For the second year in a row, a group of entrepreneurial students at the University of Saskatchewan is heading north to help build raised garden beds and to provide education on healthy, sustainable food.
"We saw food sovereignty as an issue and it just kind of blossomed from there," U of S Enactus project leader, Carlene James said.
Enactus is a student run, not-for-profit organization that creates outreach programs to address social, economic and environmental issues in communities.
Last year, as a pilot project, the team travelled to Beauval, where it helped to build 15 gardens.
Community members were able to produce enough potatoes to feed five families for a full year.
The gardens also produced enough peas, lettuce and spinach to last the community from July through September.
The team brought in gardening expert, Len Sawatsky, manager of the Riverside Market Garden on the Flying Dust First Nation, to provide education on the basics of gardening.
"We find in northern communities it's not just an economic issue of being able to purchase produce at a reasonable price, but a lot of youth are relying on going to the store and buying, let's say a bag of chips, unhealthy foods and snacks," U of S Enactus President Peter Siarkos said.
In May, the Enactus team will travel to St. George's Hill — west of Buffalo Narrows — for a weekend to build gardens and organize educational workshops.
"The garden will be feeding about 30 people, is what we're hoping for, and it will be built in the school yard," James said.
The Enactus team is in need of donations and discounts to help cover building and garden supplies. It's still looking for a key sponsor to help make the project possible.