We threw a garden party to celebrate the 675 lbs of produce we've harvested from the Woju Wakan garden this summer in partnership with Minnesota FoodShare and volunteers!
This summer the Woju Wakan garden has grown a record amount of produce, with 1,085 pounds and counting. The garden produce is given out each week at a free farmers market outside the Division of Indian Work food shelf, where clients can ask questions about the weekly selection, discuss ways to prepare the food, and share some of the reasons why they’re stopping by. “My doctor told me I need to eat healthier, but it’s so expensive,” a man shared as he picked up a bundle of kale. “What do you do with this?” These conversations teach us that when given a choice and an opportunity to learn new ways of eating, people are curious to try new food and eager to make healthful choices.
The free farmers market has featured everything from watermelons and raspberries to sage, squash, tomatoes, and fresh mint. Lemon cucumbers have especially been a hit, as people are surprised and delighted to learn these round, yellow, vegetables are just a different variety of the more familiar green cucumbers they know.
In addition to producing a plethora of fruits, vegetables, and herbs, the garden has been a learning space for SMART Nations summer school students, who visited the garden twice a week this summer to learn about food cultivation, soil quality, and Native American medicines. Through student visits, volunteer support, and community gatherings, over 100 people have visited Woju Wakan this summer to be a part of this community that is caring for the earth and our neighbors by growing culturally-relevant, sustainable food. This garden is made possible through the generous contributions of Powderhorn Empty Bowls and Saint Luke Presbyterian.
All photos by Division of Indian Work