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Farm Fresh Cooking

On every Fresh Roots farm this summer, children and youth are harvesting fresh veggies and cooking up a feast! So what are we cooking? 

 

Salad Mondays

Or any day! We love a hearty ginormous salad to kick off our week. Sometimes we make it in a bowl, other times in a tote bin the size of a small bathtub. Add in heaps of salad greens, swiss chard stems, chopped hakurei turnips, and sprinkle on edible flowers. Then we top it all with our Fresh Roots Famous Salad Dressing. Bon appetite!

 

Snack Attack

We love our snacks. It’s hard not to snack as you farm. Throughout the week you’ll find us in an indoor or outdoor kitchen whipping up batches of beet brownies, flower fritters, pesto, and the well-loved smoothie. 

 

Community Eats

After cooking all morning, nothing beats sitting down to a fresh meal with friends. Every week there is a new community eats menu. We’ve had tacos, chana masala, soba noodles, and more!

 

Test out the black bean taco recipes for your next group meal!

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FARMER’S LOG, SEED DATE AUGUST 12, 2022

Here I am, about two weeks late, at 6:30am on a Friday making another attempt at August’s farm blog. It’s not that I don’t enjoy telling a story – those who know me or have sat at a table in one of the restaurants I’ve worked at have their ears coated in my poetic wax. I just haven’t had a minute to catch my breath. It’s peak season! 

If you follow FR on the socials, you may have learned that I have a growing obsession with flowers. Nicole (the David Thompson Field Lead) and I have been churning out about 15 bouquets every Wednesday to bring joy to our market stand. It has been a blast to share these blooms with our marketgoers at the ICC – and see their eyes light up when they land on the bursts of colour by the till. I’m hoping that next year we can get SOYL participants learning about flower arranging – and maybe bring in an expert at the beginning of the season to lead a workshop. If you know an expert florist or are one yourself and would love to lead a workshop with youth next summer, please reach out to me – camille@freshroots.ca! We would also love to install some garden-helper mushrooms in the woodchip & straw paths (I’m thinking King stropharia and oyster) so if you’ve got some spawn, let me know. 

SOYL just wrapped up their last day yesterday! 6 weeks of youthful exuberance filled the beds at Van Tech and now those sweet almost-adults have left us in the dust. To commemorate, our final Community Eats lunch on Wednesday was epic: everyone gorged on handmade tacos with extensive fillings and then two vegetable cakes: one chocolate zucchini; the other beet and oat. We then rounded out the very last SOYL-attended market at the ICC. Fresh Roots feels completely different without the youth buzzing around, so I’m thankful that EL still has camps for another 2.5 weeks. Overhearing the young kids’ hilarious conversations in the shade of the cherry blossom trees at David Thompson is the cherry on top of harvest days. Here’s an example I pulled from our #overheardatcamp channel on slack:

“Chef doodle I want to eat your face off because everything you make is so yummy”

Or, perhaps, about a really big pregnant (?) ant: “she could be moving house or mad”

I especially enjoyed the pregnant comment, as I am housing a sweet little human in my own body, and agree that yes, being pregnant sure has made me mad, especially while harvesting on black plastic in a heat wave. My ankles will never be the same again.

Although our youth programs are trickling to an end, there are lots of things on the horizon. On Wednesday, August 17th, the ICC and Fresh Roots are going to be hosting guest vendors at our market. There will be Mexican food, Egyptian hand pies, local tea, and natural soaps and cleaning products. For more information on these vendors tune into our socials @freshrootsfarms

The farm team is wrapping up their CSJ contracts, which breaks my heart as well. But it means that mid-August is the end of our seeding and the start of putting the beds to sleep for the winter. We will be sowing cover crop, unfolding silage, planting garlic, and mulching with straw. It reminds me of bears building a den for the winter. The prospect of the fall with sweet cool wind on the horizon and mushrooms popping up is a real delight, being a fall baby myself. I’ll also be taking a week off to revitalize in the cedars for my birthday, which I am coveting with my whole heart. 

