How to take part in a Vancouver school farm fundraiser dinner in your own backyard

They’ll supply the harvest, you serve your dinner at home and it all supports keeping youth healthy and working in Vancouver

By: Lindsay William-Ross

It’s hard to host a long table dinner when restaurant tables in B.C. are limited to just six diners apiece these days due to COVID-19, so many special events are having to either cancel for 2020 or reconfigure completely.

One group that has totally revamped their annual fundraiser is the Schoolyard Harvest Dinner, a summer event that benefits Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society.

This year, Fresh Roots will hold their dinner as an “At-Home Edition” where diners can enjoy a small gathering with big, fresh flavours at home, and can connect with other supporters online – instead of on the lawn at David Thompson Secondary as usual.

Taking place Thursday, August 13, ticket holders can purchase summer harvest boxes curated by Fresh Roots that will be filled with everything you’ll need to create a beautiful meal at home to share with friends or family. There will even be wine and flowers, to accent your at-home experience. Order online and pick up on your chosen day. Harvest boxes are available for two, four, or six guests, and arrangements can be made if you are interested in holding a larger – but COVID-safe – get together.

Guests will come together online on August 13 at 6 p.m. for a celebration and program featuring kitchen tips and tricks from chefs TJ Conwi and Natasha Sawyer about how to compose your plates with the contents of your summer harvest box. Participants from the SOYL program will also share stories about their time with Fresh Roots.

Funds generated from the dinner directly benefit Fresh Roots’ SOYL (Sustainable Opportunities Youth Leadership) program, which engages and empowers youth. This is their fourth-annual iteration of the fundraiser event.

Fresh Roots is the Vancouver organization with a vision to “cultivate engaging gardens and programs that catalyze healthy eating, ecological stewardship, and community celebration.” To that end, Fresh Roots runs Schoolyard Market Gardens, educational farms that they utilize as pathways to youth empowerment and employment.

Partners for the 2020 Schoolyard Harvest Dinner At-Home Edition include Legends Haul, Marquis Wine Cellars, Organic Ocean, 33 Acres Brewing Co., Saltspring Harvest, Susgrainable, and Fife Bakery with more generous donors to be confirmed in the days to come.

Schoolyard Harvest Dinner At-Home Edition

When: Thursday, August 13, 2020, at 6 p.m.

Where: At the location of your choosing/online

Cost: $150-450