The Pinoleville Pomo Nation Environmental Department works toward the promotion of healthy communities with work in food and agriculture including the promotion of native plants, organic, non-GMO fruits and vegetables and
community outreach. The PPN horticultural program is designed to meet an array of critical needs for its members and the broader community including:
- Improving the diet. Native Americans suffer from a high rate of diabetes, heart disease, lupus and other lifestyle-related diseases. Fresh, organic vegetables, fruits, nuts and other produce will improve diets and health among PPN citizens.
- Improving the self-concept of Native youth. Many PPN children struggle in the school system to assert a positive cultural identity. Growing foods, fiber plants, and other resources to support themselves and to supply their neighbors will build pride and a sense of purpose. Learning specific horticultural skills will create job and recreation opportunities that can sustain that positive self-concept. As an after-school activity, horticulture also nurtures positive social relations and builds resumes for college applications.
- Restoring the local environment. For many years, PPN lands have been dumping grounds of one sort or another – for solid waste, storm water, hazardous materials, LULUs. A horticultural program that can produce plants native to local ecosystems can help restore basic ecological functions.
- Developing a sustainable economy. A horticultural program can supply food to the PPN Head Start, Big Time, and other programs and events, reducing Tribal expenses and allowing money to be invested elsewhere. We can also establish contracts to supply local restaurants, farmers’ markets, and the Ukiah Natural Food Coop.
Some of the department’s current and past projects include: