SIX NATIONS – Staff at Our Sustenance Greenhouse have been busy growing, gathering and garbling all kinds of plants the past several months preparing for their new apothecary.
“An apothecary is a place where you go to get the things that make you better,” said staff member Kitty R. Lynn at the grand opening held last Monday. “We want to help people in the community in terms of being a whole, healthy, well person and the apothecary is part of it.”
The Our Sustenance Program is a department of the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation; it originally consisted of only the greenhouse, but the new apothecary now falls under the same department.
“Everything has a purpose, just like each of us,” said Lynn. “Plants are the same thing — look at roses — people usually think of roses as something that is pretty, smells good, and can be put on display in a vase but they are very useful too. We can use roses in several things like, teas, salves, poultices, oils.”
Lynn said that it can take a very long time before some of the items in the apothecary are ready to be sold.
“If I wanted to make something like a rose oil we would take oil — cold pressed almond oil is light, so, it’s good for roses — and then put the roses in. It literally sits in the oil for three to six month before it is ready. It takes a long time.”
The idea for an apothecary on Six Nations began being tossed around back in 2013.
“It’s been a great grand opening so far,” said Adrianne Lickers, program co-ordinator for Our Sustenance, “Steady all day; people have been coming and buying a lot. Right now we’re accepting cash only, but in the future we hope to speak with the Six Nations Development Corporation and work on adding other payment options.”
Items in the apothecary can be refilled and regulated as needed thanks to the nearby greenhouse where a lot of the items are produced throughout the year. During the grand opening, staff member Jackie Mitten was busy filling out a custom tea order for a mother who asked for something to take away her son’s cold.
“We do custom orders too. Right now I’m making a tea mixture out of marshmallow, sage, yarrow, calendula and peppermint — it’s very effective against a cold, even more effective than cough syrup.”
Lynn said that the community has taken a role in the growth of the apothecary as well, and is grateful for everyone who has made contributions to the project.
“Some community members who grow their own plants have come in and given us some of their excess, and some individuals have foraged for themselves and given us some of their extra too,” said Lynn. “It’s awesome to have the community contribute.”