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FIrsthand account of community garden success on West Coast

The community garden is a project that has been ongoing since about 2011.

We have maintained it since spring of 2012. We have been working hard at food security

here in the village and raising awareness of healthy eating and keeping our connection with our tradtional foods intact as well by engaging with elders and youth.

We are very dedicated to ensuring that we are working hard on sustainability for our tradtional food sources and also focused on creating a food network and system in the village where we can meet our food needs and not be so dependent on traveling.

We are a very remote community and we have 90% unemployment rate this means that many families are on social services and they have very limited amounts of money to be spent on food.

We have to take a boat that is $40 round trip to buy our groceries. On limited incomes, this can mean the food choices to be made are made with a budget of only a couple hundred dollars for a family of 5. This leaves no choice but to buy whatever is cheapest -and usually that means unhealthy foods.

With the community garden and compost we hope to create a small farm that is supplying our village with fresh foods and eventually eggs from chickens as well.

We have been working on a community food plan for the past year and hope to unveil it to the community soon and get started on growing a healthy tradtion of eating well.

Before the roads came to Tofino, making easy access ot grocery stores, we relied on ourselves.

Many of the elders say wild food harvesting was more organized and done all the time, as well as seafoods harvested and prepared. Many had kitchen gardens and chickens as well.

We hope to see that again soon!

Sacheen Pointe runs the Cmmunity garden and compost in Ahousaht with her husband Joe James Rampanen