TSA Shares Open to the Public: Organically Grown Produce Delivered for 18 Weeks
Prior Lake, MN – Fresh, local, organic produce is available to the public through the purchase of a share in the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community’s organic garden, Mdewakanton Wozupi. The SMSC operates a TSA (Tribally Supported Agriculture) program based on the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model which has grown in popularity across the United States in recent years. Under the tribe’s program, for 18 weeks TSA members receive a box filled with organic produce grown at the Wozupi.
Purchasing a share also includes cooking classes, recipes, and a weekly newsletter as well as educational and volunteer opportunities. The TSA will begin the second week of June and will continue for 18 weeks; shares are still available for $550 for the season. In the 2011 growing season, the TSA operated with 50 members. This year the number of available shares has increased to 75.
Shares in the garden are available for pick up each week at one of two locations: the garden site at 2041 140th St. NW, Prior Lake, or at Mazopiya, next to South Metro Federal Credit Union, behind Shakopee Dakota Convenience Store #1, across from Mystic Lake Casino Hotel.
Mdewakanton Wozupi is located on County Road 42 near its intersection with County Road 83 in Prior Lake. Wozupi manages a 5.5-acre certified organic garden, a 3-acre orchard, bee hives, and a honey production facility as well as a sugar bush (maple syrup) production facility.
Like last year, more than 150 varieties of vegetables will be planted in the garden including heirloom and hybrid plant varieties. Some new vegetables will be planted this year including sunchokes, rhubarb, horseradish, pea shoots, and sunflower sprouts. Wozpui also saves seeds including heritage corn, squash ,and bean seeds that are grown in a Three Sister’s Garden. These seeds are replanted each year as well as shared with other Native American communities and organizations.
Community Education and Events to Be Offered
New this year will be community education classes open to the general public. Classes will be offered at Mazopiya and at the Mdewakanton Wozupi garden on such topics as Beekeeping, Backyard Composting, Organic Vegetable Gardening,Vegetable Garden Clinic ( using organic methods to address common garden issues), and Food Preservation (like drying and canning). Native wild food foraging walks will be held on the reservation to harvest foods like chokecherries, wild plums, and blackberries.
The Wozupi will hold Farmer’s Markets starting the last week in May at Mazopiya on Wednesdays from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. and at the SMSC Community Center on Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. A Mother’s Day Plant Sale with the Land Department will be held Mother’s Day weekend at the Playworks LINK Event Center, Thursday, May 10th from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m .; Friday, May 11th from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m .; and Saturday, May 12th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
To purchase a TSA share or for more information including a complete list of classes, go to http://www.smscwozupi.org or find us on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SMSCWozupi. The Wozupi can also be reached at 952-496-2267.