Working with youth on this farm is inspiring, wonderful and hilarious. That said, being a non-profit that relies so heavily on Canada Summer Jobs grants to employ Fresh Roots’ farm staff is an epic challenge. Especially with this season being so late. The limitations of CSJ end dates mean that we are only half way through our 20-week CSA and haven’t harvested a single red heirloom tomato while our workers’ contracts are wrapping up. In Vancouver, Fresh Roots grows tomatoes in the field, without a cover, so this wretchedly slow start to the season has prevented most of our fruiting veg from ripening. And although our markets have been busy and sell out, we have only half the stock variety we usually do, so our sales remain about 30% lower than last season. So with the implications of the weather and being a non-profit urban farm, I’m anticipating a huge harvest on my hands through the fall while my baby belly waggles between my squat legs. I am crossing my fingers that the rest of the core team isn’t too bogged down with their own work to come and help out in the field while I acknowledge the huge loss of skilled farm labour fading away with the cornucopia of fall harvest on the way. In any case, I am  certainly working hard to earn my maternity leave.

Hopefully I will be able to tune in again sooner than 6 weeks from now, although we all know that a farmer’s hands are more than full during the summer here in the PNW. Until then, relish the joy of sweet summer stone fruit juice trickling down your chin and swimming in our gorgeous waters.

– Farmer Camille

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LFS 496 Summer Internship Reflections

By Crystal Mai, Community Education Facilitator

As the Community Education Facilitator at Fresh Roots for the last three months, I have received numerous opportunities to challenge myself, learn, and improve my professional skills in food systems, marketing, and youth and community education. At the same time, I have also been given many opportunities to practice my soft skills in public speaking, project management, communication, and digital designs. Regardless of the professional or soft skills I have gained and improved, they are both transferrable to my future career paths. Meanwhile, they serve as the prototyping experience of my internship. They enable me to prepare for my future job by allowing me to practice and apply my school knowledge in real-world contexts. I feel fulfilled and grateful for not only receiving a taste of the real world and meeting new people and starting to build my networking, but also for figuring out what I want to do after graduation and having more confidence.

It offered me a taste of what life was like in the real world

While working on projects with classmates was beneficial, it lacked practical application compared to what I encountered in a real-world workplace. I noticed significant differences between working in a classroom or school atmosphere and working in the real world. Part of my internship role helped support the Fresh Roots: Before the Sunset Annual Fundraising Event. Researching and reaching out to possible auction sponsors has led me to collaborate with various stakeholders, including food companies, beverage manufacturers, and cafes. Writing social media promotion posts for sponsored companies has allowed me to hone my marketing, communication, and digital design skills. Overall, the experience has enabled me to approach projects in ways I would not have considered otherwise. I will also take these valuable skills to my future employment, as one of my potential career paths is to become a Marketing Specialist. Furthermore, I realized that my intern work also impacted Fresh Roots, which gave me a great sense of pride.

It built my confidence and helped me explore what I wanted to do after graduation

Doing this internship exposed me to many different aspects of my field of study regarding Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health. It helped me realize the areas I excelled at and needed to develop more. For example, I am proficient in providing nutrition knowledge and spreading the word about healthy eating to community members and youth. While, I will work hard to enrich my understanding and application in sustainable farming and ecology, which is more related to the food systems part. By facilitating the field trips and day camps at David Thompson and VanTech Schoolyard farms, I was also able to try out different farming tools and learn new skills (e.g., weeding) along the way. I will leverage these experiences to motivate me to become an advocate for Food Systems Education for the youth. This also serves as another career path for me, as I would like to become a youth educator.

Interning at Fresh Roots helped me discover two career paths that I am passionate about, and they both provided me the chance to learn and grow within the perspective fields.

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Make This Fresh Zucchini Relish for All Your Summer Sandwiches

Posted on https://www.westernliving.ca/

A new take on classic relish from Vancouver nonprofit Fresh Roots.

Zucchini season is coming up, and one can only make so much zucchini bread. This new take on a summer classic from Vancouver-based nonprofit Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society pickles zucchinis—along with red peppers and onions—for a sweet and tangy relish. Heads up that you’ll need canning jars for this recipe (another plus: this condiment will last a long time).

Fresh Roots provides cooking and farming programs for youth in B.C.’s lower mainland, encouraging them to get their hands dirty and build their knowledge of food systems (and some pretty invaluable self-confidence). They’re hosting a Schoolyard Farm Dinner fundraiser on Thursday, July 7 at David Thompson Secondary School with top chefs serving up some excellent eats—think Hokkaido scallop ceviche from Organic Ocean, veggie burgers from Sirius Eats and rainbow trout roulade from Ono Vancouver, plus Ernest’s ice cream and 33 Acres beer. Proceeds from this event go straight back to the youth programs—get your tickets here. Now, on to the recipe.

