The 2018/19 School Year

School’s out for summer and that’s a wrap on our 2018/19 program year, once again our biggest program year to date.

We are very excited to share that thanks to 249 volunteers we were able to bring our Classroom Gardening and Cooking Program to 73 classrooms across 13 school districts in B.C. That’s over 1,600 kids learning to grow and cook healthy food!

Every classroom starts our program by planting seeds to start their own indoor windowsill garden. Students then observe and care for their gardens over the course of our three months in their classroom until it is time for us to harvest and cook with what we’ve grown.

As the gardens grow, our chefs introduce kids to new and interesting vegetables, encouraging them to explore new flavours. Our participating teachers observed their students become more willing and interested in trying new foods throughout the course of the program in their classrooms.

Students also learn about nutrition, how foods affects our bodies, and the importance of eating healthy. Entire classrooms would go crazy for second and third helpings of salad made from spinach after hearing how it helps make them stronger. A grade 2 student from one of our classrooms at Van Horne Elementary has even made a habit of showing his teacher the healthy snacks he brings in his lunch every day after their class participated in our healthy salad making lesson.

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Every Growing Chefs! lesson involves eating and tasting but no lesson is more exciting for students, teachers, and volunteers alike than our stir fry cooking lesson. Students excitedly sit in their chairs as they watch our chefs go over how to use a knife and demonstrate their knife skills. A grade one class at Tecumseh Elementary even broke out into a chorus of “oo’s and ah’s” as our chef demonstrated how to core and slice a green pepper.

Together students harvest our gardens, washing and laying out all their vegetables, and prepping everything working together in teams. As we start cooking, a murmur of exclamations about the aromas and sounds coming from our sizzling woks starts to spread throughout the group until they cannot contain their enthusiasm and everyone begins talking about how hungry and excited to eat they are.

Servings are dished out and chefs, students, teachers, and even some guests sit down together to enjoy the product of their labours. Seeing the thoughtfulness and pride students take in their creation and participation in our classroom “kitchens” confirms that we have planted the seeds to creating lifelong healthy eaters.

We are so grateful to all of our volunteers and supporters who helped us make this year a success! The impacts you have helped us made are huge:

  • 81% of teachers surveyed agree they saw an improvement in healthy eating habits and healthy food included in student lunches and snacks.

  • 98% of teachers surveyed agree their students’ knowledge about where food comes from and sustainable food systems improved through our program.

  • 100% of teachers surveyed agree that the Growing Chefs! Program improved students willingness to try new foods.

Happy Birthday to you and Growing Chefs!

This summer, we were pleasantly surprised to hear that classroom volunteer Vanessa Leung was fundraising for Growing Chefs! for her birthday! Thanks so much, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY Vanessa!

Contact Jaydeen if you would like more information about how to donate your birthday! Read on to meet Vanessa!

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What about Growing Chefs resonates with you?

When I learned about Growing Chefs! my heart jumped out with a strong “YES!” I knew I had to get involved.

When I left home at 18, I only knew how to boil vegetables, pre-made dumplings and instant noodles. Years after, I still didn’t have the drive to learn how to cook a proper meal! My friends would have to bring cookware and utensils if they wanted to make dinner at my place.

For most of my life, I relied on and indulged in processed foods as a way to cover up hard emotions. It was not until my health took a toll, did realize that I had the ability to take care of myself and use whole foods as medicine! It was like diving into a black hole of self-healing and clarity. By then, I could only wish that I had this knowledge earlier in my life.

Growing Chefs! serves that very wish - My hope for kids of all ages to have access to tools to help them feel empowered to make healthy choices for themselves. Growing Chefs! curriculum cultivates curiosity, community and creativity for the kids PLUS it’s so much FUN!

What is your favourite Growing Chefs! lesson?

They are all my favourite, but if I had to choose one it would be vegetable sharing circle. I’ve always believed that sharing is empowering and in this class the kids get to share a sneak peak into their classmate’s favourite meals at home and get to learn about vegetables from all over the world.

I think just being in the presence of their pure excitement and joy over every class is moving to me. This year, the class sang “Here Comes the Sun” while we were cleaning up after a class. It was a perfect way to wrap up a Growing Chefs! class and a memory I’ll hold dear to me forever.

Do you have a garden at home?

Yes I do! I live in a condo and we have planter boxes surrounding the perimeter of our humble balcony. It does the job! We get a constant supply of kale, cilantro and herbs. Even my dog, Barley, gets to have his share of kale!

