Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation is an organization focused on building a community to create systemic change on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation (TVCDC) is an organization focused on building a community to create systemic change on the Pine Ridge Reservation. TVCDC Food Sovereignty Initiative includes a demonstration farm, community gardens, geothermal greenhouse, and a fruit tree orchid. The TVCDC created a curriculum to implement into schools across the reservation, as well as created a Bi-Cultural Food Sovereignty Activity Book and formed The Lakota Food Sovereignty Coalition that holds monthly meetings.
During the year of being funding by Newman’s Own’s Foundation, Thunder Valley CDC Food Sovereignty purchased 515 chickens that are now producing one hundred sixty eight dozen eggs per week, a large garden and geothermal greenhouse produced produce that was harvested has been donated to local daycares, the surrounding communities, and the Oglala Lakota Headstart. The Regenerative Demo Farm also has an orchard with over 100 fruit trees such as: buffalo berries, plums and hazelnuts.
TVCDC Food Sovereignty has had a momentous year, we are eager to share everything that we accomplished with the community, stakeholders, and funders. This past year we expanded our agriculture facilities, resources and completed many different trainings for the community members. The training topics included: No-till Gardening, Gardening for Success, High Tunnels, Climate Change, Regenerative Farms, Hemp, Planting Fruit Trees and Grant Writing.
This year the Food Sovereignty Director created a Bi-Cultural Activity Book. This activity based education guide was completed in the spring of 2019 and is geared toward students too young for the Food Sovereignty Curriculum. While doing fun activities, students will learn in Lakota, as well as English, about traditional foods, current local foods, gardening and eating healthy. The activity book is being taught in schools across the reservation by the Lakota cultural teachers. As of today the activity book is in twenty-four classrooms.
The Food Sovereignty Curriculum was also implemented into schools across the reservation. Students take a pretest before they start the Food Sovereignty Curriculum, and a post-test after they have successfully completed it. The average change in scores from before learning the curriculum to after, was an increase of 53.5 points out of the 71 possible points.
“Empower the people to build regenerative food system that improves health, protects the planet and creates prosperity.”
The TVCDC Food Sovereignty Initiative planted close to 1000 plants in their garden this summer. There were enough vegetables produced to have four farmer’s markets as well as donate to the community and daycare centers. The picture above is one of the first pumpkins from the garden that the kids painted together.View All Stories