MNO Credit River Métis Council community garden helping to alleviate hunger in the Peel region

MNO CRMC Community Garden.
(left-right): Métis Traditional Knowledge Keeper JimTolles, MNO Credit River Métis Council Educationand Community Outreach Coordinator Kyl Morrison,Brycen Boros, Nycolla Buisson, Jessica Kowalkskiand Sarah Bale from Ecosource, Local HealthIntegration Network Representative Dieufert Bellot,MNO Credit River Métis Council Treasurer DarleneLent, Beth Boros and Local Health IntegrationNetwork Representative Damiola Toki. Click here for larger picture.
Submitted by: MNO Credit River Métis Council Outreach Coordinator Kyl Morrison

The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Credit River Métis Council (CRMC) community garden raised hundreds of pounds of fresh vegetables this year that will help alleviate hunger throughout the Peel region. The community garden is one of the major projects of the MNO CRMC and in 2016, the council was able to donate almost five hundred pounds of fresh produce to the local Knights Table in Credit River. The Knights Table is a charity that works to alleviate hunger in the Peel region. Find out more about the Knights table at knightstable.org

This year the council started their community garden on May 17. On that day a nesting killdeer reminded the MNO CRMC staff and citizens to move gently as they prepared the ground for their annual gardening awakening ceremony.

The MNO CRMC celebrated its Sixth Annual Gardening Awakening Ceremony at the Creditview Community Garden Centre. The Awakening Ceremony brought local volunteers from within the community and included a smudging and tobacco offering led by MNO CRMC Treasurer Darlene Lent and a prayer by Nycolla Bruisson. During the smudging, a prayer and tobacco offering was presented to acknowledge the awakening of the six plots in the garden.

Volunteers who participated in the planting operations for the Awakening Ceremony this year were Sarah Bale and Jessica Kowalski from Ecosource, MNO Métis Family Wellbeing Coordinator Catherine Corbett, Beth Boros and husband Brian Boros, local volunteers Nycolla Buisson, Kyl Morisson, Jon and Jim Tolles and one self-seeded parsley plant.

The garden grew substantially grown after the Awakening Ceremony and on June 1 the number of volunteers working on the garden had also grown. New volunteers included Brycen Boros who shared his passion and knowledge of animals and tracking and MNO CRMC Traditional Knowledge Keeper Jim Tolles.

With rows and rows of onions, beans, tomatoes, cabbage, kale, romaine lettuce, Swiss chard and herbs, the garden became a real reminder of the potential power of community support. The six plots were organized differently this year with the inclusion of a Three Sisters Garden. A variety of significant seeds were planted in the traditional Three Sisters Garden configuration. Treasurer Lent was able to receive donated seeds from Stefania Ruffolo. The beans, squash and corn seeds included an open pollinated corn variety that has thrived through thousands of years of farming by Indigenous peoples throughout North America; Cherokee Trail of Tears beans; Rattlesnake runner beans; and Canadian Crookneck squash. A donation of heirloom tomato plants was also provided from the volunteers.

The Three Sisters Garden is new in 2017 and reminds the community of the incredible power of the Métis traditional knowledge and the opportunities they have had to continue to treat the earth in the spirit of a giving community. The MNO CRMC is optimistic that come harvest time they will be able to again make a strong contribution to the effort to alleviate hunger in the Peel region.

Posted: September 26, 2017

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