In January 2013 the Lax Kw’alaams Healthy Communities Committee proposed an exciting idea to build a community Green House in the community to provide healthier food choices and bring gardening back to Lax Kw’alaams!
The Committee – which includes representatives from the Band Council, the Recreation and Health Departments, the Coast Tsmishian Academy, the RCMP and the Grandmothers Group -started out by researching what type of Green House would best suit our environment and our needs. Based on the research, they decided to purchase a 26-foot Green House dome from Growing Spaces. They then applied for and received over $22,000 in grant funding to build the greenhouse structure.
Historically, gardening was a big part of our way of life. Almost every household in Lax Kw’alaams had their own garden and family members worked together to prepare their gardens for each growing season. Today, with a rise in diabetes, obesity, cancer and heart disease in the community, the new greenhouse will help promote healthy lifestyles and learning about the gathering and the preservation of food.
Along with a few local community members, two students who are participating in the Agriculture and Fish Processing Program in Prince Rupert have been hired to build and set up the Green House. The plan is to grow vegetables (60% of crop), fruit (20% of crop) and traditional herbs/teas for health and medicinal purposes (20% of crop). The Committee hopes that more youth will help with the planting, maintenance and harvesting of the produce, as well as have them deliver the produce to community members, with their main focus be on the Elders of the community.
The Committee is looking to the community for ideas and suggestions about what should be planted in our Green House Garden. We are also looking for donations, which will help in the initial start up and maintenance of the garden. Donation could include gardening tools or equipment, seeds or money to go towards the development of the Green House.
If you have questions, ideas or would like to contribute please contact Shawn Bourgoin, the Recreation Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks and here’s to a healthy and bountiful garden!by