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
February 12th 2016

Updates from December and January

As we emerge from the darkest months of the year, we are greeted by days of surprising, warm sunshine and signs of growth all around us. In the garden, kale and clover are sending new green leaves to the sky while oregon grape's flower buds grow in anticipation of sweet-smelling yellow blooms in the weeks to come.

These past months we have appreciated the stored harvest at December and January's Feast Bowl meals, cooking with cured squash, onions and garlic, frozen beans, tomatillos and blueberries, and dried herbs. We feel such gratitude for the summer harvests, the earth, and the hands that helped preserve the bounty so we can eat this food throughout the winter.

Students in the Aboriginal Health and Community Administration Program at UBC joined the Medicine Collective in December for a tea blending working, making both relaxation and cold teas to share with their families and communities using medicines dried from the garden last summer.

Our 2015 student interns wrapped up their directed studies and shared beautiful words of reflection about their experience over the season. Read below for excerpts from these reflections; they shaped and enriched IHREG programming greatly this year and we look forward to seeing where their journeys take them next. They will always be an important part of this community! Stay tuned for information about 2016 internship opportunities with our programs coming soon.

Don't forget to check out our website and Facebook page for regular updates, photos, volunteer opportunities and more.
Above photos, clockwise from top: purple top white globe turnip fresh from the garden, destined for stew; a relaxation blend tea made by AHCAP students; oca tubers heading into the oven to roast; baked bannock; AHCAP students blending a cold and flu tea.

Upcoming Workshops and Volunteer Opportunities

  • Wednesday March 3rd, 1:00-4:00PM: Garden Volunteer Session
  • Wednesday March 9th, 1:00-4:00PM: Garden Volunteer Session
  • Wednesday March 16th, 1:00-4:00PM: Garden Volunteer Session
  • Wednesday March 24th, 1:00-4:00PM: Garden Volunteer Session
  • 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

Recipe from December's Feast Bowl Meal: Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts tend to polarize at the dinner table: either you're a fan, or you're not convinced. This recipe from Feast Bowl intern Jaylin is sure to win over any doubters! Combined with the nutritionally-dense, fresh flavour of sprouts picked straight from the garden this made for a spectacular dish at our December Feast Bowl meal. Find brussels sprouts at the winter farmer's market or your local grocery store.
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts (approximately 1 stalk if you buy them on the stalk, like in the photo below from our harvest; or 10-15 sprouts depending on size)
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and trim and wash sprouts
  2. Toss sprouts in a baking pan or sheet with enough oil to lightly coat and season with salt and pepper
  3. Roast in oven until easy to pierce with a fork and starting to brown and crisp, approx. 30-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, spread pecans on a dry baking sheet and roast in the oven 5-10 minutes, until golden and fragrant but not burnt; remove and let cool, then chop
  5. When brussels sprouts are done, toss in a large bowl with parmesan, cranberries, and chopped pecans; add more salt and pepper if needed
  6. Enjoy!

Reflections from our 2015 Interns

2015 marked the second year of our internship program; in that time we have had the joy of working closely with 11 UBC students from various faculties including Land and Food Systems, Arts, and Education through internships with the Feast Bowl, Garden, and CRUW youth program. We extend our thanks and our gratitude to them; they have brought enthusiasm, creativity, and insight to shape our programs for the better and they will always be a valued part of our community here.

Read below for some highlights from the 2015 interns' experiences. Click the "read more" tags to read thier full reflection pieces and see photos from their time with us. Stay tuned for information about applying to the 2016 internship program soon!

"My absolute favourite part of my internship was participating in the community circles at the beginning and end of each Garden session. This practice was suggested by my internship partner Dancing-Water, and was a way of grounding us and volunteers in the Garden space. ...It was really rewarding to hear their testimonies of experience, and I often left the Garden with the sense that the collective experience of sharing those thoughts was the most valuable lesson to be gained: one being cannot do all the work of caring for a community; it takes many strong, gentle hands and thoughtful minds to do that work." [Read more] - Victoria Cooke, Indigenous Health Research and Education Garden Intern

"Through the learning I’ve done this summer I’ve felt propelled into another facet of my learning. Looking at Indigenous food sovereignty, ethnobotany, language and land, it is all tied together once you’re out in the community experiencing these amazing initiatives. I am now even better equipped to think about land stewardship in a way that rejects colonialism. I am now better equipped as a linguist to understand the importance of biocultural diversity and what it means to “translate the land.” For now, I look forward to applying my kitchen knowledge to preserve more foods for the winter, creating nutritious meals for the winter months’ Feast Bowls. For now, I look to translate this knowledge into materials that will help guide the journeys of future interns, and help them gain insight into what I saw on my journey." [Read more] - Jaylin Melnichuk, Feast Bowl Intern

"Everyone looked forward to this day at the farm, for it gave all of us, CRUW staff and youth participants, a chance to get out of our routine and participate in new activities and workshops together. From gardening, medicine making, ceremony, cedar weaving and just being together, each session was full of growing, connecting and learning. It was wonderful to witness the change in the youth as they worked together on their gardens and learned from each other... CRUW and the wonderful people I got to work with added immensely to my personal and academic experience here in Vancouver, and the lessons that each of them taught me will always be in my heart." [Read more] - Savannah Zachary, CRUW Intern

"What I had not fully anticipated was the extent to which the community members, Elders, staff, and volunteers... would be so overwhelmingly generous with their knowledge and their passion. I feel so grateful to have gotten to know, and learned from, so many wonderful people. A particular highlight for me was the ability to participate in the numerous workshops held at the garden. The Medicine Collective’s workshop on salve making was a particular favourite of mine, and taught me a lot about the different ways nature can heal and care for the body. The groups that participated in the Feast Bowl meal preparation taught me about the infinitely varied ways people relate to food." [Read more] - Kendall Andison, Feast Bowl Intern
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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.