“Tobacco historically was grown here. The seed that we’ve used was found in an archeological dig near Niagara Falls that turned up a little clay pot,” Skene said.
By Andrew Coppolino
Aug 14, 2021
Summer and fall harvest this year are looking to be a good ones at area farms, and that includes the crops that are currently flourishing at a unique garden at Steckle Heritage Farm in Kitchener.
The 2,500 sq.-ft. plot is an urban Indigenous garden of the Wisahkotewinowak collective that has been dedicated to building land-based relationships in the Waterloo-Wellington area since its inception in 2017.
“It’s one of four gardens we have in the area. This is our Three Sisters garden where we grow the largest amounts of corn, beans and squash — the three sisters — for the Indigenous community,” said Sarina Perchak, a Métis land-based education coordinator for White Owl Native Ancestry Association and a core member of Wisahkotewinowak.
The other gardens are the teaching garden in Blair, the tea garden in the Guelph Arboretum and the produce garden in University of Waterloo’s Environmental Reserve.
With financial support coming from grants and donations, the collective maintains the three sisters crops along with sunflowers, tobacco, tomatoes, beans, broccoli, Haudenosaunee white corn and some beautiful red amaranth, among others.
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