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Tue Dec 3, 2013, 11:47 AM

Farm-to-school program for rez

Obesity and diabetes are rampant on the Navajo Nation, AZ. The Center for Disease Control estimated in 1997 that 23% of Navajos older than twenty had diabetes. The USDA said earlier this year that the Navajo Nation is a food desert with few large supermarkets to provide healthier food choices.

The 95-acre North Leupp Family Farm is working to change that. They are installing an array of 75 solar panels to power a pump which pulls water from the Little Colorado River. The water is for cornfields, greenhouses and gardens which are now feeding 30 Navajo families, giving produce to local community centers for elders, and providing nourishment for students. At one school in Northern AZ, the students in grades 3 through 8 are required to learn how to prepare healthy food. The farmers go to the school and teach how to manage gardens and greenhouses. The kids also take field trips to the farm to get hands-on experience.

Tyrone Thompson has been part of the effort to turn the family cooperative farm from the alfalfa farm it was for decades into a source of food for a large, extended community. This season they sold a crop of peppers to Jonathan Netzky, who in turn sells veggie burgers to Diablo Burger in Flagstaff. The farm-to-school program has also helped bring economic opportunity to the farmers.

And according to a recent report out of Northern Arizona University, the first year of the pilot program has been successful for the school, too.

The farm-to-school program is helping the STAR School toward its goal of beating the odds for their 130 students. The school serves a community with no public utilities, high dropout rates, high unemployment and little trust for government.

Next they plan to take the farm-to-school program to all 224 schools on the Navajo Nation.


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Reply Farm-to-school program for rez (Original post)
hermetic Dec 2013 OP
OneGrassRoot Dec 2013 #1

Response to hermetic (Original post)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 07:07 AM

1. Love this! K&R

and thanks...

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