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Looking to Volunteer? Join Our Big Help on April 16th!

IN TWO WEEKS! We’re urgently looking for volunteers to help us kick off the growing season in our first Big Help volunteer party of 2024: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/schoolyard-farm-volunteer-big-help-tickets-876050830617

Date: Tuesday, April 16th

Drop-in Times: 4-6pm

Location: David Thompson schoolyard farm

(1755 East 55th Ave – at the intersection of 55th Ave and Argle St)

More upcoming Big Help dates & general info on our website: https://freshroots.ca/volunteer/

We need a minimum of 3 sign ups, so invite your friends, family, neighbours, and co-workers to work together with other community members to support kids and youth on schoolyard farms!

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Help! Fresh Roots is Urgently Seeking a Cooler Space in Vancouver

Hello to all Fresh Roots’ wonderful friends & community partners,

I’m reaching out today to ask for help. We have had to vacate our cooler space and need a solution ASAP so that we can operate our market and CSAs this season starting May 15th, 2024. Without a cooler, we may have to cancel and refund our commitments. 

Since our options on our growing sites are limited, we are reaching out to our community to see if there are any other opportunities.

We need a cooler to help keep our weekly harvest by our farm team & youth fresh for the community. Without a cooler, we limit the amount and quality that we can harvest and process in a shorter amount of time, as well as put our farmers and youth at risk by limiting when things can be harvested, especially in the summer heat.

There are two directions we can explore:

  1. A temporary solution: this season starting in mid-May to Oct. 31 to hold us over until we arrive at a permanent solution.
  2. A permanent solution: ongoing, multi-year agreement or set-up for a cooler space that fits our list of needs.

Our Needs

  • 4-6 pallets worth of refrigerated space
  • Flexible access with our own set of keys
  • Located in East Van – ideally within 2 km north of Vancouver Technical Secondary (2600 East Broadway) and 2km south of David Thompson Secondary (1755 East 55th Ave) but we are welcoming suggestions beyond that area.

We are open to:

  • Sharing/renting space
  • Retrofitting a container with a coolbot system or hiring someone to invent a mobile cooler
    1. This option requires a place to park our unit and;
    2. Electricity / Solar Panels (are you an electrician with experience with this kind of thing?)
    3. Possibly also a water hookup, even just with a long hose to an indoor area

Help us save our markets and CSA’s this season, keeping our harvested veggies fresh, but also our opportunities for youth this summer!

Thanks for the time you’ve taken to read this over. If you have resources that fit any of these parameters, we are eager to connect. My contact is listed below. We can pay, trade, share, promote — anything — we just need somewhere to house our veggies through the summer!

Fresh Roots community! We need your help to find our next cooler space.

Contact

Camille Flanjak (she/they)

Director of Farming and Operations

Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society

ph: 778-764-0DIG (0344), ext. 111

camille@freshroots.ca

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FARMER’S LOG, SEED DATE OCTOBER 26, 2022

It’s time to wrap things up on the farm. We had our last market of the season on Saturday and final CSA pickup the week before. Even though our plants aren’t melting away like they usually do at this time of the year, they have stopped producing and are ready for their next stage of life and death in the compost. 

While Fresh Roots winterizes the farms, we are also looking for someone to replace me during my parental leave in 2023. This person will be starting early in the year and working all season, overlapping with my return at the end of the summer. I’m hoping to find a person who will want to continue working with Fresh Roots for many years to come after I’m back. So, in an effort to recruit someone awesome, I’ve decided to use this blog entry to give a little breakdown of my position during peak season, and make it easier for folks to imagine themselves here

Farm Manager: Season Overview

The FR core team spends the winter strategizing on how to make things smooth, fun, and true to our overall mission. This makes spring feel totally fresh and exciting. The first thing the farm manager does is review the crop plan, count the seeds, and place a seed order. Then, there’s organizing the spaces, figuring out what compost and amendments are needed, and spending more money (provided by early season CSA purchases)  on all the good stuff. Seeds for our long-season crops need to be started either in the ‘grow-op’ in our storage space at the office, or in the prop house in the courtyard of David Thompson. Direct seeding starts at the end of February, so a portion of the farm’s beds need to be prepped and amended in preparation.

Next is hiring the farm team. The team looks a little different every year depending on where we are farming, but for the Vancouver site, I hire the following positions: 1) Market Lead, 2) David Thompson Field Lead, 3) Van Tech Field Lead, and 4) SOYL Jr Market Assistant. There may also be volunteers,  interns and LFS students who need to be onboarded, too. 

