Five more orchards planted!

Shannon Freed, now Earth Tipi’s director had received a lot of interest from members of the Pine Ridge Reservation community wanting trees for their family homes as well as orchards in districts throughout the reservation. Shannon very much wanted as many people as possible to have access to fresh fruit for generations to come. So she called her connections at the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation to find out how more orchards could be planted throughout the reservation. Earth Tipi was invited to apply for a grant through the Reservation Preservation program. The grant allowed Earth Tipi to identify as many sites as possible throughout the reservation. In total five orchards were planted with a total of 200 trees being planted in orchards and 100 trees being given away to individuals. Anybody that wanted a tree could get one, all they had to do was attend a short training on how to plant and care for the trees. It was a very busy summer!

The orchards were planted at the following locations:

  • Little Wound School ~ Kyle, SD
    82 trees planted. The orchard is located immediately adjacent to the elementary school playground. The school maintenance department leads in the care of the trees.
  • Red Cloud School ~ Pine Ridge, SD
    32 trees planted. The orchard is located directly behind the high school in the back field. The school maintenance department leads in the care of the trees.
  • Thunder Valley ~ Sharp’s Corner, SD
    15 trees planted. The orchard was planted immediately adjacent to Thunder Valley’s offices but sadly were removed in 2014 when plans for the land development changed and the trees were in the way. Earth Tipi notified community members who had expressed interest in having fruit trees on their property and then removed the remaining trees before demolition began as well as plants from a food forest that had been planted by another organization the year before.
  • Oglala Lakota College ~ Piya Wiconi, SD
    20 trees planted. The orchard was planted in an area designated for study by the Agriculture Extension office. Information gathered from data collected over a long term study will be used to educate reservation residents about best care practices and what trees are best suited for the reservation.
  • Lakota Hope ~ White Clay, NE
    32 trees planted. The orchard was planted immediately adjacent to the greenhouse along side the road. If you slow down as you pass by you can see the small trees taking root!