Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Growing Local Conference

Okay I'm not quite hyped up as I was on Sunday the day after the Growing Local Conference .
But yes still inspired & full of hope ☺
I actually only got in for one day under the subsidy as one day was booked full .
The ceremony began on Thursday evening with intro and so beautiful Hoop Dance .
I'd not seen the Hoop dance in close to 20 yrs so it was something .
 The guest speaker for the opening was Winona Laduke .She is a speaker & activist along with many other roles.
Her speech was really good my interest of course peaked when she began speaking of community growing Indigenous foods , teaching & feeding kids etc. It was very inspiring to keep on plugging away to establish connections within our own community and teach & learn together .
It was beautiful to see so many First Nations communities represented and I hope soon others from our area will catch on too ;-)
As with many conferences the day was broken into sessions . There were a few I did not get to see which I really wish could've been repeated .However I do not regret any of the sessions I did chose as all were informative .
The first workshop was about wild gardening . Yes I do this already but I learn knew things all the time . What I learned was new plants , that was a bonus , what was not really much help is the plants are mostly prairie & southern MB plants , which we are not in either the prairie or southern section . However new info may lead to help another so best to store it away in my brain for further use perhaps ☺
What I realize is that we need teachers up in our area ! and yes I honestly believe we can do it . The most info I received was on how to make use of time within a workshop , what ideas do use etc.
I can see teaching people how to use product from the Boreal forest in a sustainable way for medicines & food .
Then I thought I could also do a whole other workshop on spiritual food !
So I'm thinking of ideas for Indigo & I to put together .
I also really want to work on finding a local market to sell our teas and medicines etc.
He has a ton of chaga he found ☺
The 2nd workshop session was really great because it was from a Cree Nation in SK and how they have begun and expand a gardening program over the last I believe 5 yrs . They've 60 acres and began gardening 2 acres to start. with help from a fellow out of the Uof SK over the yrs they have increased the garden size and those employed . all people are paid . They hire 10 new people each yr , every yr those who stay on get a raise in wages . they then can train other workers. The goal in the beginning was to help the community feed itself . Now they began to sell the access food grown to the town nearby . They are building a new storage / packaging facility too.
They hope to expand into livestock at some point too.
 What I was a tad disappointed in was the lack of mention of Indigenous foods if any to be grown . the potato was the main crop spoken of .
All in all though it was very uplifting to hear of communities success to support themselves which as we become less and less global we are going to have to return to communities be more self sustaining especially for future generations .
My last session was about root cellars . The man presenting turns out I knew him from ages ago. They live in an intentional community .
Okay he is brilliant like my dh ;-) however what I found is he is not the best of presenters. I think he'd have done well to have a young spunky speaker along with him . However I did learn most of what root cellars do need , humidity & ventilation keep water out etc.
he said stone would be an excellent material to build a cellar with .
anyway I really enjoyed myself .
I really liked all the speakers & presenters very much . I got to hang with my dear friend Mary because she was volunteering .
I met new beautiful people as well .
So I was left with some new ideas & lots of hope for tomorrow to come

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