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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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CRYP to Open Leading Lady Farmers Market

garden CRYP youth gather produce for the Farmers' Market

The Cheyenne River Youth Project is proud to announce the opening day of the Leading Lady Farmers Market on Friday, June 13th for the 2014 season. The market will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the CRYP parking lot. The market will continue every Friday until the growing season concludes later this Summer. Additionally, CRYP also accepts EBT cards in order to provide healthy produce and fresh goods to community members of all economic backgrounds.

The market will offer fresh, naturally grown, non-GMO produce from CRYP’s own two-acre garden, and will also feature dried and canned goods, according to Ryan Devlin, CRYP’s Sustainable Agriculture Manager. Crafts and other merchandise from the gift shop will be available, as well as hand-made arts and crafts from the CRYP staff, including original paintings – the proceeds of which will benefit the organization’s Jr. Volunteer Program.

The market is also open to any local entrepreneurs who would like to sell their own homemade crafts, baked goods or home grown produce. Those interested in becoming vendors should visit the CRYP front desk to fill out an application. The vendor fee for the opening market will be waived, and all vendors will have a tent and table available free of charge for the entirety of the first market. CRYP encourages vendors of all ages to participate.

“Our purpose for the Winyan Toka Win Garden and the Farmers’ Market is to facilitate economic development for both CRYP and our tribal members to become self-sustaining through food sovereignty and entrepreneurship,” says Julie Garreau, CRYP’s founder and executive director. “We believe in the power of community development and the empowerment to create your own success story – whether you’re growing vegetables or creating arts and crafts to earn a living or supplement your income.”

The Winyan Toka Win (“Leading Lady”) Farmer’s Market started in 2010 as a venue for CRYP to sell its fresh produce and canned goods to the community from its organic garden. Since that time, the market has grown to include 10 local vendors thanks to a Northwest Area Foundation Grant that funded the purchase of market tents and tables to assist in small business development.

“The market strives to be a venue that promotes healthy food system building on Cheyenne River,” says Devlin, who earned his bachelors in Agricultural Science from Cornell University in New York. “Our ultimate goal is to become a local engine of successful community-based small scale entrepreneurship.”

For more information on the Farmers’ Market, please contact Ryan Devlin at sustainableag.cryp@gmail.com or at 605-964-8200. For more information on the Cheyenne River Youth Project or to donate please go to www.lakotayouth.org. Or follow us at www.facebook.com/lakotayouth or www.twitter.com/lakotayouth for news and updates.

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. To learn more about CRYP, visit www.lakotayouth.org.

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