Trees and Berry Bushes to First Nations

The CRD purchased over 50 more fruit trees and berry bushes to enable the 150 Trees project to fill the request from all 5 First Nations communities who applied.  This report shares what was received and the food and agricultural initiatives of the First Nations.

SȾÁUTW̱ (Tsawout)

Elmer receivedapple cherry and plum trees and the tay berry, logan berry and blue berry bushes and which were planted in a few spots around the community including next to the Tsawout administration building. Tsawout has a large greenhouse with lots of potential that once operated as a native plant nursery.*

* Tsawout has a number of other apples trees in its community including some heritage varieties. TIXEN, the sand spit by the ocean is still used for gathering plants and other food sources.

PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW̱

Received 2 pear, 2 apples, 2 plums and 5 blueberries. The Native plant nursery is blooming with yarrow, KEXMIN, salmon berries, Garry oaks and much more. The nursery is an education centre for children and the community and also provides plants to the restoration sites in the region.

W̱JOȽEȽP (Tsartlip)

Tsartlip had an amazing planting day with their after school group. they planted 15 blueberries and 4 apples trees inside fenced off area for a vegetable garden with plans to start growing native plants near the health centre. Tsartlip also has a backyard growing program with a number of gardens in the community. They have also been leading Native plant workshops such as tea harvesting and food preparation for the community members.

T’Sou-ke

 Upon delivery of the trees and berry bushes, 6 boxes for the trees were built and filled with soil and compost to provide a mini orchard along the back fence. There is a large garden space with plant starts that are to be sold at a local agriculture fair. Denise and Christine both work in the garden part time and grow flowers, vegetables and native plants. Denise also saves seeds for use in the garden and with the community. T’Sou-ke also have three very large greenhouses to produce Wasabi for commercial use. Aditionally T’Sou-ke have an oyster farm in Sooke basin and are leading workshops in their community to connect back to their traditional food sources.

Pacheedaht

Every Wednesday, Pacheedaht has a community lunch in their health building. The hazelnut and plumtrees will be planted just outside of their community garden. Deer aren’t a concern at Pacheedaht but Elk can be! Inside their community garden is a Native plant trail with signs that provide information on some of the native plants that would be found in the area and how to identify them. They had two greenhouses that unfortunately were blown over in one windstorm. The next greenhouse will need to have a stronger foundation to resist the frequent strong winds.