Newsletter for the Indigenous Health Garden of the Indigenous Research
Partnerships, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, UBC
The Indigenous Health Research & Education
May 6th 2015

In this newsletter:

  • Highlights from April

  • Upcoming workshops, volunteer opportunities and dates

  • Invitation to this season's workshops with the Medicine Collective

  • Recipe from April Feast Bowl meal: Radish Greens Soup

This past month, the warm sun has helped many of our new plants and returning perennials get a head-start on the growing season and it's been a treat for all of us who have had a chance to spend an afternoon in the sunshine while getting our hands dirty!

In the garden, volunteers planted beets, swiss chard, lettuce, sunflowers, radishes, kale, pac choi, squash, peas, scallions, buckwheat, potatoes, and oca (a traditional food from the Andes eaten as a tuber). Volunteers also transplanted kohlrabi, broccoli, cabbage, leeks, onions, shallots, and cauliflower into the soil. The Medicine Collective took youth from Beaconsfield Elementary (through the Wild About Vancouver festival) and participants from the Discover Urban Resources event on medicine walks in the garden. The Feast Bowl participants cooked delicious baked salmon, bannock, radish greens soup, salad, tea, and rhubarb compote. CRUW youth were featured in an article in The Thunderbird discussing the impacts of "aging out" of the foster care system on Aboriginal youth, and the importance of cultural ties for them in that transitional time.

As our season gets busier, we will be sending our newsletters more regularly: expect to receive a newsletter from us every other week until the fall. These newsletters will be more concise and will include updates on volunteer and workshop opportunities with our programs.

Don't forget to check out our website and Facebook page for regular updates, photos, volunteer opportunities, and more.

April highlights 


Clockwise from top left: oca, an important traditional food in the Andes, ready for planting; oca sprouting a few weeks later; radishes at April's Feast Bowl meal; colourful salad at the Feast Bowl; garden volunteers help transplant peppermint; students from Beaconsfield Elementary learn about yarrow on a medicine walk with Medicine Collective member Alannah Young.

Upcoming workshops and volunteer opportunities
  • Wednesday May 13th, 10:30AM-12:30PM: Salve Harvesting Medicine Workshop (space is limited, please RSVP to
  • Wednesday May 20th, 9:00AM-4:30PM: Healing Our Wisdom: A Holistic Aboriginal Health Conference (more info here)
  • Thursday May 21st, 1:30-4:30PM: Garden volunteer session
  • Tuesday May 26th, 9:30AM-12:30PM: Garden volunteer session
  • Wednesday May 27th: Feast Bowl community meal at the UBC Longhouse
  • Wednesday June 3rd, 1:30-4:30PM: Garden volunteer session
  • Saturday June 13th, 10:00AM-12:30PM: Salve Making Medicine Workshop (space is limited, please RSVP to
  • Wednesday June 24th: Feast Bowl community meal at the UBC Longhouse
  • Tuesday July 21st, 2:00-4:00PM: Tea Harvesting Medicine Workshop (space is limited, please RSVP to
  • Wednesday July 29th: Feast Bowl community meal at the UBC Longhouse
  • Tuesday August 25th, 4:00-6:00PM: Tea Making Medicine Workshop (space is limited, please RSVP to
  • Wednesday August 26th: Feast Bowl community meal at the UBC Farm
  • Tuesday September 29th, 3:00-5:00PM: Tobacco Pipe Mix Making Medicine Workshop (space is limited, please RSVP to
  • Wednesday September 30th: Feast Bowl community meal at the UBC Longhouse
How to volunteer for garden volunteer 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 to find our garden here.

How to volunteer for the Feast Bowl: 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
Invitation to this season's medicine workshops with the Medicine Collective

We are excited to invite you to this season's series of workshops led by the Medicine Collective, a group of Indigenous Elders and Knowledge-keepers working to restore and reconnect our relationships to lands and peoples that live on Turtle Island. Workshops will be held on unceded ancestral Musqueam territory in the Indigenous Health Research & Education Garden at the UBC Farm. All ages and all participants are welcome. Workshops are $10-20 sliding scale, and participants will be able to bring medicine home with them.
  • Tuesday May 13th: Salve Harvesting, 10:30AM-12:30PM

  • Saturday June 13th: Salve Making, 10:00AM-12:30PM

  • Tuesday July 21st: Tea Harvesting, 2:00-4:00PM

  • Tuesday August 25th: Tea Making, 4:00-6:00PM

  • Tuesday September 29th: Tobacco Pipe Mix Making, 3:00-5:00PM

Spots fill up fast, so please RSVP for one or multiple workshops by contacting

Recipe from the March Feast Bowl meal: Radish Greens Soup


When we harvest radishes, it's always such a shame to toss the bountiful green leaves that make up the tops of the plants. This recipe not only made use of those greens but blew us away with its flavour! A subtle spice of radish flavour works beautifully with the shallots, herbs, and wild rice.
Serves 4.

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Large Shallot, finely chopped
2 Cups Radish Greens, roughly chopped, packed
3 Cups Vegetable Stock or Water and buillon
1 Tablespoon Fresh Mint, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
0.5 cup dried wild rice
Sea Salt
Freshly ground Black Pepper
Fresh Chives for serving

  1. In a small pot, bring wild rice and 2 cups of water to a boil and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes until tender and split. Drain water and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; add finely diced shallots.
  3. Sauté, stirring often, until shallots are soft and translucent.
  4. Add the radish greens and wilt, then add the stock or buillon and water. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the chopped parsley and mint. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Remove from heat; purée with an immersion blender or in blender, in batches.
  7. Stir in wild rice and reheat.
  8. Top with with freshly chopped chives just prior to serving.

Adapted from Vegan Visitor.
Indigenous Research Partnerships
UBC Faculty of Land and Food Systems
2357 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. Canada
V6T 1Z4
Phone: (604) 822-5092
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