Raised Bed Gardening Blog

Institute of American Indian Arts

In August of 2015, Grow Y'own was fortunate to coordinate a large, multi-bed installation at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. The existing IAIA Demonstration Garden was already growing beautiful crops of tomatoes, squash, amaranth, sunflowers, and more. This existing garden demonstrates and promotes Indiginous agricultural methods for food and medicinal crop cultivation, while serving as an outdoor learning space. It is designed and maintained by the Center for Lifelong Education, local tribal members, students, and faculty. The garden is representative of IAIA's 1994 Land Grant Mission to provide training and outreach that promotes tribal sovereignty and self-determination. In one day, with the help of 20 students, 4 faculty members, and our crew of 5, we moved 45 tons of material- block and soil-, set up 11 4'x12' units, installed drip systems in each bed, and collectively planted one. It was a gargantuan effort, and we pulled it off without a hitch. Since that time, we have finished planting all the beds, and have covered them with both the Summer and Winter covers. Within 2 weeks, the gardeners were giving away big bags of greens to anyone on campus who wanted them. By next Spring and Summer, the plentiful food will be used in the campus cafeteria, as well as open gifts to students and faculty. Many hands made light work to construct this wonderful addition to an already powerful gardening space, and Grow Y'own and crew look forward in 2016 to more of these communal types of installations that can benefit multitudes of people.

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