Newsletter for the Indigenous Health Garden of the Indigenous Research
Partnerships, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, UBC
The Indigenous Health Research & Education
October 14th 2015

In this newsletter:

  • Highlights from early October

  • Upcoming workshops and volunteer opportunities

  • Recipe from September's Feast Bowl: Buffalo Meatballs

We have been lucky to get hot sunny days interspersed with nourishing rain so far this month, which has given our cover crop a chance to establish well and our overwintering crops the opportunity to put on a bit more growth to get them through the frost to come. Not to mention how nice it has been for our volunteers working in the garden in the fall sunshine!

In the garden we have been harvesting the last of our tomatillos to freeze for winter Feast Bowl meals as well as medicines such as mullein, rose hips, fennel, and anise hyssop to dry for future medicine workshops. We have been busy winterizing the garden by laying mulch, planting cover crop, and planting the garlic we will be able to harvest and enjoy next season. We only have two garden volunteer sessions left this year, so take this chance to come join us! Sessions will resume again in early spring 2016.

Dr. Lee Brown and Tonya Gomes of the Medicine Collective led the Tobacco Pipe Mix Making workshop yesterday, finishing up the season of public medicine workshops. Participants spoke about how powerful it was to work with the original tobacco (grown, cared for, and harvested by youth in the CRUW program) and to share in the Collective's teachings. We look forward to hearing about all the places this pipe mix will travel as it is shared with the community!

The September Feast Bowl nourished many bellies, sharing a tasty spread of kale ceasar salad, buffalo meatballs (recipe below), bannock, roasted rutabaga and turnips, tea, and beet-carrot cake. Francine Cunningham, MFA, shared some of her forthcoming novel during the meal and it was a great success; we look forward to making space for more speakers like this at future meals.

Don't forget to check out our website and Facebook page for regular updates, photos, volunteer opportunities, and more!
Highlights from early October

Clockwise from top left: September's Feast Bowl participants help themselves to carrot-beet cake; brussels sprouts and cover crop in the fall sunshine; preparing medicines at the Tobacco Pipe Mix Making workshop; dandelion roots from the garden ready to dry for medicine; kohlrabi sizing up in the garden, ready for coleslaw; beautiful big rutabagas and turnips from the garden.

Upcoming workshops and volunteer opportunities
  • Wednesday October 21st, 1:30-4:30PM: Garden volunteer session
  • Tuesday October 27th, 1:30-4:30PM: Last garden volunteer session of 2015!
  • Wednesday October 28th: Feast Bowl community meal at the UBC Longhouse
  • Wednesday November 25th: Feast Bowl community meal at the UBC Longhouse
  • Wednesday December 16th: Feast Bowl community meal at the UBC Longhouse
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

Recipe from September's Feast Bowl meal: Buffalo Meatballs

These meatballs were a delicious addition to September's meal, filling and flavourful. The sauce and garnishes really rounded it out well - especially fresh green onions harvested from the garden!
For the meatballs:
  • 1 lb. ground buffalo/bison
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • ⅔ cups almond or all-purpose flour
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili paste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Sesame oil (for frying)
For the sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon chili paste
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
For garnishing:
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine meatball ingredients (except the sesame oil) well. Using your hands, create 9 meatballs from the mixture and set them on a large plate.
  4. Place skillet under medium-high heat and add sesame oil. Once oil is hot, add meatballs and cook each side for about 4 minutes (so that they brown nicely).
  5. After both sides have been browned, gently place meatballs on baking pan and bake for 15 minutes (so that meatballs cook through).
  6. While meatballs are baking, make your sauce. In a small mixing bowl, combine all sauce ingredients and mix well. No need to cook or heat. Set aside.
  7. Once meatballs have baked for 15 minutes, remove them from the oven; top with your sauce, sesame seeds and chopped green onions, and serve right away. Enjoy!
Makes 9 large meatballs.
Recipe adapted from here.
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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