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Making Cedar Bundles at Suwa’lkh

By Jaimie Rosenwirth, Suwa’lkh Environmental Education Program Lead

How is cedar used? What is the meaning of cedar? These questions will be answered while you read through this post. We will also be talking about the four sacred medicines, which you can read more about HERE.

Collecting Cedar from the Healing Forest

When clearing pathways in the Healing Forest, the Leadership students and myself found quite a few branches of cedar that had fallen due to wind. Instead of adding the branches to our compost pile, we thought we could save the cedar and bundle it for use. When we had brought the bundles inside, we cut the branches in order to use them in a bundle. I cut the branches smaller and worked to bundle them all with the students and Tash Pellatt, one of the teachers at Suwa’lkh School from from Shuswap’s Dog Creek Nation who is passionate about infusing First Nations teachings in student learning and healing.

The thing about cedar is that if you are in need of it, you can cut a couple branches, but you will want to leave an offering of tobacco, which is one of the four sacred medicines, at the base of the tree as a thank you. It is nice to leave an offering of tobacco as well when you take fallen branches. During this process we were able to use tobacco that we grew onsite last year.

Making Medicine Bags

During class, the students made medicine bags of cedar, another one of the four sacred medicines. Having access on school grounds and to the sacred medicines is amazing. A medicine bag is a small pouch worn by indigenous people. You place sacred medicines inside that will help you heal. You can also put, tobacco, white sage and sweetgrass. Each sacred medicine has a different meaning and purpose.

We are working to have access to all four sacred medicines on site. We grow tobacco each year and were able to dry the leaves and it is shared with the indigenous education department in SD43 and Suwa’lkh. We are trying to figure out the best watering cycle for the sweetgrass and white sage. 

The Purpose of Burning Cedar

Cedar is burnt while praying to the creator in meditation. It is also used to bless a house before moving in as is the tradition in the Northwest and Western Canada. It works both as a purifier and as a way to attract good energy in your direction; it cleanses and chases away negative energies and beings. 

We have cedar bundles available by donation. All the funds will go towards re indigenizing the Healing Forest. We will be adding in native plants in place of the invasive plants that we have been removing over the years. This year we are planning which plants to put in the forest with the Leadership class. They seem to be really excited about making these choices.

 

National Indigenous Peoples Day

As we shared on last year’s Truth and Reconciliation Day blog , our team has compiled a few ideas of ways you can celebration National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21st:

  1. Learning about the history of the land you are on: the people and nations to whom that land belongs, the languages spoken, and the treaties covering that land (if any). Good starting points: native-land.ca
  2. Familiarizing yourself with the Calls to Action identified by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (bit.ly/2TyF8nm) and the Calls for Justice identified by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (bit.ly/2Z45QDs), and reaching out to your government representatives at all levels of government to ensure that all of the calls are implemented.
  3. Reflecting on important questions such as: What are you grateful for on this land? How can you express this gratitude to the land and its original inhabitants? What commitments can you make going forward to the people whose land you are occupying?
  4. Taking time to learn more about the experiences, cultures and histories of Indigenous peoples by signing up for a course, such as Indigenous Canada offered by the University of Alberta (https://lnkd.in/gYQa8vt), and visiting local communities when invited.

Additional links you can check out:

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Field Trips | Bringing Learning to Life

By Crystal Mai, Community Education Facilitator

Hello everyone! My name is Crystal, and I’m entering my fourth year and studying Food, Nutrition, and Health at the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at UBC. I am very grateful for the opportunity to volunteer with Fresh Roots this summer – learn more about me in my previous blog about the Norquay Sharing Garden. I’m very excited to take you on a virtual tour of our field trip today!

Fresh Roots field trips allow students to embrace the farm and nature in an outdoor classroom setting. Through the 2-hour-field trip, students will be engaged with a farm work experience and taste farm-fresh veggies when available, and the benefits are more than beyond. 

 

Youth connection with the food, the land, and each other

Educating youth about the origins of their food can take numerous forms, ranging from essential agricultural work to fun tasting journeys. All of these activities benefit youth by teaching them the importance of nutritious fresh food and boosting their food literacy skills. 

Food literacy skills gained from our field trips contribute to youth food security by achieving the food planting and utilization dimensions. I hope to educate youth on essential farming skills, sustainable food selection and eating behaviours, and long-term food budget-stretching by improving food literacy.

