Pine Ridge Gardens

Our ultimate purpose is to:

  1. improve people’s health by helping them cultivate intensely nutritious foods
  2. retain and uphold culture by using culturally-specific methodology to achieve program goals
  3. rejuvenate depleted soils by adding minerals and processes of healing the earth at constituent gardens
  4. create a new asset for constituents by revitalizing and maintaining their soils by biodynamic methods and relevant spiritual practices
  5. support the missions of Plenty International, and Running Strong for American Indian Youth.

The 416 families served in 2012 represent the majority of gardening interest on Pine Ridge, and most have been at it for years. Despite the problems and obstacles, people consistently try to grow vegetables.

Families are burdened by diabetes 800 times the national average. Persistent poverty, obesity, food

insecurity, stress, alcoholic dysfunction, social pathology have long been characteristic of this federal reservation. Pine Ridge contains the third poorest county of the 2,147 counties in America.

Operating since 1985 independent of tribal or federal support, Slim Buttes Ag developed early partnerships with Plenty International and Running Strong for American Indian Youth, fiscal sponsors substantiating program development. In 2012, 416 gardens were made from applications indicating 2,496 people involved, at average of six per household. The program beneficiaries are families representing six percent of the approximate 40,000 Pine Ridge residents, mostly children.