Squash in Sustainable Food Production

November 15, 2016

Sue Isbell is a 4-H Youth Development Agent with NDSU Extension Service in Sioux County, ND. In 2013, she received an NCR-SARE Youth Educator grant to work with youth from three Tribal communities across North Dakota on activities about sustainable agriculture, local foods, gardening methods, marketing, and concepts and practices of breeding and seed saving.

Across two summers, youth learned the specifics of growing, marketing, eating, and breeding squash. They sold produce at their local farmers market, met with other growers and food marketers, presented extra produce to local Elders, and cooked and ate squash at home to learn about various facets of a sustainable food system.

“Good nutrition and incomes are concerns across North Dakota and among the Tribal communities which often lack fresh produce and job opportunities,” explained Isbell. “This project addressed these concerns by bringing new knowledge, tools, and experiences to Tribal youth. The idea they could ‘design’ their own variety of squash was very empowering to the ‘kids.’ They took real ownership of the project and were very intent on learning the skills required to reach their goals.”

View Related SARE Grant:

Topics: Cucurbits
Related Locations: North Central