Schoolyard Market Gardens

Our Schoolyard Market Gardens – the first of their kind in Canada – are outdoor, hands-on learning classrooms developed in partnership with the Vancouver School Board. Together, youth, neighbours and elders explore food production, cooking, and eating through the lens of science, social studies, mathematics and art – all while building and empowering their community.

Fresh Roots’ presence and knowledge brings stability to school gardens, and environmental and food systems expertise to the school and surrounding neighbourhood. We work with youth and their families to construct an urban food system that is resilient, sustainable, and accessible.

“Through their unique and highly effective model, Fresh Roots has become the provincial experts in establishing farmer and school board relationships, and serves as an incredible resource for the rest of the province to move forward with scaling up Farm to School activity.”

– Vanessa Perrodou, Farm to School BC Provincial Coordinator, 2014

The produce grown in our Schoolyard Market Gardens is distributed through our weekly Salad Box program as well as served in school cafeterias and local restaurants. Our Schoolyard Market Gardens are neighbourhood food assets and a place of interaction for people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures. They are embedded in an urban context so students, and neighbours can know their farmer and experience their vegetables growing first-hand.

In our relationship with the Vancouver School Board, we host annual all-staff Professional Development Days to help teachers from all disciplines discover how to use the garden as an outdoor classroom and achieve their specific curriculum objectives outside.

Our Schoolyard Market Gardens:

  • Provide an opportunity to meet the BC curriculum objectives in creative, engaging ways
  • Empower youth through skills development and hands-on, experiential learning
  • Increase school-community collaborations leading to healthier relationships
  • Create green collar job opportunities.
  • Establish an opportunity for a school community to address food sovereignty, health, obesity, and other food-related societal diseases
  • Encourage students, families, and neighbours to introduce life-long patterns of healthy eating and food literacy
  • Expose youth to the realities of a living, working farm, and learn just what it takes to produce food, field to fork.
  • Showcase an aesthetically pleasing, calm and inspiring space maintained by a trusted partner organization.