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The Omaha Reservation in eastern Nebraska has an epidemic-level of diabetes. One problem is that there is no grocery store in the area, making it difficult to find healthy food options.

The Omaha Reservation in eastern Nebraska has an epidemic-level of diabetes. One problem is that there is no grocery store in the area, making it difficult to find healthy food options. Jake Drapeau and his partner Yvonne Marr chose to follow their ancestors’ footsteps by creating a garden.
 
To combat health problems in the area, community members invited the Center for Rural Affairs (CFRA) to start a garden training program. They hoped to grow better food options.
 
The first year Jake and Yvonne began their garden the result was a very low crop yield. They could not afford a hose, so Jake would carry buckets of water uphill each day. He also struggled while using an old shovel to break up the soil. Although the two lacked proper equipment, they were still optimistic about the upcoming season.
 
At the beginning of their second year, CFRA staff came to the garden with a tiller to work the soil. After they finished, the staff left behind a hose, sprinkler, and other gardening tools. They also provided advice on how to plant seeds and tend to crops.
 
After two years Jake and Yvonne had found success. They grew a surplus of produce, including enormous cabbage. The two decided to take their surplus to the new farmers market in town. They now aid their community on its quest for a healthy new beginning.
 

 

Written by Anthony Petruzzelli 
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