What's your favourite vegetable?

My favourite vegetable is broccoli! I love it as a salad with other bright coloured vegetables, stir-fried with loads of garlic or roasted with lemon juice. I eat EVERYTHING, right down the stems. The stems are the most nutritious part!

What's your favourite seasonal recipe?

My favourite seasonal recipe would be sea asparagus with pasta. I just stir-fry the sea asparagus, add fresh minced garlic and extra virgin olive oil and toss with brown rice pasta of choice. Super simple and delicious!

Last year your business, 80/20 Living & Company made a donation to Growing Chefs! Tell us a little more about the work you do?

80/20 Living & Company is a space where people would feel inspired and learn tools to live a conscious and intentional life full of abundance. Through coaching and training, I guide creative entrepreneurs to work through their fears and connect to their body mind and spirit so they can feel confident about who they are and what they do. They learn how to stop wasting time and energy so they can start focusing on loving and sharing their gifts.

My big vision is to start a life school for families where families can connect by learning and sharing together.

Anything else you'd like to share?

I’ve always been inspired by kids and their wisdom. All they require is the space to share their creativity and wisdom. I’ve learned so much from the kids over the past 3 years, it has been the root of my inspiration in starting the life school for families.

I think that the work that Growing Chefs! is doing is so monumental in the future for our community. Thank you for setting the path and being a leader for healing changes!

Volunteer Spotlight: Magnus Thomas

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And for our last volunteer spotlight during National Volunteer Appreciation Week we would like to introduce you to Magnus - a new volunteer in the classroom this Fall.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do? Where are you from?
”I work as a cook in a Seafood Restaurant called Oddfish in Kitsilano. I'm from Germany and moved to Vancouver in 2017. “

How did you first hear about Growing Chefs!?
“I heard about Growing Chefs from the Half A Dozen Hospitality Podcast.”

Why did you decide to volunteer in the classroom with us? And why do you feel programs like Growing Chefs! are important?
“I decided to Volunteer, because I like the idea of educating people about food. There is not enough education about it in our society. We overall don't eat very healthy but it doesn't take a lot to be healthy. We just need to change our habits around food.”

What is your favourite seasonal vegetable?
”My favourite vegetable is broccoli.”

If you could cook and share a meal with anyone (living or dead) who would it be and why?
”If i could could cook and share a meal with somebody it would be my mother in law who was a passionate cook and we enjoyed cooking together. She always liked to tell me how i was supposed to cook it though.“

What is your favourite meal to prepare for yourself?
”I like to make simple Pastas. You can be very creative with it. It's different every time.”

Thank you to ALL our volunteers. Our program would not happen without you! It takes over 200 volunteers to bring our Classroom Gardening and Cooking Program to schools throughout the Lower Mainland and Victoria.

A Growing Team at Growing Chefs! – Introducing Christine

Hello! My name is Christine and I have just joined the Growing Chefs! team as a Program Assistant on Vancouver island to help support the Victoria programs. I started off with volunteering for Growing Chefs! in 2013 while living in Vancouver taking a year and a half break from my studies at UVIC in the School of Child and Youth Care. I was two years into my degree at the time and I had just come back from a trip to India that had blown my mind in regards to food, health, and the world we live in. My senses were heightened and I was really looking at things differently.

Living in Vancouver at the time, I found out about the Growing Chefs! Program. It was an ‘aha’ moment for me... I could combine my love for working with kids with this whole other world of food that really intrigued me and radiated importance. When I started volunteering with Growing Chefs! I had never planted a seed, and had not grown up thinking critically about where our food came from. However, I did grow up immersed in the food industry as my parents owned a family restaurant and I started working in the industry myself at 14 years old. From a young age, I had the opportunity to spend many hours after school and on weekends in the restaurant and felt very at home in this environment. I was able to witness the power that food had to connect people and build a sense of community. But being able to volunteer with Growing Chefs! was a pivotal moment for me in connecting with food systems on a deeper level. After that first spring session in the classroom with Growing Chefs!, I decided to go back to Victoria to finish my undergrad degree. I moved into an apartment with a South facing balcony, and planted an epic patio garden and we reached out to a neighbour to ask about creating a food garden in their unused space.

I continued to work in restaurants while I finished up my degree, and was saving up money to go on a trip with my partner. We eventually moved out of our apartment and left our jobs to go live and work on a little farm in Hawaii for a few months.

