Demonstration garden for Big Pine Tribe

The Big Pine Tribal Permaculture Demonstration Garden swale is planted with fruit trees, berries and shrubs which shall create an edible food forest in a couple of years.

The Big Pine Tribal Permaculture Demonstration Garden swale is planted with fruit trees, berries and shrubs which shall create an edible food forest in a couple of years.


The Big Pine Paiute Tribe of the Owens Valley recently received a $37,500 grant from the First Nations Development Institute of Longmont, Colorado.  This award will support the Sustainable Food System Development Project for the Big Pine Paiute Tribe of the Owens Valley.

The First Nations Development Institute funding for the Sustainable Food System Development Project will enable the Big Pine Paiute Tribe of the Owens Valley to create a permaculture demonstration garden and an organic seed bank on the Big Pine Indian Reservation, with the purpose of increasing availability of locally grown food as well as knowledge of sustainable gardening practices and native plants. The project will also provide entrepreneurship opportunities through a farmers market and will supply tools and equipment for the community garden and greenhouse.

According to Tribal Chairperson Virgil Moose, “This project will help our people to choose healthier eating habits and give opportunities to create small businesses for a sustainable future.”

The Big Pine Paiute Tribe of the Owens Valley is launching a weekly farmer’s market on Friday evenings from 5PM-8PM starting on July 12.  The market will be located along Highway 395 near the tribal offices and will be called Nawanaki-ti Market which means the place to gather items.  Nawanaki-ti Market will not only include fresh produce from local growers, but will also include locally crafted arts and crafts.  “It is the desire of the Tribe that this market become a gathering place for both locals and visitors to enjoy the abundant resources the Creator has bestowed on our people” shared Tribal Administrator Gloriana Bailey.


If you would like additional information about the Sustainable Food System Development Project, please contact Alan Bacock at or by phone at (760)


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14 Responses to Demonstration garden for Big Pine Tribe

  1. Joseph Miller June 28, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    This project has of late become my passion. It has opened my eyes to the ways that food production can work together with the surrounding eco-system. I am so looking forward to seeing it grow and flourish into something the BPPT can admire, be proud of and utilize as a place to bring our community closer together! Cheers!

    • Spreading the good word June 29, 2013 at 6:07 am #

      A beautiful thought Joseph. In this unnecessarily divided world/community – perhaps the notion might catch hold.

    • Philip Anaya July 1, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

      Everytime I hear of growing things and collateral benefits I never forget Jean Giono’s, “The Man who Planted Trees”
      It is a 30 minute vid of the hope, trust and the best of the human condition. Great work BPPT. Thanks for the posts Mr. Miller

  2. Mrwillum June 28, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

    This is. Very exciting

  3. Sue June 29, 2013 at 8:36 am #

    This is just terrific. Locally grown sustainable agriculture needs to be vastly expanded in the Owens Valley, we really do have a great growing climate (and SHOULD have plentiful water, but that is a different story). With GMOs now tainting such a vast portion of our food supply, along with the growing obesity problem, local healthy food must be obtainable by everyone, whether they have the ability to grow it themselves or not.

    • Ken Warner June 29, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

      Even if there was abundant healthy food available, and there already is, many people won’t eat it anyway.

      And hydroponics uses less water and grows good food faster. We have abundant Sun and geothermal heat. The Owens Valley and Long Valley could be covered with hydroponic green houses. Yet another way to prosperity that is continually ignored by our leaders.

      • Farm Boy June 29, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

        Interesting thought Ken, but not realistic. Hydroponics are dependend on chemical fertilizers derived from fossil fuels as well as artificial media for use as “soil” that must be imported to our area. This would only work if you believe in the Infinate Growth Paradigm. Otherwise, Hydroponics is simply unsustainable in the long run. The grant is for sustainable food production.

        I would like to see the tribe obtain a grant for a large passive solar greenhouse so they could grow some crops in the cold months and start their hot weather plants indoors prior to the last frost before transplanting them to get earlier and longer harvests.

        • Ken Warner June 29, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

          You sound like you know something about farming. And I know very little, but isn’t plow the dirt farming also dependent on fertilizers and don’t “natural” soils deplete needing crop rotation and letting some sections go fallow for a year or longer. And don’t the big tractors and other equipment need fossil fuels?

          There’s nothing that meets your implied definition of sustainable. Everything need new raw materials. I don’t know why we have a conflict. Neither of us has a complete plan.

  4. Trouble June 29, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

    Don’t tell DWP, but we have plenty of water for our gardens also.

  5. Joseph Miller June 30, 2013 at 9:45 am #

    Dependency is a key factor in any aspect of life. To say anything can be achieved without dependence is laughable. Permaculture is not about becoming sustainable without dependency. The idea is to create a balance between the eco-system that works with the surrounding system as opposed to against it. Maximizing the elements that are beneficial and minimalizing negative impact of the system. Recycling the resources available to replenish what has been taken from it. Implying that this can be done without dependency is ludicrous. Does the recycling of such resources such as horse manure make us dependent on alfalfa growers? You would probably say yes by three degrees of separation. Are we supposed to wait for some animal or bird to stroll by and poop out the seeds needed to establish a stock supply of returnable seed? No we rely on collective efforts of other like minded people, yes dependency. I am not a permaculture expert. The idea of an edible landscape is not about outrageous yields as well. I believe in the production efficiency of row cropping, it feeds people . I have read enough on permaculture to know without making assumptions that its not about total sustainability and reliance on certain needs. Its about sustainability with limited dependence and commitment to caring for the surrounding area by recycling what is available and replenishing what is used without negatively altering the landscape. Romanticism? Perhaps, but the human mind is dependent on romanticism. It fuels passion, lol!

    • Desert Tortoise July 1, 2013 at 10:43 am #

      You cannot drive to work or turn on a light unless a million other Americans do their job every day. We are all dependent on each other in countless interwoven ways too complex to sort out fully. The idea that anyone in the US today can live an “independent” life is risible. We are all bound to depend on each other no matter how uncomfortable that makes some people.

      • erik simpson July 1, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

        How many villagers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

  6. J-Frog July 1, 2013 at 9:23 am #

    Good Job BPPT!


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