CRYP staff and volunteers showcased eggplants as the Veggie of the Week at the Leading Lady Farmers Market on Friday, September 5. According to Ryan Devlin, the youth project’s sustainable agriculture manager, the featured veggie did well.

“Our teen and youth centers were closed last week, so we weren’t using the vegetables in programming, meals or snacks, but we harvested 15 pounds of eggplants and sold them at the market on Friday,” he reported. “Our staff also handed out the recipe of the week, which was eggplant with garlic sauce.”

This week’s Veggie of the Week: sweet corn!

The Leading Lady Farmers Market was formally established in July 2013. After nearly 10 years of hosting a small weekly farmers market to sell fresh produce and canned goods from its Winyan Toka Win garden, CRYP was able to expand the market into its current form thanks to a grant from the Northwest Area Foundation and a dedicated vision to developing sustainable, sovereign food systems and community-based entrepreneurship.

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.