'All food should be affordable'


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June 28, 2016 12:00 AM

Manager of Lower Shannon Farms, Penny Manners, instructs some of the Border City's green thumbed enthusiasts on the importance of growing one's own food at the Planting for Fun event that took place at the Lloydminster Native Friendship Centre on Friday.

In these tough times it’s always good to stretch a dollar where one can, and one of the common places to start is the grocery budget.
A large portion of any grocery list is, or at least should be, produce like fresh vegetables—and that’s in large part the reason for the Planting for Fun event that was held at the Lloydminster Native Friendship Centre June 24.
“Planting for Fun is a collaborative event between (Acton) Lower Shannon Farms and Women Warriors and basically our messaging is locally grown and sourced food is a better alternative then the more expensive produce that you find in the stores,” said Shelley Wiart, founder of Women Warriors.
“And we just believe that all food should be affordable for everyone; so this is a good solution to that.”
Planting for Fun will kick off with a Native elder who’s going to perform a planting ceremony and talk about giving thanks to Mother Earth before planting, then the elder is going to bless the soil with tobacco.
The soil and seeds will be provided by Lower Shannon Farms and attendees will plant things like mixed greens as Wiart said those types of plants grow quickly and organizers want people to see the immediate results of what they planted.
The focus is also on planting in small spaces, so a person doesn’t have to have a full fledged garden in their yards to be able to grow their own food.
“It’s like container gardening and just showing people that it doesn’t need to be complicated and expensive,” said Wiart.
“It can be really simple with whatever containers you have around, even if they’re recycled containers or you can even use milk jugs.”
She added that the event will be free of gardening experts because they want to show how easy this kind of gardening can be.
After the planting is finished those who attend will be treated to some bannock bruschetta, entirely made of locally grown food from Lower Shannon Farms, as well as some free live entertainment courtesy of musicians with the Native Friendship Centre.
Wiart said events like Planting for Fun are beneficial because it’s important for people to know where their food comes from and Lower Shannon Farms is a good alternative to places that sell produce sourced from locations outside of the community.
“And then it’s just a good community building activity, so that everybody can come in together with their family, it’s free and you can get together as a community and you can get to know each other,” she said.
“That’s kind of the whole point of this project, getting to know families in the community, and when the economy has a downturn, its hard to find events that the whole family can attend—so this is kind of a fun, informative, local event that they can access.”

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