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Conestoga prof plants Indigenous foods garden to help teach land management

Conestoga prof plants Indigenous foods garden to help teach land management

Photo: An Indigenous foods garden is being created at the Rare Charitable Research Reserve in Cambridge. Leading the project is Andrew Judge, a a professor and co-ordinator of Indigenous studies at Conestoga College.(Submitted by Andrew Judge)

The sounds of birds and insects envelop Andrew Judge as he stands in a new garden at the Rare Charitable Research Reserve in Cambridge, Ont. on a sunny August day.

Standing and listening is where Judge, whose Indigenous name is Mko’Mosé, started the process of creating an Indigenous foods garden.

The six-metre-wide circular food garden has sunflowers, corn and a sacred fire.

“We laid this fire in ceremony. It’s not for roasting marshmallows. It’s for honouring the ancestors,” Judge said during a tour of the garden’s layout.

Judge expects it will be completed before the end of August, but it will eventually grow items like wild plums, Saskatoon berries and hazelnuts.

“What we intend on planting here is primarily Indigenous foods or native foods local to the region,” he said. READ MORE

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