Fall has arrived on the Cheyenne River reservation in north-central South Dakota, which means CRYP staff and volunteers have been hard at work… harvesting, harvesting, harvesting. And that has kicked the “Veggie of the Week” program into high gear, according to Ryan Devlin, CRYP’s sustainable agriculture manager.

“For the last two weeks, the focus of our garden harvest has been tomatoes,” he reported. “We’ve harvested more than 500 pounds of beefsteak, roma, and cherry tomatoes for sale in our weekly Leading Lady Farmers Market and for processing in our commercial kitchen. Hundreds of fresh garden tomatoes have been sold through the farmers market, and salsa production is in full swing.”

This week, the staff’s focus has been on today’s 2nd annual Community Harvest Festival Dinner. Winter squash, pumpkins, and Brussels sprouts will be the highlights of this eagerly anticipated community event, which celebrates the garden and this year’s growing season. The dinner is open free to the public, and staff will share special recipes for Squish Squash Lasagna, roasted Brussels sprouts and carrots, Harvest Delight, and more.

The Winyan Toka Win garden lies close to the heart of the 25-year-old, not-for-profit, grassroots youth organization. While the Leading Lady Farmers Market is perhaps the most visible extension of CRYP’s garden program, its harvested produce also is used in the youth and teen centers’ meals and snacks, in the farm-to-table Keya Cafe, in the Keya Gift Shop, and in classes and workshops that involve food preparation and processing, nutrition, meal planning, and even diabetes prevention.

To support Winyan Toka Win and sustainable agriculture initiatives like the Leading Lady Farmers Market, click “Donate Now” in the navigation bar above. If you’re interested in making an in-kind donation, you may call the office at (605) 964-8200 to discuss the most pressing garden needs.

The Cheyenne River Youth Project, founded in 1988, is a grassroots, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing the youth of the Cheyenne River reservation with access to a vibrant and secure future through a wide variety of culturally sensitive and enduring programs, projects and facilities that ensure strong, self-sufficient families and communities.