Ingredients

3 lbs zucchinis cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks

3 onions chopped

2 sweet red peppers diced

1/4 cup pickling salt

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 cup cider vinegar

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon celery seeds

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon water

Make It

In a food processor, pulse zucchini, adding a few pieces at a time, until the size of rice with a few larger pieces for texture. Transfer the zucchini to a large mixing bowl. Stir in onions, red peppers and salt. Let the mixture sit for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Drain vegetable mixture well; rinse, and drain again, pressing out as much moisture as possible.

In a large shallow saucepan, combine sugar, vinegar, mustard, celery seeds, ginger, turmeric and red pepper flakes; bring to boil. Add drained vegetable mixture; reduce heat and simmer, stirring often until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

Mix cornstarch with water and stir into relish; simmer, and continue stirring until you can pull your spoon along the bottom of the pan leaving a path that fills in slowly (about 5 minutes).

Pack into four 1-cup (250 mL) canning jars, leaving 1/2-inch (1 cm) headspace. Remove any air bubbles with a non-metallic utensil, readjusting headspace if necessary. Wipe jar rims to remove any relish remnants before securing the lids. Cover with prepared lids. Twist on screw bands until resistance is met; increase to ‘fingertip tight’. Lower jars in the canner of boiling water making sure there is at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water above the jars. Process for 15 minutes.

Recipe: Make This Fresh Zucchini Relish for All Your Summer Sandwiches

 

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Camp staff Puff and Turnip use puppets to share Worm loves Worm with campers. In the background is their group community agreement.

Happy Pride!

Camp staff Puff and Turnip use puppets to share Worm loves Worm with campers. In the background is their group community agreement showing what the group values.

It’s Pride Week in Vancouver, and awkward as it feels to say it, I’m proud of Fresh Roots and our commitment to inclusion of people across the sexuality and gender spectrums. I’m especially proud of how that’s showing up at Camp Fresh Roots and how we’re able to support our gender diverse campers and staff. Where we are today feels so different from the camps I worked at as a youth. As telling our stories and remembering where we’ve come from is an important part of Pride, I hope you’ll indulge a bit of personal history.

As a young queer* woman working at a Girl Scout camp in the Seattle area back in the late 1990’s, being vocally gay was seen as “not camper appropriate.” It was something you could be in the staff house (and there were a lot of us – it’s where I met my spouse!), but not in front of the kids. In other parts of the country, similar camps were firing or not rehiring staff just because of their sexual orientation. Gender diversity wasn’t something I even remember talking  about – trans people existed, but not at camp. (Several of my coworkers from that time have since come out as trans and/or non-binary, because of course they did exist at camp.) The idea that campers might be queer? Well, a trans 8 year old or a pansexual 12 year old wasn’t something we even thought about. This was, for the time, what a supportive camp environment looked like.

When I took on creating Camp Fresh Roots in 2017, I wanted it to be a space where campers and staff thrived and were able to bring their full selves. When we can be our full selves, and when we can see people like us as role models, that is when we thrive, connect, and build relationships. That’s when we live in joy. And Fresh Roots is all about building joyful relationships with food, land, and community.

Despite twenty plus years of social progress, we still live in a heteronormative, cis-centric society, so it’s taken specific intent and actions to realize our goals. The actions we’ve taken to create this space can be done by anyone just about anywhere. Many of them support our campers’ and staff’s other unique identities as well!

  • We recognize that there is no one “standard” family. We talk about “families” and “adults” instead of “mom and dad” or “parents.” Our forms don’t assume the genders or relationships of the most important adults in a camper’s life.
  • We honour people’s chosen names. While we need legal names for some documentation, we ask for preferred names and use those exclusively at camp. All our staff use camp names, which is a decades old camp tradition I wanted to bring to Fresh Roots. It’s also proving a really great way to introduce campers to the idea of respecting people’s chosen names, and the concept that people may use different names in different places or at different times.
  • We honour people’s pronouns. Pronouns can be tricky. For younger campers, the idea of what a pronoun is may be new; older campers may struggle with using pronouns differently than they are used to. So we take a multistep approach to this. All staff are introduced with their pronouns during the All Camp welcome on Monday mornings and have pronoun pins they can wear. Staff are empowered to engage in discussions with their camper groups about their gender identities and pronouns; some of our camper groups have chosen to make their own pronoun buttons. And we have a few books in our collection that help facilitate those conversations, especially around non-binary identities:
  • We have universal washrooms. It can be hard to decide what washroom you should use if your options are “boys” or “girls” and you’re not a boy or a girl. While we’ve always had single stall washrooms available, having to use a different washroom from your peers can feel exclusionary. And once you’re in a stall, does it really matter? So this summer we’ve made our washrooms universal by the high tech solution of art taped over the words “boys” or “girls”. (This also solves the problem of when more kids need to use the bathroom than there are stalls available in the “correct” washroom, or one of them is being cleaned. Inclusivity for the win!)

