Delta has been an innovator and leader in British Columbia in regard to educating young people about food and farming and will continue to do so

 By: Mike Schneider/Community Columnist, Delta Optimist

If you live in Boundary Bay or at the Southlands, chances are you have observed the work that has been done this spring at the Farm Roots field at Boundary Beach elementary school.

If you don’t live in the area, you should definitely make a point of checking it out. It is truly spectacular. A new hoop house has been installed, which will house our tomatoes, cucumbers and other goodies. Our super delicious Russian Red garlic field is maturing and several rows of Warba potatoes are just beginning to flower, which means a sure sign of summer will be ready for your dinner plate soon.

As usual, none of this would be possible without help from the close knit Delta farming community. The most recent assistance cane from our Southlands neighbour Seann Dory of Salt and Harrow farms who took time from his already busy schedule to bring his tractor over to till half of our field.

As most would know, the Farm Roots program was on hiatus this year partially due to the pandemic but things are shaping up to restart this important initiative soon.

In the meantime, Farm Roots has joined forces with Vancouver based Fresh Roots to manage the productive farm and the educational component via the “SOYL” program which will see some 20 odd young people working the field and gaining significant working knowledge of farming operations while being paid for their efforts.

It is undeniably important to engage young people in the food message. The food message has been taken for granted for far too long and it is time for parents, educators and the community at large to stress its importance.

Delta has been an innovator and leader in British Columbia in regard to educating young people about food and farming and will continue to do so.

You can support the ongoing effort to promote agri-literacy in our community by buying your garlic, potatoes and other farm fresh produce at the Farm Roots farm stand this summer.

Farm manager Jack Edgar is one of the nicest people you will ever meet and he will be happy to answer any questions about food and farming that you may have.

For my part, I have been enjoying watching the younger children gain an appreciation and understanding of where their food comes from and it has been, as usual, and absolute delight to watch the young farmers begin to eat food that they have been growing for the past few weeks. The look of wonder in the small faces as they harvest and eat food that they have grown themselves is immensely satisfying.

And to all the parents who have decided to grow their own at the request of their children, thank you all.

Mike Schneider is founder of Project Pickle and likes to write about growing, cooking and eating food.

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