In early spring, Four Directions was awarded a $100,000 grant from Our Katahdin to establish community gardens in each tribal community in Maine. The funds were evenly dispersed among each Wabanaki tribe; the Penobscot, the Passamaquoddy tribe at both Indian Township and Pleasant Point, the Maliseet, and the Mi’kmaq. This exciting project involved many members of each community, including staff, elders, and youth.
The first community garden to be featured is Penobscot Nation on Indian Island. The Penobscot community has been actively planting new gardens with raised beds and repairing an established, Senior Garden, which is a garden dedicated to Penobscot elders. Staff member Tami Connolly has been working diligently with tribal volunteers and student interns to support the project. Anyone interested in participating or learning more can contact Tami at 207-631-9601.
Tami feels that growing one’s own food is extremely rewarding work and is proud to be serving her community with this food sovereignty opportunity. There are many garden plots each featuring their own crop. Currently, the gardens feature sage, tobacco, peppers, tomatoes, squash, beets, eggplants, swiss chard, medicinal herbs, and more. The plots overlook the scenic Penobscot River. The gardens this year are doing fantastic and are growing a great variety of food for the community.
Community gardens pull together all facets of a tribe. Community members of all ages, interests, and backgrounds come together to directly experience the peace and miracle of growth and Earth’s bounty. Seeing the plants yield their fruit is an absolute joy to witness and develops a deep appreciation of how we are all connected.