*Note: This post, though written and photographed by me, was originally posted on www.tankabar.com, where I currently work full-time. Be sure to watch the video at the bottom of this post featuring much more of Earth Tipi’s story, which I shot and edited:
The nonprofit organization Earth Tipi organized several fruit tree plantings this year throughout the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation which was part of a grant secured by the Fruit Free Planting Foundation.
Through the grant, Earth Tipi facilitated planting 300 fruit trees at Little Wound School, Red Cloud Indian School, Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation, Whiteclay Soup Kitchen and Oglala Lakota College.
Located on the reservation in Manderson, SD, Earth Tipi works to empower and encourage the community to be self-sufficient by teaching them to grow organic food and build natural homes. Head up by Shannon Freed, Earth Tipi features two natural-built homes (one still in progress) on her father-in-law Gerald Weasel’s land. Along with building projects, the location acts as a teaching destination where community members and visitors can learn skills such as permaculture, plant identification and living off the land.
The walls of the second home at Earth Tipi are wood-framed and made with clay and straw. They were later plastered with fine white clay and sand with milk as a binder.
Learn more about the work Earth Tipi is doing by clicking this video: Earth Tipi: Working to Make a Difference