Fresh Roots stewards two bountiful Schoolyard Market Gardens at David Thompson Secondary School and Vancouver Technical Secondary School (VanTech). These gardens are outdoor, hands-on learning classrooms. Together, children, students, teachers and neighbours explore sustainable food production, cooking, and healthy eating through various activities and programming in the garden.

Market Gardens as Outdoor Classrooms

market-gardens-as-outdoor-classroomsEach schoolyard market garden has a few places you can book to teach an activity or lesson outside. Click on the diagrams below to see the different outdoor classrooms. Each classroom includes a space to sit and gather with your group and plenty of garden beds to observe food growing, insect crawling and nature blooming.

Are you a teacher looking for ideas on how to bring your class outside? Here are a few examples of how teachers are using the garden classrooms:

  • Biology 11 students came to the garden to complete an exciting scavenger hunt as a revision for their exam on plant physiology and functions.
  • Drama teachers use the outdoor classroom as a space to hone their skills and learn to project their voice.
  • A science class came to the garden to learn about asexual reproduction by planting potatoes and strawberries
  • English classes use the garden as a space to explore poetry: reading and writing.

“Teachers have become entranced with the teaching possibilities in the garden, and many, especially in the milder weather of the fall, had classes outside doing everything from English to Science to Arts and Photography.” – Iona Whishaw, Principal at David Thompson Secondary, 2013

Reserve the Garden!

We are excited to help all teachers and staff use the schoolyard market gardens as outdoor classrooms. David Thompson and VanTech Secondary Schools’ staff can book time in the garden through their school’s booking system.

Professional Development Opportunities

We help you learn how to use gardens to achieve your program goals.


Elementary and Secondary School Teachers: We host Pro-D Days to assist teachers from all disciplines in exploring how to use gardens to achieve BC core curricular objectives outside.

Youth Workers, Social Workers, Neighbourhood House Programmers: We assist program coordinators, youth workers, and community builders in learning how to integrate programs goals in inspiring garden spaces. We want to help you achieve your program goals by utilizing the joy and wonder of growing food.

Think and Eat Green Summer Institute

The 2014 Think and Eat Green Summer Institute will take place at the David Thompson Schoolyard Market Garden and we are so excited to co-host this incredible event for teachers, students and other members of the community. The Summer Institute focuses on finding collaborative solutions to increase the knowledge and understanding of the connections between food, health and the environment across the food system in schools. A combination of plenaries and hands-on, experiential activities will be relevant to both elementary and secondary school educators. The institute will focus on different components of the school food system including food gardens and orchards; composting and waste management; food procurement, preparation and consumption; curriculum and pedagogical innovations; and school food policies.


workshopsFresh Roots’ team includes professional facilitators, urban agriculturalists, and lifelong advocates of food justice. We host workshops throughout the year to help hone your urban food skills. Find our upcoming workshops in our events calendar. Examples of past workshops include:

  • Garden Planning and Design; Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter
  • Backyard and Schoolyard Garden Irrigation
  • Season Extension crop planning for backyard/schoolyard gardens
  • Make Kimchi Together workshop
  • Growing Community through Growing Food; How to use food to catalyze change in your community

We also develop custom workshops on a wide array of topics for a diversity of audiences. What do you want to learn about? Get in touch so we can develop a workshop that is right for your interests and team.

Get involved with the Schoolyard Market Gardens!

get-involved-with-the-schoolyard-market-gardens There are a number of ways to participate:

To learn with us in the market gardens, please fill in this form and we will be in touch with you shortly!