Leanne Garnier waters seed trays in the greenhouse.
Plenty has been helping to support home and community gardening on Pine Ridge Reservation since 1985 when it started off with four families. Today, hundreds of families are benefitting from the program by getting seeds, plants, and produce from the greenhouse at Slim Buttes, or getting help with
prepping a garden space. Program Manager, Milo Yellow Hair says “Slim Buttes Agriculture is a food production entity with major investment in the daily life of Oglala Lakota families. Recognizing the health conditions of the people, it is apparent that live nutrition is needed for health and wellness.” Milo does a one-hour radio show on KILI-FM every Monday from 8 to 9 AM Mountain Time from February until June. You can tune in at www.kiliradio.org The first half hour is in Lakota and the second half hour is in English.
Program Founder, Tom Cook, says “In his radio discussions on gardening, Milo focuses on the importance of fresh foods in diets, the ways and methods of growing, and the need for live inputs to the soil. He maps the congruency of Biodynamic gardening methods with ‘thinking in Indian,’ as the appropriate means of maintaining soil life and plant health. The people need live food for full-force nutrition to even begin realizing their dreams for better, more healthful, and spiritual lives.”
(See Pine Ridge p. 3)
Plenty International is a nongovernmental relief and development organization. Donations to Plenty are tax-deductible.
Plenty, P.O. Box 394, Summertown, TN 38483
Phone: 931-964-4323 Email: email@example.com Website: www.plenty.org
SPRING AND SUMMER 2021
Since May of 2020, Plenty has been funding ADIBE (Asociacion Desarollo Integral de Belen) and TPS (Tecnologia Para La Salud) and AFSC (American Friends Service Committee) to provide emergency food and supplies to hundreds of Mayan families in the
Central Highland communities of Guatemala.
(See Guatemala, p. 2)
(photo by ADIBE}
(photo by ADIBE)
(photo by Milo Yellow Hair}
(Guatemala cont. from p. 1)
Kids To The Country
As reported in the last Plenty Bulletin, KTC bought bikes for the kids who in a normal summer would get to come down to the Farm in Summertown for a little country time. KTC bought 49 bikes, 25 for Be A Helping Hand families and 24 for Safe Haven Family Shelter kids. Hope Hodnett, Children’s Coordinator at Safe Haven
wrote us after getting bikes,
As we unloaded bicycle after bicycle, the reaction was the same. Enormous grins were appearing on the masked faces—we could see it in the eyes. They twinkled. With great anticipation, some families met us at the curb when we pulled up to their temporary homes and apartments with the beautiful new bikes and helmets. Others didn’t realize we were already at their homes, which gave us the opportunity to line up the new bikes
in the driveway. Watching family members peel out the door and burst into exclamations of joy was priceless as they excitedly tried to identify their bike amongst those of their siblings. Just knowing that these families have been through trauma on top of trauma on top of trauma made this moment so much sweeter. Because of some bikes, some helmets, and some compassion, these families are riding stronger through the pandemic and living well into the next chapter of family life.
New KTC bike appreciated at Be A Helping Hand
(photo by Sara Jean Schweitzer)
Last November Nicaragua was blasted by two major hurricanes, Eta (category 4, landing on Nov. 3) and Iota (category 5, landing on Nov. 17). The storms brought 150 mph winds and up to 20 inches of rain in some places destroying crops and hundreds of homes. The most impacted part of the country was the Northeast coastal region where many of the country’s indigenous Miskito people are living. Plenty donated a small grant for the purchase of food for families in the El Caminante and Thelma Morales neighborhoods of the city of Bilwi, where 100,000 people live in the hardest hit area of the coast.
Deliveries have included cleaning supplies and facemasks, black beans, corn-soy cereal, rice, oatmeal, cooking oil, soymilk and other staples.
Miriam Iquique, Director of TPS, is passing out
food and supplies to women in a Highland village.
(photo credit TPS)
(photo credit ADIBE) (photo credit ADIBE)
(Pine Ridge cont. from p. 1)
Books To Kids
Rexanne Long Visitor fills greenhouse seed trays with Batch 64 Moonshine potting soil donated to the project by Waste Farmers in Colorado.
