Food - header

Where We Work - Section Title

Where we work

Food - where we work (images)

Kerley Valley garden plots

Community garden plots

We help families prep, weed, and water their plots in the Tuba City/Moenkopi area.

School Garden

School gardens

We help keep gardens tidy at the Tuba City Charter School and Moenkopi Day School.


Irrigation ditch

Individual farmers

We help farmers dig out irrigation ditches, burn weeds, and prepare fields for planting.

Food - what is dryland farming

What is dryland farming?

Native farmers make a little water go a long way. They use drought resistant heirloom seeds, collect rainwater, and trap moisture in the soil. When planting, they poke holes deep in the ground with planting sticks, drop their seeds in, and backfill the holes to minimize soil disturbance and water loss to evaporation. 

Dryland farming techniques vary between tribes. The Hopi, for example, plant their cornfields in staggered rows near washes and arroyos, counting on natural runoff and monsoon rains to water their crops. The Navajo plant their seeds deep — eight to nine inches below ground — to reach the moist soil. The Zuni use terraced farming and waffle garden beds, where water spills from one depression to the next. 

These and other dryland farming practices have allowed native people to flourish for thousands of years.

Volunteer - What We Do Section Title

What We Do

Food - what we do (images)

Digging irrigation ditch

Dig irrigation ditches

The farmers in Kerley Valley flood irrigate their fields once a year in the spring. We help them clear irrigation ditches of accumulated sand and dirt so that water can flood across their fields and soak into the earth prior to planting. 


Prepare garden beds

From removing corn stalks, to pulling weeds, we help farmers get their fields, plots, and gardens ready for the planting season. They have the know-how. We just provide some muscle to help get the job done.

Food - what we do (subtitle)

Each spring, we bring students out to the Navajo and Hopi reservations to help farmers prepare their fields. Read about these alternative spring break trips ›

Students in action

Food - why care

Why care about food and farming?

Native American farmers have tremendous expertise about food systems, ecology, and water sources on the Colorado Plateau. They've endured droughts and scarce times. Preserving, listening to, and honoring their traditional knowledge can help us address the impacts of climate change both on and off the reservations, as temperatures rise and rains become less predictable across the Southwest.

Volunteer - CTA (volunteer with us)

Volunteer with us!

Volunteers in Action Blog


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Volunteers do the heavy lifting so native plants and wildlife have healthy water sources in the forest.

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