UBC Farm

Tal A'xin: Maya in Exile Garden

Program Summary

Initially, we planted the three sisters. Later on, we incorporated greens such as amaranth (bledo), yerba mora, and apazote, among other crops. Each season begins with a traditional Maya ceremony to ask permission to Mother Earth and the Creator to break the land and bless the seeds. Before we harvest corn, another ceremony is offered to thank the Creator and Mother Earth for all that has been produced. The garden continues to be a place for cultural sharing and sustaining ancestral practices.
In addition to its international, community-based research, the xʷc̓ic̓əsəm garden supports two main program areas:

  • The xʷc̓ic̓əsəm Garden grows over 40 varieties of medicinal plants that are native to the region. These are cared for and used by the Medicine Collective, a group of Indigenous Elders and Knowledge-keepers who lead medicine-making workshops and walks in the Garden with the community.
  • The Culturally Relevant Urban Wellness program brings urban Indigenous and recent immigrant youth to the Garden from March to October. To find out more about the program, view the program booklet