Saskatoon turns toxic old gas station into garden and indigenous culture project

A new garden sits on an old gas station site in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Because the ground may have been contaminated, pallets and barrels are used to safely grow the plants.

We wouldn’t have been able to do anything like planting in the ground,Kristen Severight-Dumais, an urban agriculture intern with CHEP Good Food Inc., explained.

The project began in 2014 under a different name as rooftop gardens at the University of Saskatchewan.

It relocated to the brownfield site — which means a former industrial or commercial site — in 2015 and was renamed the Askîy Project — which means “Earth” in Cree.

Severight-Dumais said the garden has gotten a lot more artistic and educational this summer. “That would be teaching people how to harvest properly, soil science, and also we’re trying to incorporate a lot of Indigenous language.

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