 

Youth Development Through Agriculture

By using urban schoolyard farms as classrooms, youth can connect and learn about food and the food system on a practical level, while introducing them to urban farming as a means to improve local food security. Alongside the food and farm work, students will also gain critical thinking, public speaking, and leadership skills. 

Let’s take a virtual tour of one of our field trip sessions at David Thompson secondary schoolyard farm. The MicroFarm on June 10 was one of the most enjoyable sessions I’ve ever hosted, as we had a group of lovely kindergarteners joining. 

 

Activity 1- Tiny Treasures Hunting 

Our students explored the farm and collected 12 small objects in an egg carton to closely observe the farm’s tiny plants. This activity taught children about the various types of plants that grow on the farm and allowed them to compare and contrast their textures. 

Activity 2- Tasting Journey 

Students got to taste the seasonal foods growing on the farm, such as radishes, sweet chards, and sage flowers. With the tasting, students better understood the concept of seasonal food, sustainable food selection, and how an urban farm is cultivated to nourish the community.

Activity 3- Tiny Creatures Hunting 

By digging in the soil, children explored and learned about different tiny friends living on the farm, such as worms, rolly-pollies, ladybugs, and spiders, while understanding how they interact with and contribute to the farming. 

Activity 4- Design a Mini Farm

Students were given wood pieces, strings, rocks, and plants to build their own mini-farms to strengthen their understanding of how each portion of the farm interacts with one another and the ecosystem as a whole.    

SUMMER DAY CAMPS & FALL FIELD TRIPS – COMING SOON!

We would love for you to join us on the schoolyard farms!

Spots are still available for selected camps, check out the webpage for more information: https://freshroots.ca/education/camp/

More field trip sessions will be coming back in fall, stay tuned on the website: https://freshroots.ca/education/field-trips/

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Norquay Sharing Garden | One Step Further to Elevate Community Food Security

By Crystal Mai, Community Education Facilitator

Hello everyone! My name is Crystal, and I’m entering my fourth year and studying Food, Nutrition, and Health at the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at UBC. I am very happy to volunteer at Fresh Roots this summer an LFS 496 student, a faculty-led practicum course.

My favourite vegetable is zucchini. I love to stir-fry it with some black peppers and salts. In the meantime, I love watching K-dramas and snowboarding! Going for a walk during the golden sunset hours near the Wrench Beach at UBC is another enjoyable activity for me. Going forward, I am very excited to be involved in the planting at the Norquay sharing garden, the organization of the Before Sunset Annual Fundraiser event, and other entertaining park activities. Meanwhile, I will be assisting the Experiential Learning Teams with field trips and day camps. It will be a fulfilling and meaningful journey because I will be exposed to many great opportunities to connect with different people, neighbours, foods, and lands. I am hoping to improve the community’s food security level, bringing us one step closer to ending world hunger.

Photo Credited to Elaine Casap on Unsplash

https://unsplash.com/photos/qgHGDbbSNm8

 

You may wonder what a sharing garden is? 

Norquay sharing garden is one of the community sharing gardens in Vancouver, where we offer fresh produce to everyone who needs it. Members of the neighbourhood volunteer their time to care for one growing area. Food grown in the garden is shared with members and/or individuals outside the community. Additional produce may be donated to local food banks and other organizations assisting household food security. 

Feel free to check out other sharing gardens in town also working towards community food security if Norquay is not near your neighbourhood. 

 

The benefits of a sharing garden are more than just harvesting foods.

From a psychological perspective, sharing gardens creates a win-win situation for all participants. Growers passionate about cultivating the land can be confident that their efforts have made a difference since their food feeds people in their local communities and beyond. Sharing gardens may also foster great sentiments of belonging and respect among all community members, as they provide satisfaction and fulfillment through teamwork and sustained effort.

From a food security perspective, sharing gardens utilize urban farming strategies to increase food security by promoting locally grown food and social and ecological connections. Urban farming has many benefits, including boosting biodiversity, using under-utilized spaces, and feeding needy households. It stimulates the local food economy by producing green employment, growing skills, and shortening food supply chains, which reduces hunger in the long term (Valley et al., 2019).

