A small table sits roadside in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, just along York Road past the township offices. On it sits piles of freshly picked fruits and vegetables. If you drive by too quickly or possibly even blink, you might miss it. That's because the Kenhte:ke Kanyen'keha:ka Food Sovereignty Project, much like its roadside offerings, is in what you could call the growing stage.
The project, the creation of Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte band member Andrew Brant and his wife, Renee, seeks to provide the territory with fresh produce year-round, as well as revitalize the soil to improve the quality of life for generations to come.
"In Tyendinaga, we are about half an hour away from any fresh produce," Brant said beside his burgeoning garden on a sunny afternoon as traffic whirred by. Price and accessibility to fresh food aren't an issue exclusive to the territory, but it is one Brant and company hope to stamp out. "When it comes to our elders, they can't necessarily go and get fresh food off-reserve. There are people here who can't or don't leave their homes. So there's a need for it," Brant said.
Lush Cosmetics' Charity Pot grant program gave the project the boost it needed to take it from seed to seedling. "They gave us $17,000 to purchase a greenhouse and clear that land down here," Brant said, pointing up the lane to a clearing where a greenhouse sits waiting to be constructed.
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