The Pine Ridge garden project had gotten underway last February, but when Covid-19 came to the Reservation everything shut down. However, the Tribal Council determined that transportation related to food was essential, which meant the project could continue. Eight thousand potato, onion, tomato, squash, corn, peppers and melon seedlings were distributed to families for their gardens. Milo was able to continue doing his radio show promoting home gardening and good nutrition. He was also able to keep listeners updated with the latest news about the spread of the virus on the Reservation, stressing mask-wearing and social distancing, which are especially challenging on Pine Ridge because homes tend to be overcrowded. For 2021 a new greenhouse has been added and more raised beds are being built. We want to thank Running Strong for American Indian Youth, Center for Sacred Studies, the Philip R. Jonsson Foundation and Suzanne Jonsson, AMB Foundation, Onaway Trust, and Sacred Healing Circle along with the many individual Plenty donors for supporting the work at Pine Ridge.
Last December Plenty teamed up with Sacred Healing Circle and Onaway Trust to send food, along with warm clothes, blankets and boots to Pine Ridge. Here a trailer is being loaded at Sacred Healing Circle for the first shipment.
Staff of South Plaquemines Elementary School with books from the Ella Fitzgerald Foundation
Because of travel restrictions over the past year, Books
To Kids (BTK) has been boosted by our new partnership with the Ella Fitzgerald Foundation, which stepped in to purchase and deliver more than 6,000 books along with art supplies for children to numerous BTK sites like the BEAR program on the Pine Ridge Reservation, South Plaquemines Elementary School and Brock Elementary School in southern Louisiana and the Lower Ninth Ward Library and multiple Little Free Libraries in New Orleans.
Brock Elementary School Librarian, Tashia Arroyo wrote,
Dear Plenty, Your very kind donation and commitment to supporting literacy has had an impact on the lives of our students here at Brock Elementary, Our students are thrilled to get new books to read. One of the best ways to develop children’s literacy
is to encourage kids to read at home. Most of our students did not have any of their own books before your program started donating books to our school. They get so excited when the boxes arrive and look forward to each new shipment. Thank you for your dedication to putting books in the hands of children.
Books To Kids is also continuing to send books to Belize.
Kids with their new books in the Mayan village of Graham Creek in Belize
(photo by Mark Miller)
(photo by Milo Yellow Hair)
Installing a rainwater catchment system in Puerto Rico
Last year Plenty learned about a nonprofit group of young people doing good work in Puerto Rico. Plenty sent funding in support of Plenitud PR’s food for elders project, which had been started in response to travel restrictions, hardship and isolation resulting from Covid-19. Plenitud is engaged in several projects promoting local sustainability and self-reliance, like solar energy and rainwater catchment systems, home gardens and hurricane resistant housing. They’ve also been distributing home garden kits for children with soil, compost, seeds, and a permaculture activity book-
Many Mothers is a nonprofit in Santa Fe, NM that provides assistance to recent immigrants, low-income families, parents struggling with addiction, single parents and grandparents raising grandchildren. Their services expanded greatly in response to Covid-19 and Plenty awarded a grant to Many Mothers in support of their Babies Basic Needs Program to purchase diapers and baby food.
Children being fed at Sante Total
This year Plenty provided a small grant to Sante Total, a nonprofit in Haiti working to provide sustainable healthcare to rural communities in Haiti’s Central Plateau region. Sante Total believes “you can only improve health through eradicating the disease of poverty.” Plenty’s grant was used to provide meals for 400 elders and 200 children.
Government of Belize Rural Community Development Officer, Manuel Hernandez, meeting with Graham Creek’s all women Solar Power Board
In the rural Toledo District, several villages are far from the national electricity grid, and costs of connecting to the grid are steep. The Belize Government has committed to 100% renewable energy for these communities by 2030. With funding support from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Small Grants Program, Plenty Belize has been helping off-grid villages with solar installations. Three Mayan women from two villages travelled to India and underwent six-month long training in solar technology, installation and
maintenance at Barefoot College, and then came back to install solar systems in their villages. With funding from GEF in 2021, the three women will help train women from the two most remote villages of Toledo, Graham Creek and Machakili Ha. Both villages will get solar power for home lighting, phone charging, water pumping and small appliances. Each village has formed a solar power board to oversee operations and collect small user fees to make the village solar systems sustainable. A solar power workshop will be held for both villages to ensure that everyone understands the basics of system operations. Just moving from kerosene lamps to solar lights in the homes is a huge game changer. Children benefit greatly by being able to read at night or use a laptop computer at school. Since 1993, GEF has assisted 267 projects in Belize focusing on biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the prevention of land and water degradation.
The Traditional Native American Farmers Association granted Plenty Belize $550 that was used to purchase gardening tools for a Santa Elena village women’s group.
(photo credit Sante Total) (photo credit Plenitud PR)
(photo by Miriam Choc)
(photo by Adrian Cus)