 

Let’s take a closer look at what our sharing garden looks like!

Spring and summer are the best time for seeding! In May, the Experiential Learning and Youth Empowerment team at Fresh Roots came together to weed, prune, and plant veggies for community members. Check out pictures of them in action!

Everyone can benefit from the sharing garden as we grow our own foods, share with and donate to people who need it. Volunteer gardeners can acquire practical growing skills, while community members can be fed.  

Let’s make some perfect bedding for plants to germinate in order to feed more people in the community when harvest time comes!

It was a new experience for me to plant things at the sharing garden! I planted cauliflowers and pepper leaves and I’m very excited to see them grow and harvest!

You are welcome to visit our sharing garden (Norquay Park – 5050 Wales Street) over the summer and take any fresh veggies and fruits available as you need! Stay tuned for more of our seasonal harvests:

I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the Norquay sharing garden, where I have learned practical gardening skills while assisting the neighbourhood in improving food security, bringing us even closer to stopping the world’s hunger.

 

Reference: 

Valley, W., & Wittman, H. (2019). Beyond feeding the city: The multifunctionality of urban farming in vancouver, BC. City, Culture and Society, 16, 36-44. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ccs.2018.03.004

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Science Odyssey 2022 Recap

We were excited to be back participating in Science Odyssey this year, Canada’s biggest celebration of STEAM. Led by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Science Odyssey brought together hundreds of fun and engaging activities across the country from May 7 to 22, 2022.

Check out our Sky, Sun, Seasons & Shadows workshop and Spotlight on Scientists interviews from our 2021 Science Odyssey events: https://freshroots.ca/education/science-odyssey/

Social media links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ScienceOdyssey/

Twitter: @Sci_Od

Instagram: @Sci_Od

Hashtag: #OdySci

 

A week of science odyssey in review

by Jaimie Rosenwirth, Suwa’lkh Environmental Education Program Lead

This year, we held the workshops in the Suwa’lkh Healing Forest. We had 5 classes participate in the Exploring and Understanding Native Plants workshops over 3 days, May 16, 18 and 19th. 

The students worked their way through 3 stations, removal of invasive plants/planting natives, a forest walk, and ecosystem web/plant in a jar.

Station 1: Removal process. students remove Japanese knotweed, blackberries and English Ivy. These are all invasive plants that we have been removing from the forest on an ongoing basis. After they had removed the invasive plants that had the chance to plant native plants. They helped plant salal, sitka spruce, lingonberry, common camas, evergreen huckleberry, thimbleberry, snowberry, red flowering currant and stonecrop. They removed lots of Himalayan blackberries, Japanese knotweed and English Ivy. 

Station 2:  The forest walk. The students went on a walk through the forest and were identifying which plants we have. They were able to identify salal, salmonberry, thimbleberry, Indian plum, red flowering currant, cottonwood and skunk cabbage. 

Station 3: Ecosystem web/plant in a jar. During the ecosystem web each participant is given a new identity. They temporarily become something that is a part of our forest. We connect to each other using string. Students would have to say how they are connected to each other; blue heron is connected to salmon because they eat salmon. We continued making these connections until the web got complicated and more difficult to connect to someone they have not yet connected to. Plant in a jar activity takes your sight away. The leaf of a plant is placed in a jar with a sock over it so you are unable to see inside. The next step is to draw what you are able to feel. 

During the break we made tea for the students to try. We made different kinds with what we have available to us, mint as well as mint with sage and salmonberry leaves.

Thank you to the Suwa’lkh School, iHub Secondary School, Centennial Secondary School, Maillard Middle School, and Rochester Elementary School for joining us for this year’s Science Odyssey at Suwa’lkh!

Native plants information page – coming soon!

Stay tuned for the launch of our native plants resource page on our website.