When we returned to BC, we were both looking for jobs and my partner found an opportunity to live and work on Southlands Heritage Farm in Vancouver. We moved into a tiny little home (175 sq. ft) and although I was working elsewhere at first, it was not long before I was working on the farm full-time. My main role was as the Program and Volunteer Coordinator. Southlands Farm offers many school and community programs and I was able to continue to witness the great impact that teaching kids about food, and where it comes from had. It was evident to me that visiting the farm was a very special experience for many kids and families in Vancouver who did not really have the opportunity to engage in this environment otherwise. I loved sharing these experiences with the farm visitors and being able to educate them about different aspects of farming, sustainability and food systems.

While back in Vancouver and living on the farm, I jumped on the opportunity to join Growing Chefs! again in the classroom as a volunteer, and even got to collaborate together on a couple of events with the farm. I really got to see all these passions of mine merging together.

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One of my favourite parts of the job was hiring Workaway/WWOOFer’s from all over the world to come and stay on the farm. It was great to bring different cultures into our community, and we had many potluck dinners sharing favourite recipes from around the world. Some of my fondest memories at the farm were our outdoor dinners during golden hour and staying to chat and eat until after dark (normally followed by some music around the campfire).

Growing Chefs! was really the catalyst that started it all for me, in my adult life, and I am very grateful to now be able to support the Growing Chefs! programs here in Victoria. I think that ‘planting the seed’ young is so very important, and I am looking forward to growing the reach of the program here on the island. Not only am I excited about supporting the programs in the classroom, but also to be able to support the volunteer experience. Growing Chefs! was such a game-changer for me, and I really value the opportunities that volunteering in the program provided. I look forward to being able to work with the volunteer teams, in hopes that their experience is as meaningful as it was for me. I really look forward to getting to know you all in the Growing Chefs! community and will always be happy to meet over a cup of coffee and talk all things related to food, farming…and dogs!

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A Growing Team at Growing Chefs! – Introducing Cayley

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Hi! My name is Cayley, and I’m stoked to be working at Growing Chefs! as the new Program and Operations Assistant! While it was my combined love for food and teaching that drew me to the organization, the Growing Chefs! staff, volunteers, teachers, and children are what keep me excited to come back each day. It’s awesome to be able to help make food literacy more mainstream in childhood education, alongside all of these superstars!

My love for delicious food began at a young age, and came full circle through a litany of weird and wonderful experiences. It began while “helping” my grandparents in their garden in rural Alberta. I like to think I was an indispensable asset, but I likely only assisted with making all the berries disappear… before they made it into any pies! The only vegetables I ate without complaint were from that garden; harvesting them right from the plant somehow made them much more interesting and delicious. Mom and Grandma, who are still my two favourite cooks, eventually taught me that vegetables maybe weren’t the worst thing in the world – they showed me that with the proper skills and ingredients, I could turn them into healthy, delicious meals!

After finishing university, I had a severe case of wanderlust, so I began brainstorming ways that I could combine skills and passions while seeing the world. Teaching and a fascination with the ocean took me to Southeast Asia to teach scuba diving. Everywhere I went, food was my comfort zone. I found it was the best way to learn about new cultures and customs, and to get involved with local communities. I learned about so many spices and flavours, some of which I’m certain I’ll never find again… my quest for a delightful bulb-shaped crunchy white vegetable that I found in a Chinese stir-fry is ongoing, nine years later (any information relating to this appreciated – and no, it isn’t any standard onion!).

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I eventually ended up in the Caribbean, where I was fortunate to spend a couple years aboard sailboats, teaching youth how to scuba dive and sail. I was (and still am!) amazed at how much young people were able to connect to new concepts through tactile learning. Experiential education enabled students to really engage with the material… “doing the things” allowed different students with a huge variety of learning styles to actively achieve all sorts of awesome milestones! I also met my partner, Jack, while doing this, and he was more than willing to keep up the adventurous lifestyle.

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Through a series of chance meetings and opportunities, we were hired onto a charter sailboat, where I was a chef tasked with cooking food for people as they joined the yacht for their vacations. It was a valuable experience to reconnect with the kitchen, and great to finally join a whole bunch of my interests. After a couple of years, though, I really missed the reward that came with teaching. I decided to come back to Canada and pursue a Masters of Environmental Education and Communication, to further explore opportunities for unconventional learning experiences. Through this program, I was lucky to be introduced to Growing Chefs!

