Caribou populations are low and climate change continues to forever alter this landscape, inspiring some community members to take matters in to their own hands and discover new ways to ensure that their community has fresh food.
Stella Quitte of Gameti has been farming the community for the last few years and has even been certified by the Northern Farming Training Institute. She has a passion for tending to her gardens and enjoys the physicality of the job.
She also tends to a number of chickens and turkeys. These 88 chickens have been producing an incredible amount of eggs, sometimes over 100 eggs in a single day and Quitte has been sharing these eggs to the breakfast club at Jean Wetrade Gameti School.
The last couple days or so it went to 120,” said Quitte. “What I do is I wash them and put them in to the egg cartons. You know, sometimes people in town here, they ask for eggs. If not, the health centre or the school, they ask for eggs.”
Quitte says she likes the job. The birds know when she is coming and wait by the door to greet her as she comes in and she takes pride in taking care of them. She will be the one keeping the chickens and turkeys until the spring when the garden work starts again.
“Before I was on full time, nine to five,” said Quitte. “Now that its winter, not much to do at the garden and its just me working there and I’m just working there to feed the chickens and give them water and collecting all the eggs.”
Principal Brendon Mulcahy said these eggs have been making a difference in the kids mornings.
“The garden program in Gameti is incredible,” said Mulcahy. “This whole thing has been great in the community in terms of students learning about sustainability and the egg program has been fantastic because we go through a ton of eggs for our breakfast program.”
Quitte is known throughout the community for her gardening skills and being able to produce quality potatoes, but now she is known for her stellar eggs.
“Now they’re telling me now [I’m the] Eggs Mama,” said Quitte.