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  • 2014 Harvest
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    Fall Harvest Kicks Into High Gear with “Veggie of the Week” and Community Harvest Festival Dinner

Fall Harvest Kicks Into High Gear with “Veggie of the Week” and Community Harvest Festival Dinner

Fall has arrived on the Cheyenne River reservation in north-central South Dakota, which means CRYP staff and volunteers have been hard at work… harvesting, harvesting, harvesting. And that has kicked the “Veggie of the Week” program into high gear, according to Ryan Devlin, CRYP’s sustainable agriculture manager.

“For the last two weeks, the focus of our garden harvest has been tomatoes,” he reported. “We’ve harvested more than 500 pounds of beefsteak, roma, and cherry tomatoes for sale in our weekly Leading Lady Farmers Market and for processing in our commercial kitchen. Hundreds of fresh garden tomatoes have been sold through the farmers market, and salsa production is in full swing.”

This week, the staff’s focus has been on today’s 2nd annual Community Harvest Festival Dinner. Winter squash, pumpkins, and Brussels sprouts will be the highlights of this eagerly anticipated community event, which celebrates the garden and this year’s growing season. The dinner is open free to the public, and staff will share special recipes for Squish Squash Lasagna, roasted Brussels sprouts and carrots, Harvest Delight, and more.

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Veggies of the Week: Eggplants and Sweet Corn

CRYP staff and volunteers showcased eggplants as the Veggie of the Week at the Leading Lady Farmers Market on Friday, September 5. According to Ryan Devlin, the youth project’s sustainable agriculture manager, the featured veggie did well.

“Our teen and youth centers were closed last week, so we weren’t using the vegetables in programming, meals or snacks, but we harvested 15 pounds of eggplants and sold them at the market on Friday,” he reported. “Our staff also handed out the recipe of the week, which was eggplant with garlic sauce.”

This week’s Veggie of the Week: sweet corn!

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CRYP Announces Fall Garden Programming

This fall, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® will celebrate its bountiful 2014 growing season in the 2-acre Winyan Toka Win garden with a series of special fall programs. All will be open to community members of all ages.

On the roster: canning classes, CRYP’s annual Community Harvest Festival Dinner, and a special focus-group dinner that will address food systems.

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    “Veggie of the Week” Shines Light on Sustainable Agriculture Initiatives; Eggplant Will Be the Highlight at September 5 Farmers Market

“Veggie of the Week” Shines Light on Sustainable Agriculture Initiatives; Eggplant Will Be the Highlight at September 5 Farmers Market

In the four weeks since the Cheyenne River Youth Project® kicked off its new “Veggie of the Week” initiative, the program is proving to be a great success — and it’s shining a powerful light on the 25-year-old, not-for-profit youth organization’s sustainable agriculture initiatives, including the Leading Lady Farmers Market, the Keya Gift Shop, the Keya Cafe and Coffee Shop, and the 2-acre, non-GMO, pesticide-free Winyan Toka Win garden.

Each week since August 4, CRYP has chosen an in-season vegetable as its Veggie of the Week. That vegetable is incorporated into meals, snacks, and educational activities at the Cokata Wiconi teen center and The Main youth center; it’s incorporated into menu items at the Keya Cafe; it’s processed for use in goods to be sold through the Keya Gift Shop; and it’s highlighted at the weekly farmers market. There, each Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., community members and visitors can pick up plenty of the fresh featured produce at bargain prices and take home a special recipe of the week.

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    Join CRYP this Labor Day Weekend! The Fun Starts This Friday.

Join CRYP this Labor Day Weekend! The Fun Starts This Friday.

Labor Day weekend is just days away, and the Cheyenne River Youth Project® is reminding South Dakota residents and vacationers that this is a great time to visit Eagle Butte. Not only will the city be hosting the annual Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Fair, Rodeo and Powwow, CRYP will be celebrating its 25th anniversary with a series of special activities at its East Lincoln Street campus.

Here are our scheduled activities on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday!

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  • Veggie of the Week - Carrots
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    50+ Pounds of Carrots Harvested for “Veggie of the Week.” Next, at the Aug. 29 Farmers Market: Onions

50+ Pounds of Carrots Harvested for “Veggie of the Week.” Next, at the Aug. 29 Farmers Market: Onions

Carrots were the star of the Leading Lady Farmers Market on Friday, August 22. According to Ryan Devlin, CRYP’s Sustainable Agriculture Manager, staff, garden interns and youth participants harvested more than 50 pounds of the “Veggie of the Week.”

“We sold three bunches of carrots at the farmers market, we used 35 pounds to make carrot cake for our Keya Cafe, we used 4 pounds to make roasted beets and carrots for our teens and children at the Cokata Wiconi teen center and The Main youth center, and our youth participants pulled 7 pounds for good, fresh eating,” Devlin reported. He also noted that CRYP’s recipes of the week were carrot cake and roasted carrots.

This week’s Veggie of the Week: onions! Visit the Leading Lady Farmers Market at CRYP’s East Lincoln Street campus on Friday, August 29 and take advantage of great prices and delicious recipes.

