A message from the Wellness Team, FNHA Office of the Chief Medical Officer
Inspired by the generations before, Esk'etemc First Nation families have taken up gardening to harvest their own food. Through Esk'etemc's garden box program, boxes with items for starting gardens were provided free to some community members and low-cost to others. The little gardens are not only providing the community with more independence around food security, but they are also supporting knowledge transfer, health and wellness, and food sovereignty—in the form of ready access to healthy, affordable, culturally appropriate food.
Creating a sense of belonging.
Roxanne Johnson shares how her mom (Jeannie) and Elder Isobel Johnson were avid gardeners. “When I was younger, I thought I was helping [in the garden]," says Roxanne with a chuckle. “But I was probably just getting in the way."
She recalls enjoying being with her grandmothers in the garden and taking part in the harvesting process. “Today, I ask the Elders for help, and sometimes I watch videos on YouTube!"
Each member of her family is part of the gardening experience, Roxanne explains. Her husband, Francis, does the heavy lifting, and the children are behind him doing their part. “It's important to pass this information to the next generation -- and also the work ethic."
So far, Esk'etemc has distributed 60 garden boxes to community members.
Jaclyn Booth, Preventative Outreach Worker, notes that the community gardens are providing much more than food security. “Gardening improves mood through sunlight, gets us moving, and does something for the soul that is unparalleled."
To learn more about Planning for Food Security, click here.