in the eye of the bee-holder.
Together We Can do this with Fresh Roots to provide soul food for Norquay community! We’ll keep you updated for harvest news.
Learning about Food, Sustainability, and Leadership on Schoolyard Farms
by Nichole Bruce, SOYL Graduate
When I accepted the placement at SOYL this summer, I didn’t quite know what to expect. Some of my friends had done it the summer before and said it was a lot of hard work, but a lot of fun. I quickly came to learn that SOYL is more than just working on a farm all summer. To sum it up SOYL is a program for youth run in partnership by the UBC Faculty of Education’s Intergenerational Landed Learning Project, and Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society, a non-profit organization that runs two urban farms on high school grounds. SOYL is perfect for anyone who is interested in the food system, sustainability, and leadership. Over the course of the seven weeks we participated in numerous workshops, traveled around Vancouver on our weekly community days, and learned more about food and agriculture than I could’ve imagined. I decided to join the SOYL program because I was, and still am, interested in all the things I mentioned above, the food system, sustainability and leadership. I had my own vegetable garden at home and was curious about how food is grown on a commercial level and all the factors that affect the production. Since there is no course in school that teaches about agriculture or agronomy, I thought SOYL would be the perfect opportunity to learn more about the things I was so interested in.
Every morning we (when I say ‘we’ I mean the 24 SOYL participants) would go to one of the schoolyard farms at either Vancouver Technical Secondary or David Thompson Secondary and work in the farms for the mornings and then participate in a workshop to help us build our leadership skills or prepare for market, where we sold all the produce we grew. Each day was a bit different in terms of what we were doing, which only made the program more fun. We were split into crews of six youth and would work together on whatever task we were assigned and one of the farmers – who have the coolest jobs in the world – would guide us and answer any questions we had. My favourite memory from this summer would definitely be the day we made blueberry jam. All of us – the facilitators, youth, and chefs, squished into the Van Tech kitchens on probably the hottest day of the summer and made over 150 jars of jam. It was so much fun, we had music playing and people were laughing and smiling and we were making delicious blueberry jam that we could soon sell to raise money for next year’s SOYL program.
My summer with SOYL has taught me so many things and has shaped my future in ways I don’t quite know yet. Before SOYL, agriculture was something I was interested in but I didn’t know anyone else with the same interest, not many high school students go around saying “I really want to be a farmer when I grow up.” For me, the most valuable experience I had this summer was talking to all the farmers who work on the farms year-round and learning about how they got to where they are. There are so many programs more than general sciences and arts, and talking to people who had been a part of these programs really opened my mind to the possibilities I have once I graduate high school. In regards to life-long lessons I learned, the one that stands out to me the most is not taking food for granted. It’s so easy to not even give a thought to the people and industry that puts food on our plates every day. There is so much more that goes into getting food from farms than a truck driving it to the supermarket, and learning about the food system has given me a new appreciation for the food I eat. In more ways than I can count, SOYL has not only taught me about food but has also helped me become a better, more knowledgeable and more responsible person.
To read more online, click here.
Get your gardening and snack on!
We are so excited to Grow Norquay’s Garden with our Norquay Neighbourhood Food Hub community partners Collingwood Renfrew Neighbourhood House and the Vancouver Fruit Tree Project.
As part of the Vines Arts Festival on Friday, August 19th, join us from 6-8 pm – learn how to grow Good Food at home and help us build a garden. So get your gardening gloves on, and get hungry – we’ll show you how to start some seeds and share a salad!
Location: North West corner of Norquay Park, 5050 Wales St, Vancouver
We’re at it again, looking to grow and make something happen at Norquay Park!
Thanks to the Vancouver Park’s Board, we’re gearing up for our new Food Hub at Norquay Park.
We’ll be hosting gardening, workshops, cooking, and celebrating of Good Food through our new Fresh Roots Food Hub space, so get ready for a good time. And join our friends too. We’ll be working with Collingwood Neighbourhood House and Vancouver Fruit Tree Project to help connect and animate the space.
In the meantime, here’s to getting keys! Stay tuned and we’ll keep you posted on what’s happening here at Norquay Park!