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Summer at Growing Chefs!

August 11, 2014

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It’s August, and we’re well into summer already. Our Classroom Gardening program has ended, and we’ve just successfully wrapped up another year of our Eat.Give.Grow. fundraiser, where restaurants donate $1 from one of their dishes to our program. Now, you might think, what does Growing Chefs do for the rest of the year? Do we just shut down?

Actually, we’re in operation and busy 12 months of the year to prepare and provide amazing programs to students across BC. During summer, aside from the aforementioned Eat.Give.Grow. campaign, we have also ran campaigns in the past such as the Local Food Challenge, and hosted fundraisers with partners. In addition, we also engage in community outreach, by appearing at community events to spread the message about urban agriculture and eating healthy! One of the events we went to this year was the Spot Prawn Festival, where we had vegetable guessing games, seed ID, and planting activities where you could bring you plant home! This summer, we plan on going to more events, so if you are interested in what we do, bring your kids along and follow our Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Aside from running our programs, we also need to prepare for them. After the program ends, we have to collect over 30 classroom kits, and then wash, organize, and store them for next year. Each kit itself contains over 200 items, and including replenishing supplies, that means sending over 7000 items through the dishwasher and counting them up! That is only the classroom kits, we also need to organize and make sure our teaching materials such as curriculum are complete and up-to-date for our volunteers next year. Which leads me to remind you that we are always looking for more volunteers, and, honestly, who wouldn’t want to work with cute and energetic little kids?

Of course, running such a large classroom program requires a lot of resources. That’s why we’re constantly looking for ways to raise money so that we can bring our program to more kids. We’re already preparing for our flagship gala, From Farm to Forks 5, where we bring the region’s best chefs, growers, and mixologists for a night of food, drink, entertainment, and silent auctions. This year, we’re proud to announce that we have been designated a charity by the Canada Revenue Agency, which allows us to issue tax receipts for donations. If you want to see us continue to deliver important food education, support us now! Future generations of growers and chefs will thank you 🙂

As you can see, we have a lot to keep us busy! But even so, at our office at Woodwards, we keep two Patch Planters at our windowsill, where we are growing nasturtiums, which are edible flowers. This is all a part of our effort to practice what we preach: eat local, and eat healthy.

– Michael Ho

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