Delta School District has leased its Farm Roots eight-acre farm, located at 6570 1A Avenue in Delta (Boundary Bay) to Fresh Roots, a non-profit organization that cultivates engaging gardens and programs that encourage healthy eating, ecological stewardship and community celebration.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the district has been unable to operate the Farm Roots Mini School at the farm for the past two years. The district is using this pause in operations to assess the best format to incorporate agricultural programming into the curriculum, with a focus on grades 7 to 9, to help keep elementary students’ interest in agriculture alive.
“Fresh Roots is no stranger to our farm,” said Paige Hansen, Academy and Choice Programs, District Vice Principal. “For several years, we have worked in partnership with the shared aim of stewarding schoolyard farms to provide meaningful learning opportunities for youth. For example, over the past three years, Fresh Roots has helped manage the farm during the summer by hosting a summer youth leadership program – Sustainable Opportunities for Youth Leadership (SOYL). We are delighted to be able to lease our farm to them.”
Fresh Roots will continue to grow vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers at the farm, which will be available to the community through the farm stand and at local markets. Also, Fresh Roots will make weekly donations during harvest months to local food security organizations.
“We are so excited and grateful to have this opportunity to manage the farm for the next few months,” said Alexa Pitoulis, Fresh Roots. “The local community has always been so welcoming. If anyone is interested to know more about our SOYL program or has other questions, I encourage them to call me at 778-764-0DIG (0344), ext. 101.”
Delta School District will continue to use the farm as an outdoor learning classroom for students and possibly even community events once pandemic restrictions allow.The lease is set to run until Nov. 30.