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Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Community Gardens

Jun 25, 2013

The Central Oregon Food Policy Council recently received a grant from KGI’s Sow It Forward Grant program to fund the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Community Garden.  The reservation is a food desert; there are two grocery stores, neither of which sells fresh produce.  As such having access to the education and gardens are vital to changing the diet of people.  The Confederated Tribes of Warm Spring has two community gardens for tribal members.  One garden, the largest, provides community garden beds to tribal members and the other garden is primarily an educational garden for the tribal elementary school. 

The KGI’s Sow it Forward Grant helped to buy a plastic covered raised bed for one of the gardens and a compost bin and heating pad for the other garden.  Both gardens are doing great, the larger garden has 10 members who have plots, with several more anticipated, as well as rows and rows of corn planted for tribal celebrations and feasts. 

Both gardens provide educational classes on gardening and utilizing garden produce throughout the summer.  The educational garden provides agriculture-in-the-classroom, during the school year and throughout the summer, is the basis for daily cooking classes.  There have been a series of classes on gardening this spring, all of which were well attended.  The school garden is shaping up, with the children having planted vegetables that were started in the classroom before the end of the school year.

The larger community garden provides donated food to tribal members through out the summer months.  This up-coming year they are developing a farmers market and garden members will have micro-enterprise options for selling some of their produce.  The greatest accomplishment to date has been conducting “kitchen in the garden” workshops that take produce directly from the garden and help to instill food preparation skills.  The classes were packed and there is a large demand for more educational opportunities.  The community garden and its classes are one tool in trying to make lasting change. 

 

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