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Since 2002, Indigenous Permaculture has been fighting to reduce food insecurity in the San Francisco Bay area. Our first work sight was a community garden in Oakland, in a neighborhood which did not have access to fresh produce.
We currently garden at sites in Oakland and Treasure Island. We pair up with organizations that have unused gardens or parking lots and build food security for the community by building infrastructure and growing vegetables, herbs, flowers, and useful crops. The produce is picked up by people who use the local food pantry and given to kitchens that run weekly meal programs.
During the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, we expanded our work and began partnering with a local food pantry. We can now deliver hundreds of pounds of fresh produce to our neighbors every week for free. Indigenous Permaculture was able to distribute 148,000 pounds of food around the Bay Area in 2022.
Oakland Santiago Community Garden
Built on a former parking lot in the San Antonio neighborhood of Oakland, we grow fresh, healthy food for those who need it and provide education and workshops that empower people to grow their own food and connect with their neighborhood.
The Santiago Garden is located at St James Episcopal Church in Oakland.
Treasure Island Community Garden
In a partnership with Treasure Island, we established the Treasure Island Community Garden on April 22, 2019, growing food and community together. We hold workshops for residents to learn to grow crops and prepare healthy food and recipes. This summer season we shared 65 pounds of fresh vegetables with the food pantry on the Island which was distributed to the community. We share crops with the volunteers that work in the garden every weekend and take it to the weekly food pantry on the Island.
Mission Free Food Table
Our Yula Kal’mil bus, or “The Heart of the House of Milpa” bus delivers fresh produce to the heart of the Mission every week. We collaborate with other farms and non-profits in the area in order to fight food insecurity in San Francisco.
Alternative Breaks 2013: Indigenous Permaculture and Sustainability
Environmental Leadership Training Program
Over the last nine years, we have conducted Indigenous Permaculture Certificate Training Programs in the San Francisco Bay Area for nearly 220 participants. These teachings empower Bay Area residents with tools to organize their communities around sustainable agriculture and food security.
In a partnership with the Ecology Center, we created and maintained a local native plant garden and food forest and teach workshops on urban sustainability and climate action.
UC Berkeley Eco House
Sonsonate, El Salvador
For the past ten years, we have partnered with the people of Sonsonate, El Salvador. The primary issue for Sonsonate is poverty, where the Nahuat Peoples live at a subsistence level. We have:
Restored nearly six acres of land for sustainable farming and biodiversity
Built an ecological wastewater treatment system, providing soil seed and farm supplies for five acres of corn, beans, and squash
Installed a rainwater collection system to collect rain at the top of the ridge and gravity feeds irrigation water to the fields below.
Planted over 7,000 trees to enhance surrounding biodiversity to traditional community houses
Built several high-efficiency stoves to keep the air clean, save wood, and address the respiratory problems of those who breathe wood smoke from open cook fires.
This work provides a demonstration of the possibilities to the greater community, provides a forum for interchange between different indigenous groups in Meso-America, and helps build capacity for community food security and to replicate projects and benefits beyond the site.
Hoopa Vigil Garden, Northern California
We assisted the community on the Hoopa Reservation, and the Green Environmental Leadership Program to build resilience and food security, and to learn traditional farming practices. In 2010 we established a small organic farm, installed a water catchment system and drip irrigation system on a 3/4 acre plot of land.
Pine Ridge Lakota Nation, South Dakota
Prior to working with Indigenous Permaculture in 2003, the Pine Ridge project had a small garden. Now, it has three acres of land which supports biodiverse agriculture, and there is a greenhouse as well as two large gardens with drip irrigation systems. Excess produce is distributed to elders and other community members. At the 2008 Wazi Paha agriculture fair at Oglala Lakota College, produce from the garden took top awards (i.e. largest squash). Dozens of community members have been inspired to be involved with the garden.
Build a chicken coop at Santiago Garden
Build an onsite kitchen and education space at Santiago Garden
Strengthen practices of traditional farming, pest management control and alternatives and change to natural pesticides and fertilizer
Green environmental Leader training "Urban Solutions for Sustainable Living"
Construct a root cellar to enhance food processing and expand organic fields; begin a small-scale Traditional Agriculture program at Pine Ridge, at Hoopa Reservation, create a seed library, and food justice programs.
Expand sustainable development work in Meso-America - El Salvador, Guatemala, and Belize - installing a water pump, solar power, gas biodigester as well as extend reforestation, water catchment, composting toilet, and efficient stove projects to other communities.
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