By May, all these folks should have their schedules and start a 5-week training program to get familiar with their responsibilities. This means that by the middle of June and the start of the CSA pickup, the staff and volunteers know what’s up and can graduate to beginning their leadership phase. This marks the start of Peak Season when we all need to work together as an oiled machine to meet our goals. By the first week of July, our summer youth internship program starts up, and SOYL youth will be directed by the farm workers in farm and market tasks for 6 weeks. 

A Week in the Boots of a Farm Manager

Here’s what my week looked like in 2022’s peak season, keeping in mind that 2023 may look differently depending on which markets we sign-up for, how we structure our CSA, and who is helping us harvest:

Monday: Admin and Communications 

This work can either be done on the Fresh Roots computers in our office or from home on the farm manager’s personal computer. I usually work from home with my cat on my lap and a steamy mug of tea. 

  • Email, orders, payments, newsletters, blog
  • Data entry of harvest, sales & CSA records from the previous week
  • 15-minute visits to the sites to see what veggies are coming up and making lists of what needs to be done
  • This week’s harvest planning for CSA and Market. Record plans in the Harvest Plan and CSA Plan documents
  • Field work plans for the week plus delegation of seeding & transplanting plans and ensuring data entry has been done
  • Work plan emailed to all the farm team including links to Field Work, CSA & Harvest Plans
  • Communicating in slack with all the other departments in Fresh Roots about what kids can do on the farm, and where we might need help. This means making clear plans with facilitators and managers in: Experiential Learning (EL), Sustainable Opportunities for Youth leadership (SOYL), & our Administrators (ED, Ops, and Comms). 
  • Fresh Sheet for EL so they can plan their farm lunches for day camp (feeds 40 kids)
  • Expense reporting
  • Review & approve the farm team’s hours if it’s the end of a pay period

Tuesday – Harvest Day

  • 730am: meet at David Thompson to harvest tender veggies
  • 1130am: ICC cooler – drop off harvest and eat lunch
  • 1-3pm: Van tech harvest of fruiting veggies / hot crops
  • 3-330pm: drop off harvest at the ICC cooler

Wednesday – Market Day & CSA Pickup #1

  • 730am: harvest flowers & any remaining harvest needed for CSA or Market
  • 1130am: pick up our bread order and maybe mushroom order
  • Lunch!
  • 1-330pm: help set up the market (operates 3-7)  with the Market Lead and whoever is helping out that day; either another farm team member, SOYL Youth, or volunteers

Thursday – Harvest Day

  • 730am: David Thompson
  • 1130am: ICC Cooler
  • Lunch!
  • 1-3pm: Van Tech
  • 3-330pm: ICC cooler

Friday – Field Work, Remaining Harvest & CSA Delivery for Pickup #2

  • 730am: complete any necessary harvest for CSA Pickup / Saturday market. Otherwise field work! 230 CSA Delivery to Collingwood Neighbourhood House for their “Community Care Veggie Box” program
  • 330pm: finished!

Saturday – VFM Market 

OFF!

Sunday – Everybody takes a day of rest!

OFF!

Wrapping Up the Season

Once the farm team’s summer contracts are over – usually at the end of August – one of the workers will stay on through the fall to help wrap up the CSA & markets and to winterize the farm. In 2023, I’ll be back to help the acting FM wrap things up. Together, we’ll write the crop plan for 2024 and work on the end-of-season reporting. We’ll also staff any remaining markets together, likely adjusting our schedules to Tuesday to Saturday. 

There are many other pieces of work that aren’t explicitly outlined in my weekly schedule – like all the planning and training that happens, community outreach events, volunteer events, tours, and workshops I lead. These bits and bobs are usually crammed into Mondays or Fridays, or woven into harvest days. Volunteer and youth training is also delegated to the farm team members during their field work time. Overseeing the schedules of each farm team member can be a jigsaw puzzle, noting that each member has their own domain to manage and it’s up to the Farm Manager to make sure responsibilities are fulfilled and deadlines are being met so we can meet our CSA and Market commitments. It’s also up to the Farm manager to make sure that mentorship is happening across the organization – so that the farm team members are supported and empowered to teach youth the skills they’ve acquired in their first 5 weeks. 

Peak Season is incredibly dense but it’s a lot of fun. All of the folks working on the farm are youth – from the farm team to the 4-year old campers in the EL program. There is so much life and energy to play with in this job, and I hope whoever is looking for that kind of fun will apply!

– Farmer Camille

Do you have what it takes to be our Acting Good Farm Manager in 2023? Apply here: https://freshroots.bamboohr.com/careers/53

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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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Attention Foodies This Urban Farm Fundraisers Dinner Menu Looks Spectacular

Eat charcoal hummus! Think of the children!