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My time at Growing Chefs! so far has ticked all the boxes. Watching the faces of children and volunteers light up as they learn, or teach, how to grow a garden from seed while getting their hands in the soil is beautiful. I’m feeling very fortunate to be able to help out however I can.

Outside of work and school, I spend a lot of time adventuring with my dog, Oso, and trying to take full advantage of all that dry, steady land has to offer. I run, ski, and cycle every chance I get, but am otherwise usually finding excuses to be in the kitchen. Lately I’ve been on a sourdough kick, testing out my hypothesis that it’s impossible to grow tired of freshly baked bread. No conclusive results yet - I’ll keep trying!

Volunteer Spotlight: Krista Ettles

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To continue celebrating National Volunteer Appreciation Week, we would like to introduce you to Krista. She is a longtime volunteer who has taken the last few years off of volunteering in the classroom to build her food entrepreneur career via Nourished & Whole, but now she is back and ready to plant some seeds in the classroom.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do? Where are you from?
My name is Krista and I’m an entrepreneur, cook, teacher, recipe developer, and food blogger. I teach people how to cook better at home and make food fun again! I’m passionate about food and love to inspire people to get back into their kitchens. Besides food, I love hiking, beach volleyball and anything outdoors really. I’m a born and raised local and grew up in White Rock.

Why did you decide to volunteer again in the classroom with us?
I’ve done the program before and absolutely love teaching the kids about food. It’s so great to see them get excited about growing their own food and trying different things. It’s such a fun experience!

What is your favourite seasonal vegetable?
There’s so many to choose from but I’d have to say asparagus for Spring.

If you could cook and share a meal with anyone (living or dead) who would it be and why?
Hands down Julia Child. I’d love to sit down and hear about her life in person. She was such a pioneer in the food world and as a woman. She’s someone I admire and is definitely a role model for me.

What is your favourite meal to prepare for yourself?
Again so many choices but I’d probably say some sort of salmon dish. I do a really good maple balsamic marinade. Simple but delicious! My brother is also a fishing guide so I’m lucky to get out and catch the fish myself!

Why do you feel programs like Growing Chefs! are important?
I think it’s so important kids are taught the importance of cooking and where our food comes from. It’s something that’s definitely getting lost in our world of fast food so I think cooking is a life skill that we need to be teaching kids…..and ourselves. Being conscious about our food choices and where it comes from has a huge impact on our health, our planet and our communities and I think it’s a must that we teach our kids this for future generations. 

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Thank you Krista, and thank you to all of our volunteers!

Donor Profile: Champion Radish Club

The Champion Radish Club is currently made up of 61 generous individuals and families who donate monthly. They share our vision of a world with healthy, just, sustainable food practices and we’d love to introduce you to three of them!

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RICHARD BANNER
A Champion Radish Club member since 2016, Richard Banner works with Polestar Communications Inc. as a writer and editor. He is the vice chair of the Growing Chefs! board of directors and has served on the board for over a decade.

CHRISTINA BOLISZCZUK & MIKE SHEARER
Christina was once a member of our staff team at Growing Chefs! and now works for Canuck Place Children's Hospice as a Major Gifts Officer. Mike is a Service Center Manager at Speedy Glass. The two have recently become first-time parents! They have been Champion Radish Club members since 2017.

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RISA PAYANT
Risa is our newest Champion Radish Club member joining just this week! She works as the Executive Director of Common Weal Community Arts, a Saskatchewan arts organization and moonlights as an artist, a grant-writing consultant, and in a brewery. Risa is a mother of two.

What's your favourite seasonal vegetable?

Richard: I'm really enjoying the fresh asparagus this year. I like to think of the crisp green shoots pushing their way out of the ground and reaching up into the sunshine.

Christina: This is always tough to decide because I love pretty much all vegetables! Celery has always been a favourite since I was a kid for snacking - I still love ants on a log.

Mike: Corn on the cob!

Risa: I'm obsessed with zucchini. There's no dish that can't be made better with zucchini. Plus, I love growing monster zucchini in the garden every summer. I have the opposite of a green thumb, but the zucchini always pulls through!

What is your earliest food-related memory?

Richard: I remember the taste of green beans that I picked from the bushes in the back of my parent's home in Port Alberni. I didn't enjoy it then when I had to go out to the hot garden to pick the beans, but I still remember how good they were.

Christina: I have so many good food memories! When I was little we lived on a small hobby farm and my parents grew and raised most of our food. I feel quite lucky to have experienced this. When I was little we could walk out to the garden and pick fresh strawberries, carrots, and peas for snacks. Fresh always tasted just the best!