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FRESH ROOTS RETURNS TO THE SCHOOLYARD FARM FOR ANNUAL SUMMER FUNDRAISER ON JULY 7

Tickets are on sale now for ‘Before Sunset’ benefitting Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society’s 
youth programs
Vancouver B.C., June 6, 2022—Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society is excited about the return to in-person events and can’t wait to see you at this year’s summer fundraiser, Before Sunset, on Thursday, July 7. Celebrating nature’s bounty on the verdant farm grounds of David Thompson Secondary School, Before Sunset is an early-evening event from 4:30 to 7:30pm. Early-bird tickets, which are available until June 20, start at $100 for adults and $25 for kids, and include activities, live music, food, and drink.
“We want this year’s event to be a convivial celebration of community and connection,” explains Alexa Pitoulis, Fresh Roots Executive Director. “It has been over three years since we have been able to invite the public to the farm, so we have planned an exceptionally fun and interactive experience for our guests.”.
Before Sunset attendees will soak up summer’s splendour en plein air, drinking in the magic of golden hour while enjoying a festive meal centred around incredible locally sourced and crafted fare. Guests are encouraged to mingle and wander through the schoolyard farm, a direct connection with the environment in which the evening’s food was grown. Highlights include a grazing table and tasting plates prepared by beloved chefs TJ Conwi (Ono Vancouver), Robert Clark and Julian Bond (Organic Ocean), and Sirius Craving food truck, plus beverages from 33 Acres Brewing Company,Wards Cider, and Edna’s Non-Alcoholic Cocktails, as well as a sweet finish by Earnest Ice Cream and Kafka’s Coffee Roasting.
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2019 Fresh Roots Fundraiser on the Schoolyard Farm, image supplied by Fresh Roots. Download Images
Fresh Roots Before Sunset Menu
33 Acres of Sunshine French Blanchè, and Ocean West Coast Pale Ale 
Wards Hard Apple Cider 
Edna’s Paloma, and Mojito Cocktails (non-alc) 
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Spot Prawn Carpaccio
Hokkaido Scallop Cevicheon cedar planks 
By chefs Rob Clark and Julian Bond | Organic Ocean Seafood
~
Beet Ceviche
marinated Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) Farmbeets, and carrot aguachile 
Sirius Veg Burger
Oyster and King Farm mushrooms, mini bun
Rainbow Trout Ceviche
chlorophyll aguachile, KPU farm herbs 
Farmcrest Chicken Slider
crisp chicken, pickled KPU farm radish
By chef Brockton Lane | Sirius Eats Food Truck 
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Fresh Roots Grazing Table
  • squid ink soil, and burnt onion charcoal hummus
  • textures of Fresh Roots Farm veg, and lacto-fermeted veg
  • pickled, roasted and raw KPU Farm veg
  • Oyster and King Farms mushroom conserva
  • bannock flatbread
  • wine-macerated figs and fruit
  • crackers, olives, vegan charcuterie, cheese and spreads 
Rainbow Trout Roulade 
smoked salmon mousse, Haida Gwaii kelp dust, nori, rhubarb wild-berry jelly, bannock crackers
By chef TJ Conwi | Ono Vancouver 
~
Earnest Ice Cream Sandwich 
Kafka’s Coffee Roasting Horchata Cold Brew
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In addition to a delicious feast, guests can enjoy fun farm-based education and art activities, plus a slate of live entertainment including a soulful performance from Sam Parton, a founding member of the Be Good Tanyas.
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Fresh Roots Youth program participant, and lead, Harveen Sandhu, photo Shane Ward. Download Images
Funds generated by this highly anticipated annual event directly benefit Fresh Roots’ youth programs, which empower young people to connect with both their community and the food on their plate. Fresh Roots participants learn how to grow and sell food through planting, harvesting, and working at farmer’s markets. They develop valuable farming and entrepreneurial experience while also nurturing their self-confidence and ability to work effectively as a team.
Partners of Fresh Roots 2022 Before Sunset fundraiser include: Organic Ocean, 33 Acres Brewing Co., Edna’s Non-Alcoholic Cocktail Company, Wards Cider, Ono Vancouver, Sirius Craving, Spud, KPU Farm, Oyster and King Mushrooms, Fraser Valley Seafood, Spread ‘Em Kitchen Co., Earnest Ice Cream, Kafka’s Coffee Roasting, Maenam, Seasons Bakery, Katharine Manson Communications, Modo Co-operative, East Van Graphics, plus more generous donors to be announced in the days to come.
Before Sunset tickets are on sale now until July 6 via Eventbrite, and priced at $100 for early-bird adults (increases to $125 after June 20), $25 for kids, and $200 for VIP packages.
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2019 Fresh Roots Fundraiser on the Schoolyard Farm, image supplied by Fresh Roots. Download Images
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Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society
GROWING FOOD GROWING COMMUNITY! Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society envisions a world where everyone has access to healthy food, land, and community. This non-profit organization works to cultivate engaging gardens and programs that catalyze healthy eating, ecological stewardship, and community celebration. Fresh Roots helps schools and school districts across Metro Vancouver grow community through growing food. Working with a variety of partners and clients, it utilizes school gardens to provide opportunities for inquiry-based and cross-curricular learning, volunteering, leadership development, and job skills training that animate school communities across the Lower Mainland.
 
