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Pine Ridge Reservation Natural Building Project 2015


This summer, our goal is to complete an earth-bermed biodome, a multiuse natural building, and some mini-libraries. All three of these projects will create multiple positive effects. We hope to connect to like minded groups that can help us broaden the impact. 

We would love your assistance to get these projects done. A big part of this is of course funding. We love crowdfunding because if everyone gives just a little, we can get big things done. We created a crowdfunding site that will keep people updated on our progress and details here (and read the story - even if you don’t plan to give – we think it’s an interesting one):

If everyone on our lists gave just $10, we would have enough to get all of these projects done this summer! Don’t hesitate to give a small amount – no amount is too small!! If you can’t give, spread the word and others will.  We truly appreciate all thoughts, intentions, small and large gifts, and forwarding to friends!  Your gift really does make a difference no matter the amount, and we sincerely appreciate it!

We have accomplished a lot because of the support we’ve received from both volunteers and funders, and also through the free and generous sharing of knowledge. We’re looking forward to what we will get done this year!


We are finalizing the dates of this build based on funding and availability of Lakota project managers. 

If you would like to physically help out at the reservation, here is the information you will need. We will complete a walipini green house and a mixed media building.  Materials that may be used will be sustainably harvested wood, cob, straw bale, and more. We will be focused on creating highly sustainable structures with multiple functions and strong capture of energies. 

These structures will be built at the Oglala-Lakota Cultural and Economic Revitilization Initiative (OLCERI), an experimental and demonstration permaculture site on the reservation.  The greenhouse, designed by founder of OLCERI , Lakota Bryan Deans, will be passively heated and cooled, and used for an experimental aquaponics system. These buildings are designed to create pathways to more sustainability, self-reliance, and resilience.

Additionally, you will have opportunities to learn other skills such as animal care, water conservation, erosion control and more.

Other volunteer positions are available through the summer and into fall.  Please sign up for our newsletter for further news on these offerings, or check back on our site!  Also, sign up in our Facebook group too:


Pine Ridge food sovereignty 2011

It started with the arrival of over 100 wild horses rescued for release on 8000 acres of prairie stewarded by Oglala-Lakota Cultural and Economic Revitilization Initiative. Nothing could embody the spirit of freedom via self-sufficiency that we’re striving for more than to watch, from the garden, this wild herd in full gallop across the range – purely because they feel like it. Our breath ends up in our throat regularly in response to the beauty and majesty of this animal.

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Pine Ridge reservation 2012 – Food forests!

Last year’s tree planting and gardening at Pine Ridge has led to expanded plans for this year! Our plans include three food forests at Pine Ridge this year, with three different organizations on the rez. We will also help install gardens and give classes on the techniques we’ll be using. We’ll be there from late April to mid-May, . Planting will occur Apr 29, May 1-4 and May 5-9.

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Pine Ridge reservation food forests

Food forests at Pine Ridge reservation are full of metaphor. The Lakota have experienced a long history of  sabotage of their food supply.  Pine Ridge has recently declared itself sovereign.  There is a place in that for the seven generation food and water security that can be created by a food forest.  Food forests can create calm amidst storm; they are resilient for generations.

There is a spirit to Pine Ridge that keeps us coming back for more. It’s hard to describe. People have tried. You have to read between the lines to see it, without going there yourself and experiencing it.

As we are getting ready for our yearly trip, we started thinking about some of the highlights of last year’s journey in May of 2012.

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Kickstarter campaign for Pine Ridge

We have done two Kickstarter campaigns for Pine Ridge to pay for irrigation, plant trees and a number of other projects we have ongoing. See our photos, stories and more at Our intention is to contribute to the creation of food and water sovereignty, healthy shelter and alternative energy on the reservation. 

Sustainable solutions for Haiti

Category: Haiti

Currently, our team of permaculture experts in Haiti have expanded to implement sustainable solutions to food and water supply, sanitation, and shelter. The focus is on using locally available, inexpensive, low-tech resources to create water catchment and filtration, earthquake and hurricane resistant shelter from renewable materials, sustainable sanitation, particularly for human waste, and food forests and other high production/low maintanence food techniques.

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Journey to Haiti

Category: Haiti

The main thing I’d like to share right now is our plans to bring some people from the SE division of the Ministry of the Environment to Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota to get training on Keyline Design and other permaculture techniques and principles.

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Impressions of Haiti

Category: Haiti

Four months after the earthquake, the streets of Port Au Prince are filled with people selling things, repairing things, walking somewhere, doing something. There is a semblance of normalcy in the city, a mixture of passion for life, purpose and perhaps resignation. But signs of the earthquake remain obvious.

Driving through Port Au Prince at night, the broken houses and rubble and garbage in the streets appear ghost like and ethereal. The people stay vibrant and real, colorful in the headlights, enjoying the respite from the hot sun.

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Permaculture Disaster Relief in Haiti

Category: Haiti

It’s been a while since we’ve updated about Haiti – below is a summary of what occurred from the time of the earthquake forward. We’re in planning stages now on the next phase and will post information about that as soon as plans are implemented. Our main focus currently is getting education out about how to prevent and treat cholera, using low tech methods and inexpensive or free resources. We’ll post that here too, in the next couple of days. We are deeply grateful to all of you who donated and made this journey possible – your donations did save many lives and they continue to do so. Here is the summary report:

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How to prevent and treat cholera

Category: Haiti

Many thanks to Mark and Monika at for providing advice on how cholera works, water filters and rehydration. We have compiled info on natural soaps, moringa filters and sanitation from a number of sources. Please forward this info as it could save lives! If someone wishes to translate to Kreyol, I will post it!

Here are some simple methods, which anyone can use, to prevent and treat cholera.


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