Happy Spring Everyone!
And what a rainy spring it has been! Regardless of the rain, the Fresh Roots team has been moving in shaking in all kinds of exciting directions. Last week we facilitated a big hoop house build on our farm by the Fraser River, had some fantastic times, got lots done, and laughed till our bellies ached. You can find photos of the great days here and here.
On the school front, yesterday we signed the partnership agreement with the Vancouver School Board, the first of its kind in Canada! This will allow us to build small farms on school land, where we will grow outdoor classrooms for the school community to use, as well as food that we will sell back into the community and offer a long-term, resilient partnership with everyone involved! See below for the press release sent out this morning!
Also, Global TV did a media clip about BC’s Farm to School program, which Fresh Roots is one of the main growers for. You can check it out here http://www.globaltvbc.com/video/farm+to+school+program/video.html?v=2241211411#health+headlines
And our fields are healthy, our farmers happy, and we are looking forward to our first CSA pick-up this coming June 20.
With a fistful of excitement for summer 2012!
The Fresh Roots Farm Team
Vancouver School Board
VSB and Fresh Roots Partner to Create Large School Market Garden at Van Tech
Vancouver, BC (June 13, 2012) – The Vancouver School Board and non-profit Fresh Roots signed a partnership agreement paving the way for a quarter acre landscaped school market garden. The agreement is the first of its kind in Canada.
“We’re combining local food, urban agriculture and education at our schools,” says Kevin Millsip, Sustainability Coordinator for the VSB. “The work we’re doing on urban agriculture is important and we’re very happy to work with Fresh Roots to take farm to school to the next level.”
The school’s market garden will be specifically designed to provide both an educational space where students can learn about agriculture and gardening while growing Asian greens, salad greens, beets, carrots, garlic and a variety of other vegetables that grow in parallel to the school year. By synchronizing the growing season of the garden with the school year, organizers say students will reap the benefits of a fall and winter harvest.
“Hundreds of children in schools in Vancouver eat our schoolyard grown veggies with huge smiles on their faces because they learn and play in the spaces where their food grows and know their farmers,” said Ilana Labow, a Director with Fresh Roots. “We are so excited to grow a large-scale hands-on learning classroom that will make it possible for thousands of children to share in the same experience.”
School Board officials say the partnership opens up a whole range of possibilities at a time that the district is seeking new ideas to repurpose existing land and facilities in lieu of declining enrolment and fiscal challenges.
“This is a wonderful example of the VSB taking an unusable space and repurposing it into something that’s aesthetically pleasing, educationally engaging and sustainable,” says Rob Wynen, a School Trustee with the Vancouver School Board.
Fresh Roots has already collaborated with the district on a pilot garden project at Queen Alexandra Elementary. The scale of the Van Tech project is expected to dwarf the Queen Alexandra pilot. Fresh Roots organizers say a future market garden is already being planned for David Thompson Secondary.
Photos of the groundbreaking available. For more information or to arrange an interview:
Public Relations and Media Specialist
Vancouver School Board
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