Website: freshroots.ca
Facebook: @freshrootsfarms 
Instagram: @freshrootsfarms
 
Program Contact: 
Alexa Pitoulis
Executive Director, Fresh Roots 
alexa@freshroots.ca | 778-764-0DIG (0344), ext. 101

 

Media Contacts: 
Caroline Manuel 
Communications and Engagement Manager, Fresh Roots 
caroline@freshroots.ca | 778-764-0DIG (0344), ext. 108 
 
Katharine Manson 
Principal, Katharine Manson Communications 
katharine@mansoncommunications.com
 | 604-318-9690
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FARMER’S LOG, SEED DATE JUNE 1, 2022

Hey’all! I am relieved to be behind my screen, caffeinated and ready to dive into my Monday office hours at Fresh Roots HQ, here at Norquay Park. I feel equipped (actually, #blessed) with a team of incredibly talented farm workers this spring, who I trust are tending our fields with skill, love and care so I can fill our readers in about what’s popping up this spring. 

2022 has been a bumpy start with low temperatures, tonnes of precipitation, and no farm staff through April and the start of May. This is because Galen, the Fresh Roots Program Manager, who usually supports with the essential prep and seeding before our summer staff are onboarded, ended their tenure with Fresh Roots on April 1st. This outstanding individual is not only a skilled and dependable earth-tender, but was also my biggest ally and supportive voice for the farm department at the multi-faceted, densely programmed, non-profit machine that is Fresh Roots.

Because this important set of hands was missing, I put the call for help out to the team and had some very productive days when people were able to make it out. We got about 60% of the bed prep and planting done that needed to get done, which is at least double what I would have been able to accomplish alone. It’s of incredible benefit that several of the core team went through the SOYL program and even did internships, so they have the muddy experience to apply to transplanting in the rain. I think it’s unique that Fresh Roots gets all its core team out to the farms to do lifting once in awhile- regardless of people’s titles. I’m not sure if all our Job Descriptions say this, but they definitely should – that there will always be opportunities to get dirt in all fingernails if you’re part of this team. 

A highlight this spring was SOYL spring break in mid-March. It was heartwarming to see some of last summer’s SOYL participants come back to help out. This year we had a big project: to tackle our ever-flooded zone D at Van Tech. Together with myself, the Site Manager (Gray), and Galen at the program helm, the SOYL Spring Break Participants transformed the swamp into a productive block of bordered, raised beds and moisture-wicking woodchipped paths. It was an incredible transformation and only took the crew 2 days. Despite the torrential downpour we were working in, the team kept spirits high and even took dance breaks and vogue walks to maintain the vibe. Infused with queer-lovin’ dance moves, this zone will be an entirely SOYL-managed space through the summer where we will hone in on their agricultural skills from building, bed-prep, seeding, transplanting, and harvest. This means that any kale or chard you find in your CSA box or purchased from our farm stand this summer will be 100% produced by the SOYL crew. I think that’s pretty outstanding. 

From some pretty huge team builds of 50+ folks, to an internal team blitz at the Norquay sharing garden, across all departments, Fresh Roots has been revitalizing the spaces we tend all spring, beyond just bed prep and seeding. As we onboard more and more youth to work this summer, our faces diversify and so does our focus. Through the summer, I’ll continue to share stories and reflections about the farm but if you’d like to stay abreast of all the other wonderful things the organization gets up to, follow the blogs from Kat, the Fresh Roots Experiential Learning Manager, as well as the featured blogs from YE and EL facilitators, and many other members of our evolving team. 

– Farmer Camille

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What to do this Earth Day?

