Dig in to Something Good!



SOYL employs secondary school aged youth to grow, cook, and sell healthy food in their community, all while learning about sustainability through our food system. FROYLcollaborationstatement

This blog is an archive of reflections from SOYL youth participants 2010-2015.

Find out more about SOYL today on the Fresh Roots website.



Creating a new path~

Today, we started the day off at Churchill by weeding some small plants from the garden beds. A small little carrot seed, a demonstration carrot seed (For the kids workshop) has sprouted with our cucumbers! Who would have thought that the little girl would come out…

After, we turned on the irrigation to water the plants and continued on with market planning and doing some blogging afterwards.

After lunch, we visited an urban garden near Langara. The garden was amazingly beautiful! Seeing their tomato trellis compared to ours made ours look way smaller. We got a tour around the garden and were told that seniors often come and visit the garden. But lately, only a few have shown up. To grant them better access, we decided to clear out the path that leads into and through the garden…by weeding! We were assigned into different sectors of the path and we clawed and raked out weeds that may cause harm to the seniors in wheelchairs. Even though it was particularly hot that day, we still pulled through! (Like the buff team we are).

Once we were done, we head back to Churchill and were dismissed from there.

Protective Sign Making and Creative Cake Baking


Alan Y. Making One Of Many Do Not Steal Signs


Beatrice A. Showing Off Her Freshly Baked Cauliflower Banana Cake

Started off the day weeding the garden, then transitioned into a great warm up game by Salma and Alejandra. During lunch, we were presented with the unusual incorporation of cauliflower in a banana cake baked by Beatrice although it was surprisingly delicious. And finally, we ended off the day by making don’t steal signs for the gardens and doing a bit of watering.  (づ ̄ ³ ̄)づ

Community Day Week 4

Week 4 was a blast!

In the morning, as our warm up we played two truths and one lie.It was amazing how some lies were hard to guess because they seemed so real.Later on we visited the Fresh Direct warehouse , there was so much produce.We saw mushrooms, ginger, yam ,tomatoes ( hey why did the tomatoes blush when it saw the salad? Because it saw the salad dressing!!:>) ,etc.After the tour of the warehouse, we had a trivia game.If you get a question correct, you get a prize but at the end everyone got a prize because it was a happy day!


In the afternoon , we explored the cottonwood community garden. It seemed small from the outside view but from the inside , it was like a totally different world.There were so many different coloured flowers, big trees , small trees and also a full garden to the native plants. we also ate mole berries but they were hard to reach so Salma reached for the berries so thank you dear Salma. we saw the kiwi vines , with just a lonely kiwi hanging. we saw A BANANA TREE!! but no bananas growing :(.We had lunch under a tree , it was shady and cool. WE HAD SO MUCH PUN!!!!!!


At the end , we visited the farmer’s market it was their 20th anniversary! CONGRATULATIONS!!!There was a lot of fresh organic produce that the farmers grew and harvested themselves .People were selling baked goods , honey, different types of home-made cheese and I scream for Ice cream! They even had free coffee and mini donuts , they were amazing!

Thank you to the fresh direct for showing us around their warehouse and also thank you to Jill for giving us a tour around the garden. Also thanks to Daniel for giving us more information about the farmer’s market!

Gardening In The Rain!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Day started off dreary and damp, with a game of Handshake murderer to get us moving and laughing. It was especially funny when everyone died right after I shook their hand, even though I was NOT the murderer. Whatever, it was fun.

After the fun and games, it was time to get to work. In the garden. In the rain. It wasn’t terrible, but it was definitely cold, and we all wanted to be done as quickly as possible. Luckily, there wasn’t much to do, just some weeding and maintenance, so we were out of the rain in no time.

After gardening, we headed inside to start blogging. It was a lot of fun, and it was better than being out in the rain.

Lunch came next, and then we started our leadership workshop. A game we started out with had someone blindfolded of a circle, with everyone trying to grab a pair of keys in between the blindfolded persons legs. Then we worked on listening skills, and had an activity where we had to pretend to be bad listeners. It was really hard to pretend to not be listening, and it didn’t feel nice to be distracting and rude.

We ended of the day with a rousing game of Ninja, where the objective is to hit other peoples’ hands, while protecting your own. After some creative positions, and bending into some interesting shapes, then game was over, and thus ended the day.

Just Like Your Great-Grandma Used to Make

On our third community day everyone met up at Van Tech and leaned about food processing which meant lots of cooking, food and most importantly eating! Milling grain is something that most in this generation never think about but we got to try it out first hand turning whole grains into flour we used to make our bread.

Milling Grain.

Milling Grain.

Baking Bread

Baking Bread.

We broke into groups to make the most scrumptious bread creations possible which included a sweet version of an “everything bagel” roll, a fig jam twist, oat bread, a cheesy empanada and of course the classic cinnamon roll. Secondly, everyone got a chance to learn the process of canning and just how labor intensive ,but important, it was for those who lived before refrigeration. Jars and jars of a no sugar added strawberry jam were created after numerous bowls of strawberries were cut and mashed. Finally, our last creation of the day was pickled beans. There were three huge boxes of beans to chop up and it seemed like an insurmountable task, but everyone pulled through to get through two boxes to be pickled. In addition to the pickling liquid, dill, garlic and even a few spicy peppers were added to pack a powerful punch of flavor. Different veggie of the week creations were also sampled which included cooked beets, turnips and a very vibrant beet and banana smoothie.This weeks veggie of the week were the same beans that we canned and even though everyone took home bulging bags of beans there were still many left. At the end of the day we all got together to taste our lovely creations which got gobbled up in minuted they were so good! On the whole it was a very delicious day filled with canning, pickling and bread making on our third community day which left both our interests and stomachs satisfied.



Intense Weeding (´∀`∩

Danica and her beets

Danica and her beets #don’t drop the beet

We started the day off in the Fresh Roots Garden of David Thompson.  (σ`・∀・´)σ

We did some weeding in the carrot club garden by using shovels and forks. The weeds were difficult to pull out and there were clumps of soil at the bottom ヾ(-_- )ゞbut in the end we managed to pull most of them out.   (・`ω´・ ●)

After, we transplanted ground cherries. ₍₍ ◝(・ω・)◟ ⁾⁾  We watered them immediately to restore their nutrients.  ♪ ヘ(^o^ヘ)(ノ^o^)ノ ♪

We had a lunch break shortly after; during this time, two members of the group brought veggie of the week (which were beets (*-ω-) )and got their pictures taken ( ´∀`)b .

After we finished lunch, we planned for the kids workshop and everyone took some basil leaves and brought it home.  (*・∀-)