Gardening is a powerful way to connect kids with Zuni traditions, promote healthy eating, have fun, and learn about nature.
Gardening and Nutrition
Farming and gardening were once skills on which survival of the entire tribe depended. Today, very few Zunis grow their own food. Along with these changes, obesity and diabetes have skyrocketed.
ZYEP has integrated Zuni gardening and nutrition into the public elementary school science curriculum, through a partnership with the Zuni Public School District and many other partners.
Regular lessons weave historical photos, artifacts, and traditional stories into nutrition activities and hands on gardening, and expose students to the wonders of growing their own food. A program evaluation revealed strong trends towards improved attitudes and behaviors surrounding nutrition and gardening.
We have seven community garden sites:
- ZYEP Summer Camp garden at Twin Buttes High School
- Zuni IHS demonstration garden, where hospital departments plant and tend each bed
- Zuni Head Start Garden for Zuni's youngest students
- Gardens in the nearby Ramah Navajo area, thanks to a partnership with Gallup COPE Project
- Community garden at the future H'on A:wan Community Park
- Garden at D.Y. Elementary School
- Garden at A:shiwi Elementary School
- WIC Community Garden
By further developing this program, we envision that Zuni will once again be filled with garden plots and that Zuni kids will learn the joy of growing and eating their own food.
We welcome donations and partnerships to help expand our community gardens and make sure all children in Zuni have a chance to plant and harvest at the gardens.