Risa: Eating dinner in the field during harvest. I feel like the smell of dirt and grain is nostalgic for everyone who grew up in a farming family. My prairie childhood is such a huge part of who I am and the most iconic memory is sitting in the bed of a pickup truck, covered in dust and eating classic farm meals with my Dad.

As a parent, what food values do you bring to your family?

Christina & Mike: We love to cook. We love making everything from scratch and consider ourselves fairly adventurous eaters. Having our daughter experience a wide variety of flavours when she starts on solid food is important because we want her to enjoy much of what we like and learn that there’s so much variety in food. When she is old enough we will have her join in the food prep/cooking experience as much as possible. Even toddlers can learn to help! Taking pride in the food you prepare makes you enjoy eating it so much more. It also helps to create a less picky eater which is always a bonus.

Risa: I think it's important to remember that food is what fuels us. It's so easy to succumb to thinking you need to make "kid food" (which is, inevitably, beige), but when you shift the conversation to filling your body with nutritious fuel, vegetables become magic. I also think it's crucial to let kids be a part of everything from grocery shopping to food prep to cooking. Meal times are family time and that extends well beyond just eating together.

How does being a part of the Champion Radish Club make you feel?

Richard: I'm happy that I can do a bit to help bring the Growing Chefs! program to kids in schools. I've seen how much fun kids have growing and eating healthy foods so I hope Growing Chefs! can bring the program to as many people as possible.

Christina & Mike: We love contributing to kids learning about healthy eating and being in the kitchen. It will benefit them their whole lives! Plus who doesn’t love digging in dirt and watching food grow? Growing Chefs! brings so much joy to the classroom and kids take those lessons home to their families.

Risa: So many kids in urban centres are growing up completely disconnected from their food. Growing Chefs! is doing important work in making sure kids in Vancouver understand where their food comes from and give them knowledge about what they put in their bodies.

Join the Champion Radish Club!

What's the Champion Radish Club?

We're so glad you asked. Our monthly donors make up the Champion Radish Club. Your monthly gift provides sustainability and facilitates program planning and implementation and lowers administrative costs.

Why should I join the Champion Radish Club?

  • Your gift is easy, secure, and green—a monthly donation saves paper, postage, and energy!

  • You ensure your gift has the greatest possible impact!

  • You will get special updates from the classroom from our participating students!

  • You will get exclusive event invites to special events like the Affogato Affair and Beer, Bread & Butter!

  • You get to be a Champion Radish (A most delicious type of radish!).

We hope to grow our Champion Radish Club to 75 members in 2019. We have achieved over 80% of that goal and with your help, we can get there!

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

Join the club this month with a minimum $10/month commitment and be entered to win the "Fancy" basket from SPUD valued at over $100, full of B.C. snacks and delicacies.

Current Champion Radish Club members can also win by referring a new member, or increasing their gift by $2/month or more!

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Deadline to enter: May 6th at 7:00 pm.

Prize Draw: May 6th at 7:30 pm at our 3rd Annual Champion Radish Club exclusive event. You do not need to be in attendance to win.

Volunteer Spotlight: Brennen Murray

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Our Classroom Gardening and Cooking Program is 100% delivered by our wonderful volunteers. We literally could not do what we do without the generous support of our volunteers who not only donate their time but their knowledge. Since it is National Volunteer Week and we have the BEST volunteers, we want to highlight a few. First off is a first-time volunteer (with us), Brennen Murray.

Hi! Tell us a little about yourself.
”Hello! My name is Brennen Murray. I've worked in coffee and food for over ten years, am a barista and a cook at Renfrew Park Community Centre as well as with The Kidsafe Project. I am interested in food sovereignty, urban farming, and localized food systems. I live in a communal home on Victoria Drive where we work to build a closer, sharing community and learn more about growing things.”

We hear you're a worm guy. Tell us more!
”When I first moved to Vancouver and started becoming an urban gardener, I found container gardening to be inefficient and needing constant fertilizing and found myself wishing for the compost pile that was always rotating around the backyard I grew up with. A little bit of research brought me to the City Farmer Vermicomposting Program, which I recommend to anyone wishing to recycle their food scraps into healthy soil for growing things. My initial $25 dollar kit has grown over the years into several bins of worms feeding off the food scraps from a household of six and giving a welcome dose of organic soil every 6 months as well as compost tea (fertilizer) that can be used at any time.”

