Transformed turnips, awesome arugula, bountiful beets: that's what is for lunch at David Thompson Secondary. This June, Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society is growing another "first in Canada" schoolyard market garden to grow local, sustainable produce for sale and facilitate experiential education in the garden.
DT Chef and Culinary Arts Instructor Lee Green led the request for the Fresh Roots & DT collaboration.
"In the hectic, day to day life of a student and a teacher, a thriving working urban farm presents vibrant ways to positively affect students understanding of the interconnectivity of all things. With Fresh Roots students will be able to experience the full cycle of how their food arrives on their table," said Green. "They will experience and enjoy the benefits of the work and exercise involved in producing food, they'll have the joy of watching plants grow that they have nurtured and the satisfaction of eating nutritious, delicious, and locally grown produce. They will gain business and sales skills from involvement in farmers markets and gain awareness of social and eco-justice agricultural issues from local involvement with their community."
Over 31% of Canadian children are overweight or obese, leading to increased incidence of diabetes and heart disease, reducing the quality of life for many Canadians. Food is a critical part of healthy living and healthy eating. Yet, choosing to eat nutritious food in an era of quick and processed foods is not always easy.
"Our farms are literally a living advertisement for broccoli," says Marc Schutzbank, co-director of Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society. "Neighbours get a chance to get involved in the growing of vegetables."
This project is generously supported by Vancity, the Real Estate Foundation of BC, the Vancouver Foundation, the City of Vancouver, and a collaboration with the Vancouver School Board along with many other community partners.