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Fremont County Non-Profit Providing Garden Boxes To Wind River Reservation To Help Food Insecurity

Taylar Stager

Wyoming has a short growing season and one non-profit is already starting the new year preparing to combat food insecurity on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

Last summer, Grow Our Own 307, gave out garden boxes to whoever was interested in learning how to grow their own food in the Fremont County area. The boxes were free and the non-profit held online meetings to teach participants how to grow strawberries, beans, and provided tips on soil composition.

Darrah Good Voice Elk, the co-founder, said she wanted to help teach the community while also learning alongside participants. The project started with learning how to grow strawberries from laundry baskets and evolved from there.

"We were able to deliver a hundred starter kids to the community and those consisted of garden dirt that consisted of containers, the seeds and the garden tools," said Good Voice Elk. "Adding the garden boxes that we are building are going to add a bigger touch you know? Because these are not just pallets like we used last year but actual lumber that we purchased from the store."

The non-profit was just awarded a grant by the Wyoming Hunger Initiative and plans to be able to provide more support to budding gardeners this year.

Deneica Barret, the other co-founder, said that she became interested in the project after the COVID-19 pandemic put a strain on local grocery stores. Barret also wanted people to learn how to provide for themselves.

"When we first started, we weren't really sure what we wanted to do and if it was just going to be just like us," said Barret. "A group of friends that wanted to learn and bounce ideas off each other. And… no we need to do this for everybody, share this information with everyone and make it public."

The non-profit will continue to bring in gardeners this spring and summer to help teach online courses. Anyone interested in volunteering or obtaining their own garden box, can visit their website here.

Taylar Dawn Stagner is a central Wyoming rural and tribal reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She has degrees in American Studies, a discipline that interrogates the history and culture of America. She was a Native American Journalist Association Fellow in 2019, and won an Edward R. Murrow Award for her Modern West podcast episode about drag queens in rural spaces in 2021. Stagner is Arapaho and Shoshone.
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