CRYP introduced beets as its second “Veggie of the Week” at the Leading Lady Farmers Market on August 15, and according to Sustainable Agriculture Manager Ryan Devlin, they were an absolute success.

“More than 80 pounds of beets were harvested by garden interns and The Main’s youth participants in the course of just one week,” he reported. “We sold three bunches at the farmers market, used 60 pounds for canning, and incorporated four pounds into meals for our children and teens. And our featured recipe was roasted beets and carrots!”

To date, according to Devlin, CRYP staff and local Cheyenne River youth have harvested 160 pounds of beets in the Winyan Toka Win garden and sold 21 bunches of beets through the Leading Lady Farmers Market.

The next veggie of the week, to be unveiled at the farmers market on August 22: carrots!

The Leading Lady Farmers Market was formally established in July 2013. After nearly 10 years of hosting a small weekly farmers market to sell fresh produce and canned goods from its Winyan Toka Win garden, CRYP was able to expand the market into its current form thanks to a grant from the Northwest Area Foundation and a dedicated vision to developing sustainable, sovereign food systems and community-based entrepreneurship.

The Winyan Toka Win garden lies close to the heart of the 25-year-old, not-for-profit, grassroots youth organization. While the Leading Lady Farmers Market is perhaps the most visible extension of CRYP’s garden program, its harvested produce also is used in the youth and teen centers’ meals and snacks, in the farm-to-table Keya Cafe, in the Keya Gift Shop, and in classes and workshops that involve food preparation and processing, nutrition, meal planning, and even diabetes prevention.

To support Winyan Toka Win and sustainable agriculture initiatives like the Leading Lady Farmers Market, click “Donate Now” in the navigation bar above. If you’re interested in making an in-kind donation, you may call the office at (605) 964-8200 to discuss the most pressing garden needs.

The Cheyenne River Youth Project, founded in 1988, is a grassroots, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing the youth of the Cheyenne River reservation with access to a vibrant and secure future through a wide variety of culturally sensitive and enduring programs, projects and facilities that ensure strong, self-sufficient families and communities.