By Andrea Lucy, Experiential Learning Program Lead

Hip hip hooray for Earth Day! On April 22nd, over 1,000,000,000 people around the world will take action to protect the planet. This 52nd annual Earth Day is a reminder to treat the planet with respect, kindness, and care for our current and future communities.

There are many ways to participate in Earth Day (and every day) digitally and in-person:

Great Worldwide Cleanup

Like Hansel and Gretel, humans leave a trail of breadcrumbs in the form of trash. It’s a very material reminder of our collective impact on the planet. All around the world, neighbours get together on Earth Day to clean up beaches, parks, rivers, and more. Or, try “plogging”, the popular new exercise started in Sweden of picking up trash while you jog. Bonus: you help clean up plastic pollution. Double Bonus: you get added stretching and strengthening.

Cleanups Near You

 

Restore Our Earth Lessons

Calling all teachers: Learn about restoring our earth while restoring our hope! This is a great learning resource created by the Earth Day Network covering, five opportunities for restoration over five days. The lessons include the topics: ecosystem services, carbon cycle, food sustainability, ecosystem restoration, and civic engagement. There are activity suggestions for elementary and secondary grades.

Restore Our Earth Education Lessons

 

Letters to the Earth

What world are you dreaming of for your future? What are your fears and hopes? Letters to the Earth offers community and education toolkits to create your letter in whatever way feels powerful to you, then share it with those who need to listen. Their education toolkit includes prompts, science experiments and drama activities to help classes get started. Send your letters out in a letter-writing campaign to politicians to let them know why they should care, what you want (like a wishlist), and what they should do now. 

Letters to the Earth Toolkit

Celebrate with Food, Art & Activities

Celebrate Earth Day with experiential activities created by Fresh Roots. Try our famous salad dressing, learn how food and climate change are connected, contribute to scientific research, and create art with food waste.

Fresh Roots Earth Day Activities & Recipes

Feel Empowered by Soil

It’s stressful and scary to learn about and experience climate change. Looking for a shimmer of hope? Some of us at Fresh Roots have been learning more about sustainable agriculture practices that care for the soil ecosystem. The neat added benefit? Healthy soil sequesters (removes) carbon dioxide from the air and stores it. Scientists estimate that if more farmers care for their soils with sustainable practices, climate change can actually be reversed. Care for the soil, and it will care for you!

Soil Carbon video by Soil Food Web School

What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day today and every day?

 

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Suwa’lkh means ‘New Beginnings’ in the Hul’qumi’num language

by Jaimie Rosenwirth, Suwa’lkh Environmental Education Program Lead

My name is Jaimie and I am the Suwa’lkh Environmental Education Program Lead. I have been volunteering with Fresh Roots since 2018 with an individual with autism. We both currently still volunteer up to 3 times a week. I have been working with Fresh Roots since the Fall of 2020. I have spent a lot of time working with the Leadership program through Suwa’lkh school, running the market, preparing salad for lunch, helping out with the SOYL Summer Program as well as Summer Camp. As well as growing fruits and vegetables, I love telling the students that radishes are my favourite vegetable that we grow. If they are really spicy then I need to eat them with a carrot to sweeten them up a bit. I like hearing what their favourites are as well and finding out the reasoning behind it. My camp name was given to me this past summer (2021) by a young camper, and it is Wildlife. 

The Space

Suwa’lkh is a very unique Fresh Roots location, having a garden – Suwa’lkh Medicine Garden, an orchard and The Healing Forest to work in. The students, teachers, and Smokey (a dog), at the school, enjoy eating fruit and vegetables from the garden and the orchard throughout the year. The teachers, youth and program goers have access to an outdoor classroom located in the forest. During summer programs this space provides quiet from the street near us as well as shade during the heat waves for children and youth to learn.

Smokey the Dog

Smokey is the PADS dog (Pacific Assistance Service Dogs) at school. He is a therapy dog that supports the students. When they are feeling anxious or emotional he goes to them right away. He is a sucker for carrots, especially if they are fresh from the garden. In the off-season when we don’t have any carrots he will settle for either an apple or a store carrot.

Healing Forest and Salmon Stream

Students get to take calming walks through the Healing Forest for a break. Getting to hear all the sounds of nature, birds chirping, water flowing through the stream, the wind blowing through the trees. Going for a walk through the forest is one of my favourite things to do when I just need to take a break from a task or to refocus. While in the forest during the fall, it is great to look in the stream and see if there are any salmon spawning. I myself have not been lucky enough to see any. I hope that one day I will be able to. 

