Urban farming expands onto school grounds

Community-supported agriculture is not an unfamiliar concept for regular Springwise readers, nor are the often-associated add-ons of bicycle-based produce delivery and compost services. Canadian Fresh Roots Urban Farm offers all of these; what sets it apart, however, is a series of partnerships it’s formed with local schools in the Vancouver area to create urban farms on school land.

Fresh Roots produces and distributes organically grown food through a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program as well as pocket markets and restaurant sales in the Vancouver area. Much of the produce for that program is grown by local urban farmers and in participating neighborhood gardens, but of particular interest are the organization’s new partnerships with local schools to use school land. At Queen Alexandra Elementary, for example, the relationship began last year when the Vancouver School Board bought a share from Fresh Roots’ CSA for its cafeteria salad bar program. Since then, however, the partnership has expanded to include a model urban farm on school land, thereby adding to Fresh Roots’ production capabilities while creating an outdoor, hands-on, experiential classroom for the school community. Similar partnerships have since been forged with two other local schools, and Fresh Roots invites the participation of others as well.

Urban farming and CSA offer countless benefits in their own right for community nutrition and sustainability, but the addition of educational and nutritional benefits for schoolkids makes for a stellar win indeed. Green-minded entrepreneurs: one to emulate! (Related: Helping home chicken farmers manage & share their eggs — More bicycle-delivered farm produce, now in Minnesota — Now in Toronto, more homegrown veggies without the work.)

Website: www.freshroots.ca

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