Newsletter for the Indigenous Health Research & Education Garden in the Indigenous Research Partnerships at UBC
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Indigenous Health Research & Education Garden Newsletter
March 24th 2016

Updates from February and March

The garden has awoken in bursts of colour and life, from the yellow blossoms of oregon grape and coltsfoot to the coppery unfolding of bronze fennel fronds. Overwintered vegetables like kale, sprouting purple broccoli (above), and garlic are growing so fast in the spring heat it seems like they've doubled in size every week!

Volunteers have been joining us for our weekly sessions in the garden, turning up in great numbers to help us wake the garden up. They have helped us plant peas, radishes, pac choi, turnips and caledunda in the garden and broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, celery, and anise hyssop indoors. Volunteers have also done great work helping us turn in our cover crop and add compost to improve our soil fertility and take care of weeds in the hedgerow. This past week, they harvested a bounty for next week's Feast Bowl meal: cabbage, kale, broccoli, rutabagas, turnips, herbs and teas - we can't wait to cook with them for the Tuesday Student Lunch on the 29th (read more below)!

We were joined in mid-February by undegraduate students from McMaster University in Ontario as part of their MacServe service learning program. They did a spectacular job starting our early onions, shallots, and leeks indoors and rebuilding some of our garden pathways.

The Medicine Collective has been meeting to dream and plan for this season's workshops; watch this newsletter for more information, as exciting new workshops will be coming this year! In the meantime, the Collective led a tea-making workshop for Aboriginal Medical Students and Residents as part of the annual Aboriginal Leadership and Mentorship Symposium at UBC.

In the meantime, the Culturally Relevant Urban Wellness (CRUW) Program has been gearing up for the Farm season and we have been getting everything ready for their first day on the farm this Saturday! We look forward to welcoming the youth to this space, starting seeds in their garden beds, and setting the tone for the season together on the land.

Don't forget to check out our website and Facebook page for regular updates, photos, volunteer opportunities and more.
Above photos, clockwise from top: volunteers preparing a bed to plant radishes, McMaster university students helping plant our leeks and onions in the greenhouse, newly-sown snap peas for spring harvests, garlic popping up, and lemon balm.

Upcoming Workshops and Volunteer Opportunities

  • Thursday March 31st, 1:00-4:00PM: Garden Volunteer Session
  • Tuesday March 29th: Feast Bowl community meal hosting the Longhouse Student Lunch (info session about Indigenous Programs at UBC Farm)
How to volunteer for garden sessions: we work in the garden rain or shine, so come dressed for the weather. We have extra rain boots, gardening tools, and gloves to share. Bring a snack and water bottle - bring friends and family (of any age) too! No experience necessary. You will find us in the Indigenous Health Garden at the UBC Farm. The most up-to-date directions to the UBC Farm can be found here. Once at the Farm, you can follow the "Aboriginal Health Gardens" signs or follow this map to find our garden.

How to volunteer for the Feast Bowl: if you are new to the Feast Bowl, please fill out our volunteer sign-up form online so we can get to know you a bit better! Join us at the UBC First Nations Longhouse (1985 West Mall) at or after 9:30AM to help us harvest or cook, or 12:30PM to eat lunch with us. Extra help from any age or skill level is always appreciated, especially in the kitchen. If you can only join us for lunch, we encourage you to come anyway and we look forward to sharing a delicious meal with you!

Note: if you plan to bring a large group, please let us know ahead of time at

Learn about the Indigenous Programs at UBC Farm - Tuesday Student Lunch March 29

Curious about the different Indigenous Programs at UBC Farm? Want to find out how you can get involved? We will be hosting the First Nations House of Learning's Tuesday Student Lunch next Monday March 29th to share about our programs alongside the Tu'wusht and Maya in Exile Garden Projects.

The Feast Bowl will be cooking the lunch for the day and needs volunteers! Please join us in the Longhouse kitchen any time after 9AM to help cook salmon, bannock and garden veggie stew. Lunch and presentations run 12:30-1:30PM in the Longhouse's Sty-Wet-Tan Hall (1985 West Mall). Hope to see you there!


Site C - Keep the Peace! March 29

An evening of solidarity and action

From our work on unceded Musqueam territory we are connected in many ways to the work of others for land across many territories. We stand in solidarity with the struggles to stop the Site C dam project in the Peace River Valley, which has long-term impacts on food security and relations among Indigenous peoples and government.

"The Peace River Valley can produce enough food to feed one million people - It is also a culturally vital and sacred area to the Dane-zaa and Cree people and provides abundant bull trout, moose, berries and many other significant plants. This is the land the B.C. government wants to flood for Site C dam.
" Read more about the event here.

Join Treaty 8 First Nations, Sierra Club BC, the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty and the Indigenous Research Partnerships on Tuesday March 29th at 7PM at the UBC First Nations Longhouse (1985 West Mall) for a fantastic lineup of speakers!
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Indigenous Health Research and Education Garden
c/o Indigenous Research Partnerships
2357 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4,Canada
Phone: 604-822-5092 | Fax: 604-822-6839

Copyright © 2016 Indigenous Health Research and Education Garden, All rights reserved.