Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, Hopi Tutskwa PermaCulture partner
to create Hopi arborists
RESERVATION, Ariz. - Building on the historical agrarian lifestyle
of the Hopi people, coupled with a desire to support and nurture
a healthy lifestyle that teaches responsibility and respect for
plant life, FruitaBŁ, Fruit Tree Planting Foundation and Hopi Tutskwa
PermaCulture planted a total of 320 trees and set up drip irrigation
system style orchards at First Mesa Elementary School and Moencopi
Day School. Three other community orchards were planted in the village
First Mesa Elementary orchard has 40 trees set out in the back school
area that students will attend to throughout the year. Students
will be learning about fall plant dormancy, winter shedding and
spring crop appearance and finally, harvesting and enjoying their
work in being able to eat organically grown apples, pears, peaches,
nectarines, cherries, pomegranates, persimmons and jujubes.
Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, under the direction of Cem Akin,
has long been interested in working with Hopis and other tribes
in getting these orchards going in Native communities where healthy
food consumption could be most beneficial.
trees utilized for the local Hopi orchards are carefully selected
to be most adaptable and have the highest survival rate as well
as drought considerations and will supported by a water conservation-drip
irrigation system that is connected to timers, so that the students
can be assured of a full crop each year.
further ensure the trees' growth success, the trees are mature trees;
each one about five feet in height and a few years old.
few even had fruit already on them when the community volunteers
showed up for planting day at each school and in Kykotsmovi.
harvest from each garden will be used for lunches for students and
large portion of the educational outreach of this partnership, is
showing the students how botany, environmental and earth science
can actually affect their daily lives and can benefit their food
First Mesa Elementary, several of the students who will be caring
and nurturing their own special orchard, had comments.
Hamilton, a Shungopavy student said, "I think our orchard is pretty
awesome, its so cool that we can grow our own snacks."
Daniels, a Sichomovi student commented, "Our teacher told us, that
we must water it, take good care of it, work with our janitors and
the parent volunteers to make sure we get a nice crop next year."
Nevayaktewa, a Tewa student said, " It will be fruit for everyone
for years to come. I will pick the first pomegranate."
She'Che Grant, a Navajo student, said that he thought it was pretty
neat that so many parents and community members came to help plant
the orchard because it showed that many people really cared about
being healthy and that they were interested in their school projects.
orchard is just so cool," he said.
school was required to submit a proposal for grant funding to receive
the trees. A total of 62 fruit trees went to Moencopi Day School.
The three community orchards planted at Kykotsmovi are located behind
the Hopi tribal administrative buildings on Don Humetewa's farm
property and are to used for all community members.
more information, contact Jacobo Marcus or Lillian Hill at the Hopi
Tutskwa Permaculture organization at (928) 637-5468.