Keya Wakpala Gardens is a 1-acre agricultural nonprofit organization in Mission, SD, that produces a wide range of vegetables, as well as eggs and honey. Their products are distributed at local farmers markets and across the Rosebud Indian Reservation, thanks to their mobile market units. Excess produce is donated to different programs on the reservation, such as the Commodity Supplemental Food program, the Tree of Life Ministry, and the Adult Corrections Facility. Their goal is to teach interns and community members how to become producers.
They received a $2,519 grant to purchase fruit trees, shrubs, a chipper/shredder, cover crop seeds, and a tilther tool. Despite pandemic restrictions and some staff changes Keya Wakpala Gardens was able to purchase and use their tilther and cover crop seeds to expand their growing area using no-till practices. They were also able to secure additional funding to purchase a more expensive chipper/shredder after a shortage of their first choice. Due to the pandemic, they also missed the window for planting new fruit trees but Food Sovereignty Director Matthew Wilson told us, “we were able to work with a consultant from a South Dakota university to help us plan out our orchard.” They now plan to plant their orchard in the spring of 2021.