Healthy Roots: Homegrown Goodness

OHSWEKEN – In the early months of 2015, the Six Nations community watched as four individuals publicly committed to a traditional, Indigenous foods-only diet. Kathy Isaacs, Julee Green, Karihwawihson Brown, and Johnny Powless’s journey to health was documented in weekly issues of the Two Row Times, while staff at Six Nations Health Services and Tyendinaga Community Wellbeing Centre offered regular, in-person support sessions. We called it Healthy Roots, and highlighted the participants’ success during monthly events and at a finale dinner at the Six Nations Community Centre.

During the finale dinner, the participants sat on a panel and answered questions from the public about what they learned during the 12-week challenge. One of the final questions was, “How do we get in on this?” as the person asking the question motioned to the crowd. The panel provided helpful, practical advice – follow the Healthy Roots food list, check in with Health Services to see what programs they offer, and get outside.

When the public challenge wrapped up, we challenged ourselves as a committee to offer more how-to advice in the next instalment of Healthy Roots, to make it as accessible as possible. So we teamed up with the Our Sustenance Program and Six Nations Health Services to come up with a plan. We decided that the next instalment would feature practical, do-it-yourself advice on growing healthy foods (many of which are from the original Healthy Roots food list) in a sustainable, culturally relevant manner.

We call it Healthy Roots: The Homegrown Goodness Series.

Starting today and running until the end of June, we will be dedicating a special section in issues of the Two Row Times with gardening advice, columns, articles on self-sustainability topics and more.

Members of the public can access practical, hands-on advice at free weekly workshops at Our Sustenance Greenhouse, 2676 Fourth Line Road.

In addition to our special editorial section and workshops, we will also be celebrating the opening and closing of this campaign on June 6th and 24th, respectively.

Join us at our June 6th launch event as we plant in the Six Nations Community Garden, enjoy the Six Nations Outdoor Farmer’s Market, offer mini-workshops and taste some garden-fresh food samples prepared by Chef and Two Row Times Columnist Joe Farrell. We are offering free t-shirts, gardening hand tool sets, and tomato plants to the first 100 guests that arrive. A prize draw will also take place. This event will take place in the Six Nations Community Garden, behind Sunrise Court in Ohsweken.

Proud of your garden? Let us know! Send high-quality photos of your garden to with “How Does Your Garden Grow?” in the subject line. We will print photos submitted and award $25 weekly to our favourite submission.

Have a gardening question? Email it to with “Ask Kitty” in the subject line. A local gardening expert will address any pressing questions you might have about your plants.

See page (Josh enter page number here) for further details on Healthy Roots: Homegrown Goodness Series workshops and events. All are welcome to participate.

The Two Row Times thanks The Dreamcatcher Foundation for their support of Healthy Roots initiatives.

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