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Fresh Roots Urban Farm’s Backyard Harvest Dinner showcases culturally diverse foods

The Vancouver non-profit society empowers youth by growing, harvesting, and selling food

August 1st, 2021

Fresh Roots Urban Farm’s Backyard Harvest Dinner With Friends takes place on August 19 at 6 pm PDT.

 

MORE AND MORE people want to know where their food comes from. Vancouver’s Fresh Roots Urban Farm teaches youth all about what’s on their plate—including how to grow it.

Food equity among young people is a pressing issue. Some 2,000 Vancouver youth go hungry daily, according to Fresh Roots, while more than half of Vancouver youth (54 percent) do not eat the recommended daily amount of fruits or vegetables. Poor nutrition among students affects everything from academics to mental health to physical fitness.

The non-profit society’s Sustainable Opportunities Youth Leadership (SOYL) program gets youth involved in every step of the food process, from planting and harvesting to selling it at farmer’s markets. Youth also learn about food justice and cook with local chefs, whether for themselves or people in need in the community.

So much hands-on skills and entrepreneurial experience help build self-confidence and community engagement.

To raise funds for the SOYL program, the organization is hosting its Backyard Harvest Dinner with Friends on August 19 at 6 pm PDT. The online event includes a virtual farm tour, music, and entertainment.

Participants will receive a summer harvest box filled with items from new and culturally diverse local food businesses to have at home. The box includes dishes made by members of the first cohort of Flavours of Hope’s Dream Cuisines, a pilot program supporting newcomer refugee women launching food ventures in partnership with Coho Commissary. These include Super Dishes—Egyptian Halal Cuisine, Mis Cazuelas Mexican Food, and Tinker Bake (Mexican baked goods).

Ono Vancouver and Kula Kitchen helped develop the menu.

Other partners for the 2021 Backyard Harvest Dinner include Legends Haul, Organic Ocean Seafood, 33 Acres Brewing Co., Susgrainable, Odd Society Spirits, Plenty Hard Kombucha, VanSuya, Tsawwassen Farm School, the Italian Cultural Centre, UBC Farm, and VanCity.

Backyard Harvest Dinner tickets, $150, include dinner for two, beverage pairings, flowers for the table, and other items.

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Make It SOW is BACK!

Over the past year, the need for and the power of our SOYL (Sustainable Opportunities for Youth Leadership) program has become so clear with critical opportunities for youth to connect with their peers and mentors in person severely limited for the past 14 plus months due to the ongoing pandemic.

This spring, we saw a much higher demand for the SOYL (Sustainable Opportunities for Youth Leadership) program in Vancouver alone. 130 youth applied for 25 spots in our unique SOYL program for 2021. We need extra support to pay for an increased cost for supplies and workshops this summer and to grow the program to meet the overwhelming demand for next year.

The Problem

  • In British Columbia, 1 in 6 kids lives in households experiencing food insecurity.
  • Canadians spend more time indoors than ever before—approximately 90% of each day—and most of that time is spent sitting in front of a screen.
  • B.C. youth are reporting an increase in mental health conditions, including anxiety disorders, depression, and PTSD. The COVID-19 pandemic has made these numbers even worse.
  • With so many opportunities and programs for young people cut or canceled this past year, we’ve become acutely aware of Fresh Roots’ unique position to fill the gap with much-needed time spent outside on the schoolyard farms we steward.

How You Can Help

 

  1. Sponsor an item (or two!) from our wishlist
  2. Register as an individual or a team to spread the word with your own sub-campaign
  3. Contribute a one-time donation with a custom amount
  4. Become a MONTHLY DONOR   and provide steady & predictable income to ensure we can consistently run our programming in addition to being able to plan ahead and grow our existing offerings.
  5. Share with your friends and family, tagging us @freshrootsfarms and using the hashtag #makeitsow

Help us GROW!

WHAT WE DO

Together, we:

  • Create and steward Schoolyard Farms
  • Facilitate outdoor experiential learning with teachers and students
  • Mentor youth through field trips and classes on the schoolyard farms, after school clubs and summer programming,
  • Host work experience opportunities for high school-aged youth and young adults
  • Connect community to growing food through our volunteer opportunities
  • Share food with the community —through food-access programs and to our neighbours and community through farmers markets and our CSA veggie box program
  • Provide support for school gardens and associated programming through summer support and teacher professional development
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Menu for Fresh Roots’ Schoolyard Harvest Dinner Announced

July 28, 2020 | Scout Vancouver

Vancouver, BC | With less than two weeks left to score yourself mid-August feast from some of the region’s top producers, in support of a fantastic program. From the Fresh Roots team:

For this extra-special year, we are creating summer harvest boxes filled with everything you’ll need to create a beautiful summertime meal experience to share with friends, family, or your colleagues at home or in a location of your choice. The box will include fresh and chef-prepared ingredients for a simple and delicious meal to finish at home and thoughtful accoutrements like wine and flowers for the table. Menu created by Chef Natasha Sawyer and TJ Conwi.

Funds generated from the dinner directly benefit its SOYL (Sustainable Opportunities Youth Leadership) program, which engages and empowers youth.

Menu

Amuse Bouche
Profiteroles stuffed with Fresh Roots herbs and goat cheese, accompanied by candied Agassiz hazelnuts and wine compressed figs.

Charcuterie
A meat and veggie option with either a selection of charcuterie from Legends Haul or Végé-Pâté and spreadable dips from Saltspring Harvest and pickled vegetables from Cropthorne Farm, Zaklan Heritage Farm and Fresh Roots

Main
Sous vide Organic Ocean Seafood sockeye and Legends Haul sirloin masala, Fresh Roots harvest salad, zucchini palak paneer terrine, carrot vindaloo vinaigrette, atchara relish, and wheatberries

Dessert
Summer Cheesecake with raspberry coulis from Olera Organic Farms

Beverages
Choice of a bottle of red or white wine from Marquis Wine Cellars cans of 33 Acres Brewing Company Sunshine French Blanchè beer and kombucha from Bucha Brew

Accoutrements
a bouquet of flowers for the table, cookies from Susgrainable surprises created by our SOYL youth program participants, and more.

Info and tickets: freshroots.ca/harvestdinner

https://scoutmagazine.ca/2020/07/28/menu-for-fresh-roots-schoolyard-harvest-dinner-announced/?fbclid=IwAR0GhHVWWjgqkh9lVlubtxgYR0uR5c-7-CTEw2RL9EZp17eRhb62GOVaeWs

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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