The “right” to produce our own food
The food sovereignty program aims to show that it is possible to produce 85% of a household’s food needs. Projects within this program aim to do this within five years. Each project will be a tool that takes the knowledge gained into the community so that other households can do the same. We help families producing their own as well supporting home businesses to generate income so they can supplement the rest of their food needs from local producers.
Bees kept by small scale bee keepers produce an average of about 50lbs of honey in one season while conventional commercial growers average about 30lbs per season. There is roughly 12 hours of labor involved in keeping one hive per year and raw unfiltered honey sells for at least $15 per quart while targeted marketing can yield as much as $25 per quart.
There is a demand for fresh organic produce on the reservation yet there is no supply. A collective of interested growers has already purchased a credit card machine that will also process food stamps so that anyone can have access to purchasing food at our market. though we are still in the planning stages it is our intent that there will be a farmers market once per week in each district by harvest season this year (2011).
This year Earth Tipi won a fruit tree orchard in a national contest. Our goal is to begin grafting these trees this fall so we can begin planting more orchards on the reservation. It is our goal that each home we build will have a community orchard that the home recipient can take care of on behalf of the community. Any food not taken by the community by the end of harvest season will be collected by the orchard managers and preserved or made into pies and other foods to sell at the farmers market.
Many parts of our reservation have soil high in clay which can make conventional gardening difficult. Permaculture however offers an approach that works with nature, rather than against it to, create micro climates and build rich soils to help grow more nutrient dense food and lengthen our short growing season.
Chickens for Meat & Eggs
Chicken are not only great sources for protein but are also relatively inexpensive to care for under the right conditions. We will implement “protected free range” growing spaces that will allow chickens to forage for their own food as well as protect them from predators.