Friday, July 19, 2024
Local Gardener

Unique Gardening TV Series Premieres on APTN every Saturday noon!

A unique Indigenous gardening show premiered last weekend on The Aboriginal People’s Television Network. Season 3 of the popular program will screen at 11:30 am, 1:30 pm CST Saturday. 

Coleen Rajotte, a Cree/Métis Gardener, award-winning journalist and producer, celebrates her Indigenous roots by growing ceremonial tobacco, sage, cedar and sweet grass in her compact urban Winnipeg Launch of Indigenous Gardening Series on APTN | June 15, 2024 garden on the Canadian Prairies.

Cree Gardener Coleen Rajotte has blossomed into an urban Micro-Farmer, transforming almost every square foot of her compact urban yard into a backdrop for high yields of giant tomatoes that are the size of pumpkins, varieties of aromatic herbs, nutrient-rich root vegetables, crunchy salad offerings and Indigenous ceremonial tobacco, sage, sweet grass and sacred cedar. “Learning to grow sacred medicines has been a part of my healing journey and connects me to the land and my ancestors,” says Rajotte.

 

Cree Host Coleen Rajotte shares vegetable growing tips, plants traditional medicines and cooks garden fresh recipes.

Coleen visits rural landscapes to learn from Indigenous elders and knowledge keepers. Harvesting birch water, black diamond willow fungus and collecting wild antioxidant-rich berries are some of the activities in store for viewers. Coleen’s social media posts about gathering birch water garnered 1.4 MILLION VIEWS. “I was surprised to see such interest and I’m happy that we can share information on going back to our traditional ways and foods.”

Our show tackles an important issue in our communities: Food Insecurity. We encourage people to grow their own food! A recent study says at 31%, the rate of food insecurity among Indigenous families above the poverty line in 2022 was more than double the rate recorded for non-Indigenous families (15%).

Amidst the growing vines, blossoms, and bounty, real life unfolds episode-by-episode. Coleen’s gardening helpers include a friend who is seriously impacted by cancer and her two crazy dogs who are always up to something! A pesky squirrel wipes out her corn crop and nature throws gardening curve balls. With a true gardener spirit, Coleen exemplifies perennial hope, taking each plant success or lesson in stride.

Previous seasons of Vitality Gardening have been broadcasted nationally on PBS in the US, in the city of Dubai, and in Russia.