A Bountiful Harvest
It has been a busy summer at the Solar Warrior Farm! With the help of some great volunteers, we made a lot of improvements to our hoop houses in March which made it possible to start thousands of seeds early, giving us a headstart on the growing season. A wide variety of fruits and vegetable seeds were planted - and are now flourishing - including potatoe, cucumber, squash, tomatoes, corn, melons, blackberries, strawberries, hot peppers, bell peppers, and artichokes.
Teague, one of our amazing interns and the Garden Coordinator at Solar Warrior Farm, lives at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center and helps to take care of the expansive garden. He recently sent this exciting update:
"Tonight I'll be passing out close to 100 lbs of fresh veggies with Henry. Most of the recipients are local Lakota artists who gather every Wednesday to sell their wares. Last week I did the same with close to 60 lbs of cucumbers and squash. It's great to sit and talk with different community members about their stories and about their life. The garden has been exploding with cucumbers and squash. The tomatoes are just starting to give red fruits, and the corn is tall and strong. Some stalks are over 10 feet tall. The lettuce is about to be harvested and the onions will be ready soon. The drip irrigation is working wonderfully and there has been plenty of rain for extra growth, which is both a blessing and a curse for me as more rain equals more weeds, and there are already plenty of weeds!"
With the help of our friends and partners at Solar Energy International (SEI) and Lakota Solar Enterprises (LSE), students installed a solar water pump at the Sustainable Agriculture and Solar Water Pump Workshop. Powered by a solar array, the pump pulls water from the nearby creek and feeds into a gravity drip-irrigation system to water our garden at Solar Warrior Farm. Now that is sustainable. The training also included an overview of drip irrigation systems and vermicomposting with John the Worm Man.
Teague also helped to facilitate a canning course, offered by the amazing Teresa Holbrook. This was a first for us and we were able to get a lot of food from the garden canned! Teague also met with two women from Colorado Aquaponics and visited a woman’s home garden to give her advice. The two women from Colorado Aquaponics also gave Teague great advice on improving our greenhouses, which he plans to work on in the coming weeks.
Thank you all for your continued support of this very important project! We could not do any of this without your generosity. We look forward to sharing more updates with you as we harvest veggies, host more agricultural trainings, and bring quality food to the Lakota people of Pine Ridge.
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