Exciting things are happening for Earth Tipi on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation! In March we hosted vermiculturist John Victor Anderson aka “The Colorado Worm Man”. He presented on the radio, at two schools and in the community. In all 108 people were directly impacted and many now have their own worms to care for. The worms in turn are now digesting some of the garbage that would otherwise make it to the landfill and we are slowly cleaning up the rez one worm at a time. Other new happenings since the beginning of the year are weekly presentations at the Lakota Waldorf Kindergarden as well as a weekly radio show called “Zani” which means “Health” in the Lakota language.

The kindergarten presentations focus on teaching the children where food originates from and how to prepare it. We talk about if food grows in the ground or not and if it grows from the ground what it looks like when it’s growing. The children love making their lunch or afternoon snack. Some favorites to date were granola and kale chips.

The radio show airs every Wednesday from 6:30 am -7:30 am mountain standard time. We talk about superfoods, why they are good for you and how to integrate them into your diet and other health related topics. Hope you will join us to listen online

To add to these programs we are working on a plan to expand our fruit tree orchard to include other perennial foods and windblocks. Over time we hope to develop a self sustaining permanent food garden. So we can really step up our food production efforts, we submitted a grant application so we can build a root cellar and small sunken greenhouse, we expect to hear back within the next week or two.

We are now gearing up for an exciting summer. We are currently establishing partnerships with Design Coalition and the University of Wisconsin ~ Madison to build a caretaker home and office at our education and model homestead site. The building will feature a bunk house for interns as well as cutting edge natural building technologies that will be used for educational purposes.