We are, as always, still learning and growing in how we can create a truly welcoming space, but we’re seeing the rewards of that work in how our staff and campers show up every day. The focus of our camp is growing, cooking, and sharing delicious food, learning about and caring for the natural world that supports that food, and making and deepening friendships and community connections. Knowing that at the same time we are creating a world where everyone is free to be who they are and love who they love, well, that’s definitely something to be proud of.

With 🏳️‍🌈 Pride and Joy 🏳️‍⚧️

Kat “Half-Note” Vriesema-Magnuson

 

*Queer can be a divisive term and has been used derogatorily for over 100 years. It is also a term that queer people have been using to describe themselves for that same length of time. In modern usage, it sometimes serves as an umbrella term for refer broadly to non-straight and/or non-cisgender people. Personally, it’s the label I took for myself as a young adult and is still the one that fits best with who I am and how I move through the world. As always, if you don’t know what words someone would like used for them, it’s always best to ask!

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FARMER’S LOG, SEED DATE JULY 1, 2022

WOW, welcome to the busiest moment at Fresh Roots. The week of July 4th is when all of our summer youth programming starts up – SOYL Internships in Vancouver, Delta & Coquitlam – and the EL Summer Camp at David Thompson. It’s also the week of our epic, annual fundraiser, where we haul together to fund our humongous programs, farm, and community work. Even though the sun is only mildly sticking his head out, we are sweating!

Speaking of the weather, wasn’t that nice to get some vitamin D over a handful of days this past month? The dramatic shift between constant, cool moisture and then a high of 34C meant all our daikons bolted, resulting in a pitiful 30lb harvest from 65 feet of plants. That said, our lettuces, brassica greens, and salad radishes have been absolutely radiant, and peas are coming in a rather late but epic wave of sweet, verdant pods. Rubicon Napa Cabbages were excellent, too.

While it’s been wonderful to swim in greens and tender radishes, we are so ready to reap the fruit of our labour. Many of our fruiting veggies are still a month behind, and aren’t showing signs of speeding up much. In an effort to try to stimulate faster growth, we planted most of our hot crops into black landscape fabric and installed low tunnels to mimic greenhouse conditions. Summer Squash looks like it might be ready for CSA in a couple of weeks but tomatoes definitely won’t hit the market until August. And peppers & eggplant  — eek — maybe not until September. 

Our markets have been going very smoothly. It’s been wonderful to stock it brimming with tasty plumage and come back with very little that didn’t find a home. However, did you know that every single morsel that comes back to our cooler is recovered either within the organization through our community eats program, or shared with South Van Neighbourhood House or Collingwood Neighbourhood house? Literally nothing is wasted. Being in an urban setting, connected with many food security organizations means that it’s easy to revert our market returns to mouths, and I’m so thankful for it. 

The farm team is finally complete with our newest member, Freshta. That reminds me – I ought to introduce the amazing folks that make up this season’s high-functioning, incredibly talented and hilarious team. 

Elina Blomley

They/She

Market Lead

Elina is studying food/agriculture at SFU and brings a whimsical and hilarious slang to the team. They are highly organized, have a keen eye for detail, and are just a delight to work with. 

Nicole Burton

She/They

David Thompson Field Lead

Nicole hails from the farms of Ontario, where the roads are wide and the summers are hot. She’s got an expertise in growing crops for seed as well as managing a market garden. Her cool-as-a-cucumber approach puts us at ease when things feel tight. 

Sam Tuck

He/They

Van Tech Field Lead

Sam braved the desert heat at Solstedt Farm in Lillooet last summer. He’s passionate about Indigenous Uprising and teaching the team a lot with his sharp anti-racist lens. 

Freshta Mohibi

She/Her

Market Assistant

We are blessed by this SOYL alum and ray of sunshine. Freshta is the newest member of our team and comes from a large, loving family that grew up tending to an apricot orchard. 

Stay tuned for updates next month on how our fundraiser went, and what’s new and in season on the farm. 

– Farmer Camille

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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