Women who feed the islands

Photo: Lynda Dixon started growing organic, islands-grown produce at Maude Island Farm in 1994. (Jason Shafto/Love Haida Gwaii)

Celebrating women’s efforts as foragers, farmers, and pillars of food security on Haida Gwaii

How are women working to harvest local foods, feed community, and promote food security on Haida Gwaii – one of the most remote island populations in Canada?

A few months ago, a hunger to answer this question led me on a road trip from northern Alberta and across the Hecate Strait to Graham Island, where I’ve been learning about women and food culture while enjoying the flavours of wild salmon, crab, chanterelles, venison, and local root vegetables.

My interest in writing about women and food culture has grown into a passion project. Recently, I wrote and published a book called Women Who Dig: Farming, Feminism, and the Fight to Feed the World.

The book is about my travels across three continents, from northern Canada to Sub-Saharan Africa to southern India, to document the importance of women’s work in growing food, nourishing communities, and stewarding the land. According to the United Nations, women account for 43 per cent of the global agriculture force.

Over the past several months, I’ve been privileged to meet and spend time with women in Haida Gwaii — mothers, community organizers, and elders — who are working to overcome barriers of food security by harvesting, processing, and sharing local foods with their communities.

“There’s so many women on Haida Gwaii who are involved with food, whether they’re farmers, gardeners, hunters, or gatherers,” says Shelly Crack, a community dietitian with Northern Health in Masset.

“Women are feeding their families, schools, and the hospitals. [Food] is a way of loving people.” READ MORE

By Trina Moyles
Mar. 8, 2018
www.haidagwaiiobserver.com

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