We value our partnerships with all organizations.
Fresh Roots works with local
- Elementary schools
- High schools
- Youth-run arts and activism centres
- BC farmers
- Alternative high schools
- Neighborhood houses
- Non-profit societies
In collaboration, Fresh Roots Urban Farm fields are used as outdoor, hands-on learning classrooms where school communities and residents of Vancouver address food sovereignty, community health, and enable vocational skills development. Our urban fields facilitate neighborhoods actively engaging with where their food comes from.
Come grow with us! Our flexible and dynamic team is always looking to expand our network of friends and allies.
Fresh Roots Schoolyard Market Gardens
Schoolyard Market Gardens are outdoor, hands-on learning classrooms where school communities address food sovereignty, health, obesity, and other food-related societal diseases, and introduce life-long patterns of healthy eating and food literacy.
By growing a larger-scale market garden, Fresh Roots brings stability and expertise to a school garden and school community.
We work with youth and their families to reconstruct an urban food system that is resilient, sustainable, and accessible to the greater Vancouver community.
Our Schoolyard Market Gardens:
- Provide an opportunity to meet the BC curriculum objectives in creative, engaging ways
- Empower youth through skills development and hands-on, experiential learning
- Increase school-community collaborations leading to healthier relationships
- Create green collar job opportunities for youth
- Establish an opportunity for a school community to address food sovereignty, health, obesity, and other food-related societal diseases, and introduce life-long patterns of healthy eating and food literacy
- Expose youth to the realities of a living, working farm, transforming society’s current, distorted relationship with farming and food.
- Showcase an aesthetically pleasing, calm and inspiring space maintained by a partner organization.
We partner with schools in a variety of ways. If your school community is interested in learning more about growing a market garden with Fresh Roots, please contact Ilana at ilana@freshroots.
Current School Projects Include:
Queen Alexandra Elementary
The relationship with Queen Alexandra Elementary took root in 2010 when the Vancouver School Board (VSB) bought a share from our CSA for their cafeteria salad bar program. Since then the relationship has blossomed, and Fresh Roots has actualized the first Schoolyard Market Garden, supporting our farmers with access to land and the opportunity to earn a living wage while creating an outdoor, hands-on, experiential classroom for the school community, after school programs, and summer school programs; enabling the school and surrounding community to build a relationship to growing and consuming food.
Through establishing a partnership with Fresh Roots Urban Farm, FRUF farmers initially helped manage and maintain DT’s greenhouse. The greenhouse had sat dormant for years. Now it is actively used by students and after-school programs, full of consistently stewarded, thriving, healthy plants. We are now preparing to grow a Schoolyard Market Garden together.
Vancouver Technical Secondary School
As VanTech began drawing plans for a new green space, they invited Fresh Roots to join in the conversation. Now Fresh Roots is growing the first larger-scale Schoolyard Market Garden in Canada at VanTech. This Schoolyard Market Garden grows food for the community while utilized as an outdoor learning classroom by school teachers and the surrounding neighborhood.
- Teachers utilize the consistently stewarded garden to teach their curriculum in.
- Students are joining young urban farmers getting dirty while learning and sharing transformational life experiences in their edible schoolyard.
- Cafeteria staff look forward to sourcing produce from school grounds
Urban Farmer Internship Program
We are excited to offer a hands-on urban farming experience through our urban farming internships. We have both part-time and full-time internships in organic urban food production as well as compost management.
- Hands-on training in urban agriculture including: organic growing methods, crop rotation and scheduling, building infrastructure and maintenance, installing irrigation systems, and harvest and storage techniques
- Training in smaller-scale, inner city organic waste management systems (composting and vermicomposting)
- Experience in small business management
- Opportunity for significant personal transformation
- Fun in fresh urban farm fields
Community Shared Agriculture (CSA)
CSAs close the gap between farmers and eaters, ultimately bringing them closer together. Eaters ‘buy in’ at the beginning of the season and receive a weekly backyard-grown box of veggies for 22 weeks (5 months). As a member of our CSA, you’ll receive the best of locally available produce and get a feel for what the growing season is like here in Vancouver.
Participation in a CSA is a small, but effective way we as a community can confront some of the global challenges of pollution, land degradation and food insecurity. We are committed to offering our community virtually zero carbon emissions food: freshly harvested, bike-trailer delivered, grown in Vancouver compost, by local Vancouver farmers, with Vancouver love.