Fall is here, she announced her name
And you can see her in this rain
This is time to harvest crops
and celebrate the bounty that drops.

Although the season on the farm is slowing down, that’s just the time that Fresh Roots is busy in the classroom and working with you to help prepare and grow. October is the time that we harvest the last of the bounty from the year. Beets, carrots, squash – the last of Summer’s sun is harvested in the fruits, stems, roots, leaves, and seeds of our plants on the farm and in the forest.  It’s also a time of mushroom growth – the mycelium that runs throughout our forests like a wood wide web, is pushing forth mushroom fruiting bodies to spread spores and grow.

It’s in this time that we take stock of what it means to have bounty. As farmer educators we try to emulate that in our work and our lives.  That happens in two key ways: First, we share. Whether that’s food from the farm or the infectious excitement about what can grow when youth are empowered.  This year, we’re sharing even more food through a program called LunchLAB, where youth at two schools learn how to grow, cook, and share lunch with 150 of their peers twice a week. We’re also helping share the magic of the Earth Sprit Healing Forest and Medicine Garden at the Suwa’lkh School in Coquitlam.  Set on over seven acres of land, we’re working with youth to reindigenize that land – remove the invasive species, plant native plants and medicines. We as an organization are learning from both the plants and place. And we acknowledge and are learning what it means to engage as a settler organization supporting and working to grow indigenous food systems. If you’re interested in learning more, check out what’s happening at Suwa’lkh.

The second is that we recognize that bounty exists – not just on the farm, but with the youth we work with. Youth have a tremendous amount of knowledge – both about the world as it is, as well as ideas on how to help make it a better place. Watching the global UN climate strikes, listening to the passion in our youth voices, and seeing the power of youth engagement, we recognize that youth have a bounty of energy and solutions to help make change that is so needed. Whether that is globally when it comes to climate change or at home, when it comes to helping their families, creating thriving communities, or sharing healthy food.  Helping everyone recognize the bounty that they walk with helps everyone to see their ability to affect positive change in the world.

This October, as Thanksgiving beckons and we harvest the energy of the sun, I encourage you to explore where you have bounty in your life. Might you be able to help share that bounty with someone else? You might have a wealth of experience that someone you know could benefit from.  It might mean sharing a favourite recipe with a friend. It might mean stopping by the Press Fest with two jars this year, one to share with a friend!

However you end up sharing your bounty, may this season fill you up.

We look forward to celebrating with you,

Marc and the Fresh Roots Farm Team!

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