By Jasmine Harvey
We are in very uncertain times. This year has been marked with massive changes to society from a global pandemic and widespread social unrest, and nobody knows what tomorrow may bring. Although the Karuk Tribal Department of Natural Resources has always worked to ensure that our communities aren’t faced with food insecurity, this year our efforts have grown substantially.
Building off of the groundwork of food security projects from many years of dedication, DNR Staff, along with community volunteers and financial support from the Humboldt Area Foundation, have designed and implemented a Community Farm on Tribal Property in Orleans.
Under the Karuk Tribe’s Incident Management team for the COVID-19 response, DNR has taken on planning and implementation of Emergency Support Functions 4 and 11. (Firefighting and Agriculture/Natural Resources respectively) ESF 11 outlines standard operating procedures to ensure the safe production and distribution of food grown at this community farm. Producing food locally will supply fresh healthy food to the distribution boxes as part of the Tribe’s COVID response, and will also provide safe jobs to local workers who are laid off due to necessary precautions taken to slow the spread.
So far we have planted hundreds upon hundreds of tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, green beans, and potatoes, and are looking into our options for sustaining what we have and expanding into meat, eggs, mushrooms and fruit production, as well as processing facilities to preserve our harvests.
If you are interested in supporting these efforts or would like to know more about DNR’s food security projects, contact us at (530)-627-3446.