How did you hear about Growing Chefs?
”I came across Growing Chefs! in the fall while looking for ways to get involved in food security and food sovereignty.”

What made you interested in volunteering with us?
”With The Kidsafe Project, it is my responsibility to feed kids at my site during school breaks, but also to teach them about nutrition and the foods we eat. Growing Chefs! has a great curriculum that teaches kids all about growing food and ways to use it. I'm excited to watch kids interact with food in such a hands on manner and bring that excitement for food to the kids at Kidsafe.”

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What's your favourite seasonal vegetable?
”Summertime: cucumbers, for the crisp, juicy bite fresh off the plant. Wintertime: Brussels Sprouts, because they grow all winter and just keep getting better.”

What is your earliest food-related memory?
”Either walking down the tall narrow rows of strung up peas in my mother’s garden, harvesting thick pods into a colander and often opening the pods and eating the peas fresh; or tip-toeing in the strawberry patch, turning the berries over to see which ones had ripened all the way around and were ready for eating.”

How did your first lesson in the classroom go?
”It was incredible! We examined seeds and their full grown vegetable form, planted the seeds, and imagined and hoped for a beautiful growing garden. I was definitely just as excited as the kids and can't wait to get back into the classroom for lesson two.”

Thank you so much Brennen - we (and your class) are lucky to have you.

Stay tuned this week for more volunteer spotlights.

Celebrating International Women's Day and Local Food Businesses

Last year on International Women's Day, we celebrated 10 women who have made a big impact at Growing Chefs! We included our founder, classroom volunteers, our female staff, and some of our community supporters. This year we want to celebrate a few female owned and/or run food businesses that are connected to Growing Chefs! As Melinda Gates says, “When we invest in women and girls, we are investing in the people who invest in everyone else.”

Photography from  The Globe and Mail .

Photography from The Globe and Mail.

Karen McAthy of Blue Heron Creamery and Soil
Vancouver


Chef Karen is a long time supporter of Growing Chefs! She has volunteered in the classroom, been a chef at multiple From Farms to Forks (our annual Harvest Kitchen Party), put on fundraising dinners to support us, and she has been even hosted volunteer appreciation events for us. She recently delivered a plant-based cheese tasting at our 2019 AGM. Chef Karen is the head chef and owner of Blue Heron Creamery making delicious plant-based cheeses and co-operator of Soil, a plant-based eatery in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant community. On top of all her accomplishments, she is also an award winning writer for “The Art of Plant-based Cheesemaking”.

Photography from  Port Moody & Co .

Photography from Port Moody & Co.

Taryn Barker of The Little Butcher Shop
Port Moody

Taryn Barker is the owner and head butcher of The Little Butcher Shop in Port Moody. Even with most butchers in Canada being male, The Little Butcher Shop has a almost all-female team. Taryn is the driving force behind supplying local BC meat to her customers and being a strong supporter of local food companies. This spring, Taryn is returning for her second year volunteering in a Growing Chefs! classroom.

Gabriella Mayer of Harvest Community Foods
Vancouver

Gabriella is the chef and co-owner of Harvest Community Foods in Vancouver’s Chinatown and former Growing Chefs! classroom volunteer. Harvest Community Foods sells local, organic, and seasonal foodie goodies, as well as has one of best noodle menus in the city. It is also the only place in Vancouver to get a chef-picked CSA (community supported agriculture) bag with produce from local farms. Chef Gabe is a fierce advocate for supporting local food systems and businesses.

Photography from  Central Park Farm .

Photography from Central Park Farm.

Kendall Ballantine of Central Park Farm
Langley

Kendall is the head farmer and owner of Central Park Farm. She became inspired to start feeding her family food that she knew exactly what was in it and where it came from, so Kendall left her corporate job to become a farmer and opened Central Park Farm. Central Park Farm raises free-range, pastured, and grass-fed animals. They also have Farmer Ashlee from Inner Peas Market Garden growing beautiful, organic vegetables on the farm. Did you know BC has the most female farmers in all of Canada?

We love to celebrate women and the impact that they have on their communities. But, it’s one thing to celebrate women and another thing to invest in them. Here at Growing Chefs! we challenge you to invest your money where your best intentions are and support more female-owned businesses year-round. We know we will be!

Thank you to all women making an impact on their local food systems and in their communities. And let us know who they are - tell us about your favourite female-owned business. HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!