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Nelson said her organization plans to restore the meadow using traditional indigenous ecological knowledge and then plant it to Native American food crops, medicinal herbs and organic vegetables.

Among the crops will be corn, beans, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, melons and sunflowers, she said.

“It is a place where we can be quiet, and the land and the plants can speak to us. It will be a refuge where we can connect to the land and the medicinal plants and foods,” said Nelson, who is also a Turtle Mountain Chippawa tribal member.

The food grown on the farm will be distributed to local tribes — Miwok, Pomo and Wappo — and intertribally to Native Americans living in the Bay Area. The surplus will be sold to restaurants or at farmers’ markets.

The Green Valley watershed where the farm is located is the ancestral home of the Southern Pomo, Coast Miwok and the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, a tribe that includes both Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo. Following Native American cultural protocol, The Conservancy sought and received the permission of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria before starting work, Nelson said.

She said the group has already held ceremonies to bless the land. They planted oak trees, elderberry and Yerba Buena. The group has also begun repairing the home, updating the plumbing, electrical and septic systems. They have also pruned the orchard and cleared brush.


Posted: October 17, 2019


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