Food Sovereignty
      Dana-Lopez Family
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Plansowes Dana and her husband, Javier Lopez, and their children, Petak, Sigon, and Maya, maintain a beautiful large garden at their home at Sipayik.  Plansowes has been one of the lead people in the Food Sovereignty program on the Passamaquoddy Reservation. Javier is from Honduras and hails from a background of experience with large farming operations.

Plansowes grew up on the Sipayik Passmaquoddy Reservation.  There were six children in the family.  Gardening and preserving food were always part of the home. Plansowes feels that it is important for people to get back to the traditional ways.  She commented that “We need to go in another direction.  So much of the food on the market is not even food with all of its processing and artificial ingredients.” She views the use of GMOs as unsettling and feels that much of the processed food contributes to many of the allergies that confront people. 

The Dana-Lopez family garden successfully finished its seventh season in 2013.  The family takes pride in growing their own food.  They have planted and tended strawberries, grapes, watermelon, cantaloupe, a large variety of vegetables, and garlic.  They also planted five fruit trees and harvest apples from four apple trees that were already planted on their property.  There is always plenty of food and an excess is purposely grown at the Dana-Lopez gardens with the intention of it being shared with others.

Plansowes’ brother, Donnell Dana, Jr., helped with the delivery of the raised beds at Sipayik and the organic lobster-based compost for some of the gardens.  He also helped to assemble some of the gardens and plant them. Plansowes will be establishing a community garden for the Tribe at the Tribal Farm on the Golden Road in Perry.  She will be preparing and fertilizing the soil.  With her dedication to the program there is no doubt that she will be contributing many volunteer hours.

Plansowes plans on having a plot at the community garden as well because she wishes to grow two different corns and keep them separated.  She will be growing sweet corn in one garden and Harmony corn in another garden.  Harmony corn is a corn that is preserved and used in Traditional soup.

Some haying has taken place at the Tribal Farm and one of the Tribal members has pastured their horses there.  Plansowes explained that the community farm will enable Tribal members who don’t have access to raised gardens or enough space to grow any kind of vegetables or crops such as potatoes and corn.

Anyone wishing to contribute any kind of garden tools for the Tribal Community Garden is encouraged to do so.  A working rototiller is desperately needed.  The Food Sovereignty Program will also be providing chickens to families who are interested in raising them.

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The Dana/Lopez family includes from left: Petak Dana, Plansowes Dana, Maya Dana Lopez, Javier Lopez holding Sigon Dana Lopez.

Plansowes is shown with her brother, Donnell Dana, Jr.  Donnell helped with the delivery of the raised beds and the lobster-based compost.

He also helped to assemble some of the gardens and plant them.

Three-year-old Sigon Dana Lopez enjoys a cucumber right out of the garden.

The Dana-Lopez family participated in the Native American Festival at the Shaker Village in Sabbathday Lake in New Gloucester.