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    Beets Have a Great Week at CRYP! And at the Aug. 22 Farmers Market: Carrots

Beets Have a Great Week at CRYP! And at the Aug. 22 Farmers Market: Carrots

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!”

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25th Anniversary Festivities on Deck for Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day weekend is less than two weeks away, and that means it’s time to start thinking about “The Fair” on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in remote north-central South Dakota. Each year, Cheyenne River residents and visitors congregate in Eagle Butte for the annual Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Fair, Rodeo & Powwow — this year’s festivities are scheduled for Friday, August 29 to Monday, September 1

In conjunction with its ongoing 25th anniversary celebrations, Cheyenne River Youth Project® is playing a major role on the weekend calendar, with a signature edition of Midnight Basketball; a community give-away; a special CRYP float in the Labor Day Parade; and full breakfast, lunch and dinner service at the Keya Cafe.

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  • Veggie of the Week- Zucchini
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    Zucchini Launches New Veggie of the Week Program — Next Veggie of the Week: Beets!

Zucchini Launches New Veggie of the Week Program — Next Veggie of the Week: Beets!

During last week’s Leading Lady Farmers Market, CRYP introduced its new Veggie of the Week program, and zucchini was the star of the August 8 show. According to Ryan Devlin, CRYP’s sustainable agriculture manager, more than 100 pounds of zucchini was harvested from the Winyan Toka Win garden, and more than 40 of those pounds were sold to the Cheyenne River community through the farmers market.

Staff and volunteers used more than 60 pounds at CRYP’s East Lincoln Street campus. Some of the vegetables were incorporated into meals for the children and teens, while others were processed for later use at the Keya Cafe and in various youth programs. During the week, youth participants got to enjoy a homemade goulash with zucchini, and they savored zucchini chips. (You can try the recipe at home!)

The next market will take place on Friday, August 15, and beets will be the new veggie of the week.

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CRYP Receives USDA Grant to Support Tribal Food Sovereignty

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has partnered with the Cheyenne River Youth Project with a $20,000 grant to advance the growth and sustainability of the organization’s Winyan Toka Win (“Leading Lady”)  Garden and the economic development enterprises it supports on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, which is classified as a “food desert” community by the government. The grant initiatives include assisting in the development of food preservation, as well as providing the foundation for the Farmers’ Market and assisting with its small businesses, namely the CRYP gift shop and Keya (Turtle) Cafe.

Each year, Winyan Toka Win – a two-acre, non-GMO garden that is planted and managed by local youth and teens – produces over 10,000 pounds of fresh produce, including several varieties of beans, corn, squash, peppers, zucchini, carrots, beets, turnips, potatoes, eggplant, lettuce, rhubarb, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries, all of which are naturally grown. The garden provides fresh produce for CRYP youth facilities and serves as a site for educating youth and community members about Native food systems.

The grant will go toward purchasing equipment essential to the goals and objectives of CRYP and the Winyan Toka Win Garden, including an upright freezer, a commercial mixer, a point of sale cash register system, a kitchen grill and furniture for the Farmers’ Market and cafe.

“At first glance this project may appear as a grant for food processing. But it is so much more,” said Elsie Meeks, South Dakota State Director of Rural Development for the USDA. “It is about teaching teens about gardening and processing the food they grow themselves. The teens learn important skills and work ethic and while they are learning these skills they also are being taught lessons around financial literacy. We are so pleased to lend support to CRYP.”

To share their knowledge, CRYP also collaborates with local and regional resources to provide workshops to community members on topics including; Starting/Expanding Your Garden, Heirloom Seeds, Water Conservation, Drying and Canning 101, etc. Additionally, CRYP offers courses on entrepreneurship and financial management to youth and community members providing them with the skills that will allow them to transform their product (produce, craft, art, baked goods) into a business opportunity, while gaining knowledge on budgeting and investing their income.

“One of the most important things tribes can do for themselves is to invest in growing and maintaining their own Native food sovereignty,” says Julie Garreau, executive director of CRYP. “Our kids are invested in this process from the beginning of the growing season, by weeding, seeding, watering and caring for the Winyan Toka Win Garden so that they see where food comes from and that this is a life skill that they can use to feed themselves and their community. We are proud of Winyan Toka Win and the support from the USDA and we appreciate all of the kids who work so hard to make this garden happen every single year.”

For more information on the Winyan Toka Win Garden and its programs please contact Ryan Devlin at sustainableag.cryp@gmail.com or Tammy Eagle Hunter at tammy.cryp@gmail.com. You can also follow us on Facebook at https://facebook.com/lakotayouth; www.twitter.com/lakotayouth or at www.lakotayouth.org.

Founded in 1988, the Cheyenne River Youth Project is dedicated to providing the youth of the Cheyenne River reservation with access to a vibrant and secure future through a variety of culturally sensitive and enduring programs, projects and facilities, ensuring strong, self-sufficient families and communities. Today, CRYP provides a wide variety of programs and services to the community, covering nearly 3 million acres in South Dakota.

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