Native Plants

We also have a native plant nursery. We have plants that are native to our area and they thrive in this environment. We hope to introduce them back into the community. We use the native plants from the nursery to reintroduce them to our forest. We have put thimbleberry, Sitka spruce and dune willow in places where we have removed invasives. We also use them as part of our programming. The students get to transplant native plants to areas where they have removed invasive species. We have been giving them to classes from field trips to take back to their school to plant in their gardens. We have the native plants available for purchase on our website as well as at our weekly market. 

Markets

We have a weekly market on-site every Thursday starting mid-May through to mid-October. It is located at Suwa’lkh school, 1432 Brunette Avenue. We have large orange flags leading up to the parking lot. We get help from the students to harvest the vegetables as well as set up the market stand each week. During the summer months, we have help from the SOYL youth, they come from many different schools in and around Coquitlam. The SOYL youth will help with harvesting, market set up as well as running the market. Each week a different crew of 4-5 youth is assigned to be at the market. Being at the market is one of their favourite things. Especially being the cashier. 

Volunteers

We have dedicated volunteers on site. They help with general farm maintenance and tasks such as weeding, seeding, transplanting, uppotting and harvesting. Our volunteers come weekly to work on tasks at times. Our volunteers live in the area and have seen the progress of the garden through the years. They love what we are doing and enjoy helping out when they can.

If you would like to volunteer, email volunteer@freshroots.ca!

CSA Veggie Box Pilot

We will be trying out a CSA veggie box program this year with 7 spaces available. Keep an eye out for more information. 

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6 Vegetables Kids Will Love

By Andrea Lucy, Experiential Learning Program Lead

With planting season upon us, we’re prepping our farm beds with vegetables kids love! The farm is a place to experiment and experience. Kids are introduced to the wonderfulness of vegetables in a low-pressure environment through taking “adventure bites” of new veggies, making art with crops, playing games, and planting seeds. Vegetables can bring us joy in many different ways.

Over the years, we have found kids have a special liking for some specific vegetables. Whether you’re planting your own garden or looking for new vegetables to introduce to the dinner table, here are some favourites to try:


Peas

Peas of any colour and shape are well-loved! We plant a number of varieties, including Parsley Pea, Sugar Ann, Dwarf Grey Sugar, and Purple Mist. Now is the perfect time to begin planting them for a late spring harvest, and we can replant them in late summer for a fall harvest. Enjoy the crunchy pods and the tender new leaves.

 


Tokyo Bekana

This mustard crop was a huge hit amongst campers last year! The leaves and buttery and the stems are crunchy. A perfect addition to salads, spring rolls, sushi, and even blended-in smoothies. But if we’re being honest, the kids’ favourite way to eat it was straight from the ground in handfuls.

 

 

Hakurei Turnips

These Japanese-bred turnips are a huge hit! The circular white root is smooth and sweet. While they can grow quite large, kids seem to like them best when they are young and bit size. We love cutting them up raw and eating them with a yummy greek yogurt dip.


Carrots

There is nothing kids enjoy harvesting more than pulling a carrot out of the ground. We like surprising them with a purple or yellow carrot. Depending on the variety, carrots can be planted year-round on the coast. If kids are impatiently waiting for the carrots to grow to size, have them try the carrot-flavour leaves.


Lemon Cucumbers

Although it’s still a little early to plant lemon cucumbers, they are a treat worth waiting for. They are small, round, yellow cucumbers with a juicy and crunchy lemon flavour. It’s the perfect summer treat. We grow them draping over the side of a raised bed so all the kids can reach them. Wipe the little prickles off the cucumber’s peel with a towel, and it’s ready to munch and crunch.


Sorrel

Like sour candies? Then this is the plant for you! The leaves contain an acid that makes them sour and tart like a lemon. Nibble raw or add them to salads, sour soups, or a layer in spanakopita. This may be the most citrus-tasting leaf you ever try.

Taste them on the farm!

Come visit our farm to taste and grow these delicious veggies and more!

Sign up for a spring Vancouver Farm Field Trip for your class

Grow, harvest, and cook all week-long at Camp Fresh Roots this summer