Summer is a great time to gather, share food and learn from each other.
So this past June, a few members of the Northern and Indigenous team visited six communities to support and encourage northern garden projects through training and community events. In each community, we found that people were working together and planting good meals. They were sharing resources, teaching each other and finding creative ways to grow healthy foods. We met many new and curious gardeners, as well as experienced gardeners who taught us about growing in northern Manitoba.
In York Landing, which is accessible by ferry and winter ice roads, the surrounding lakes and land once provided nutritious food the community needed. Changes from development and Hydro have made that more difficult. Food at the local grocery store is expensive, and lacks the flavour and freshness you’d get in Winnipeg. And because of this, a few people thought there must be a better way to get good food.
Community members have built gardens from four inches of soil and put up greenhouses to help with the short growing season. They encouraged the young people to go out on the land to fish and bring back muskrat, moose and all different types of food they could find.
While we were only able to spend a few days in York Landing, it was inspiring to see the community coming together in building a healthy future. We worked alongside eight community members and were able to build, deliver and set up ten raised garden beds. For some of those families, it was the first gardens they ever had. Some had helped their parents or grandparents years ago, while others had helped friends or relatives just last year.
It was rewarding to sit with the gardeners as they planted their future meals— onions, tomatoes, potatoes, beets, lettuce, carrots, radishes and cabbages. Throughout the summer these gardens will nourish families with good food, which they deserve from a summer of hard work.
Take a look at a few of the pictures we snapped of the gardeners and their gardens!
Photo Credit: Daniel Gladu Kanu
If you think sharing knowledge about growing good food in northern communities is important, consider joining us in our work and making a donation to Food Matters Manitoba.
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