In this issue of Positive Montana – One Generation Journey. With two MSU interns, MTN explores how a team is on a mission to see past, current and future impact.
Bring healthy food to the table of present and future Native families. It all starts with seed. To make this happen, our Holly Branley talked to a young couple about using their ancestral teachings and their desire to get others involved.
Justin and Bailey Stewart are a crocodile couple.
“You have to come here and smell the garbage and go in,” said Justin.
They are raising their families and at the same time working to grow better food for the Montana and indigenous areas.
“These seeds are alive and well,” says Bailey. We must take care of them.
In Montana, Indigenous Food Societies spend this summer calling it the energy of love.
“These are tribal lands,” says Bailey.
In Montana, even in the afternoon, you can have a hard time working with Bailey because of the birth in October. Both are engaged in caring for Grandpa’s crops in MSU’s orchards. Other days they spend their time at the historic Mille Park in the Indigenous Garden.
Finally, Stewart helps these crops reach indigenous communities from farm to table, from here to here, to Montana.
“It’s amazing to be able to produce these hundreds of years old,” says Justin. “It is wonderful for me to preserve these colors and to maintain the way they look compared to modern corn or seeds. It is here not only for me but also for all generations.
The project and interest is not just about crops. The garden at MSU is also home to more than 20 varieties of beans, corn and squash.
Grow the crops, store and transmit the seeds. They are sent in large numbers to indigenous communities.
“This is not just my ethnic group,” said Justin. It is also transmitted to other tribes.
Stewarts says they hope to inspire all of them to look forward to starting their own gardens and producing local seeds.
“We want to teach them,” said Justin. We want to teach the young and the old in their own garden to learn how to take better care of him.
They say it is to create a more sustainable diet and a healthier diet.
“Before the waiting period, we had a different way of eating, but when the waiting period came, we saw unhealthy foods coming in and diseases like heart disease coming up,” says Bailey.
“The main thing is that we all learn and pass on,” says Justin.
That is another part of their mission – to invite every member of the Southwest Montana community to come out and learn about the magic of sowing.
“I have learned by trial and error,” Bailey said. I learned to put my hands in the sand.
Promoting a better future for Montana and their families, and for you.
“We think about the next generation,” says Bailey. Not for us, but for those who come after us.
The Montana Native Food Sovereignty Initiative hosts volunteer evenings during the week and welcomes anyone to learn and donate.
They meet every Tuesday at 6pm at the Indigenous Learning Park in History Mill Park, and every Thursday at 6pm at the MSU Horticultural Garden.
During these events you will learn about indigenous gardening techniques, how to make pollen by hand and how to save seed at the end of the season.
Volunteer events are followed by a small patrol.
The seed that will be saved from the patriarchal paradise will be deposited in the ancestral seed bank in the new American Indian Hall building, which will open this Indigenous Day this October.