Beginning in the late 19th century,
Indigenous people up and down the coast easily incorporated European cultivated foods into their already well-established knowledge of cultivated and managed foods. At Húy̓at, our relations planted potatoes, turnips, carrots, and rhubarb around their smokehouses. This required going back and forth from Bella Bella to Húy̓at to plant and tend their gardens. The seed potatoes came from our salmon trading trips with our Nuxalk neighbours in Bella Coola.
"They pretty well had to clear the land, and then maybe brought in some soil too. Because I don’t think there was enough soil. I think my grandmother used to get soil right from close to the river. They did that quite a lot, and this was packing it in baskets... The actual farming, which probably was started by the ministers in the church. But there was a lot of... Finlanders... So our people learned how to grow from them, too."
"My grandmother would go there to check to see if her carrots and potatoes, carrots and there were other turnips I guess it was, I am not too sure but the animals always beat her to it. The deers and the probably bears I don't know, they would get it before we [did]."
- Randy Carpenter
"Yeah, potato patch, yeah. Because that's what we ate with the smoked fish. She put a potato patch and there was a hill behind it and right on top of that hill, they made a rhubarb patch. She used... kelp! The little, little kelp on the beach, she just go and pick them and dump them right on top of the [garden]. That fertilized that area for the potatoes."
- Yím̓ás Taltmx Mark White
Vegetable Gardens