Jul 4, 2022

Vancouver nonprofit Fresh Roots is best known for their farming-focused youth programs—summer camps, in-school workshops and other organized educational activities that encourage kids to get their hands dirty. So you probably wouldn’t expect their fundraiser to include rainbow trout ceviche, wine-macerated figs and burnt onion charcoal hummus.

But the urban farm society’s annual fundraising dinner isn’t made by the kids (there must be some kind of legislation around children and wine-macerating, anyway). It’s done in partnership with local chefs, and this year’s spread includes dishes by Robert Clark and Julian Bond of Organic Ocean, TJ Conwi of Ono Vancouver and Brockton Lane of Sirius Eats food truck. Plus, there’s goods from 33 Acres, Wards Cider, Edna’s Non-Alcoholic Cocktails, Earnest Ice Cream and Kafka’s Coffee. 

Fresh Roots Schoolyard Dinner 2019

A snapshot of the 2019 dinner.

The event, called “Before Sunset,” is on Thursday July 7 from 4:30pm to 7:30pm. Eventbrite tickets are priced from $134 for adults and $28 for children under 12. Here’s the full menu:

Drinks:
33 Acres of Sunshine French Blanchè and Ocean West Coast Pale Ale 
Wards Hard Apple Cider 
Edna’s Paloma and Mojito Cocktails 

From chefs at Organic Ocean: 
Spot Prawn Carpaccio, Hokkaido Scallop Ceviche on cedar planks 

From chef at Sirius Eats food truck: 
Beet Ceviche
(marinated Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) Farm beets 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)  

From chef at Ono Vancouver: 
Rainbow Trout Roulade (smoked salmon mousse, Haida Gwaii kelp dust, nori, rhubarb wild-berry jelly, bannock crackers) 

On the grazing table: 

Bannock flatbread 

Wine-macerated figs and fruit 

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 

Crackers, olives, vegan charcuterie, cheese and spreads  

For dessert: 

Earnest Ice Cream sandwich  

Kafka’s Coffee Roasting Horchata Cold Brew 

Of course, you can donate to the nonprofit any time of year, but this is an extra-special (and tasty) way to show support. It’s the first time that Fresh Roots has hosted the dinner in-person since 2019, thanks to the COVID pandemic.

The dinner takes place outdoors on the urban farm at David Thompson Secondary, so guests can walk around and see the grounds for themselves. There’s live music from Sam Parton of the Be Good Tanyas and art activities for the youth (and young at heart) too. Get your tickets here. 

https://www.vanmag.com/Attention-Foodies-This-Urban-Farm-Fundraisers-Dinner-Menu-Looks-Spectacular

Fresh Roots Summer Fundraiser: Before Sunset

June 7, 2022

Foodgressing Vancouver

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 in VancouverBefore 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.

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.

Fresh Roots Summer Fundraiser

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)

Spot Prawn Carpaccio
Hokkaido Scallop Ceviche

on 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 ~

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

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.

Fresh Roots Summer Fundraiser

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.

Fresh Roots Summer Fundraiser

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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Grab Tickets for the Before Sunset Outdoors Dinner

The Fresh Roots ‘Before Sunset’ schoolyard dinner spreads across the fields of David Thompson Secondary schoolyard Thursday, July 7th.

Besides a bunch of fresh, expertly prepared food and drinks, Before Sunset guests will also be invited to enjoy live music, take tours of the on-site farm gardens, and participate in some fun activities. We think that the real thrill, though, is the idea of piling into the David Thompson Secondary schoolyard after all of the students have cleared out for the summer, to spend a few hours connecting with friends and other members of the food-loving community. Scout got a sneak peek of the evening’s dinner spread, and we’re already sold. Check it out for yourself below:

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)
~

Spot Prawn Carpaccio
Hokkaido Scallop Ceviche on cedar planks

By chefs Rob Clark and Julian Bond | Organic Ocean Seafood
~

Beet Ceviche
marinated Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) Farm beets, 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
~

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

Early Bird tickets, available until June 20th, are $100 per person. For those who have been saving up to splurge, there’s also a $200 VIP option that comes with special perks and a ‘goodie bag’. Regular ticket sales ($125 per person, $25 for kids) are technically open right up until July 6th, but we seriously doubt they’ll last that long… so don’t risk disappointment by putting off securing your spots! Head over here now. Bonus: all funds from the event go towards continuing Fresh Roots’ awesome hands-on farming programs for youth (find out more).

https://scoutmagazine.ca/2022/06/06/grab-tickets-for-the-before-sunset-outdoors-dinner-now/

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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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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?