At the end of October, we said farewell to our 2013 summer Intern, Teague, who was an indispensable part of our team as we completed our new training facility, the Sacred Earth Lodge, and produced our second year of crops at Solar Warrior Farm. Teague worked incredibly hard, tirelessly, and with few breaks!
I met Teague at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center this summer. He was in from Wisconsin and met me to begin his internship with Trees, Water & People, spending three months as our on-site intern for our Tribal Renewable Energy Program, assisting with renewable energy trainings, the construction of Sacred Earth Lodge, and management of Solar Warrior Farm.
Teague has successfully grown the impact of our Food Security Program through Solar Warrior Farm, this year distributing more healthy, sustainably grown, and locally available produce than ever. He also co-hosted our first canning workshop, and is teaching a composting workshop this Fall. Twice each week, Teague goes into the community and distributes produce to the Oglala Lakota residents of Pine Ridge. Here is a little bit about his experience in his own words:
Last week I set up a free give away in front of the Tribal Office in downtown Pine Ridge. I had a lot of conversations with a lot of different people about growing food. People were excited about fresh tomatoes, and of course I always get a few strange looks when people hear that I'm giving away the food for free. After a few hours of the give away…I was invited to eat lunch with the employees at the tribal office. They were grilling out back so I sliced up some cucumbers and joined the potluck!
Teague’s weekly distribution average this season was between 150-200 lbs of fresh produce. I love to hear his stories about the interactions he has while distributing food. He likes to offer lemon cucumber samples, and he told me that the kids eat them like candy. What a treat indeed to have truly fresh, juicy produce in the middle of the hot summer in one of the Nation's largest food deserts! One woman was very excited to receive tomatoes so that she could make salsa. She plans to bring Teague a jar next time he’s in front of the Tribal Offices.
We are already planning for the 2014 season at Solar Warrior Farm, and we appreciate all your support for the next growing season. Have a wonderful holiday season and thank you so much for your support of this important project!
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