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Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Seeds to Benefit Pine Ridge, and Hot Soup for Cold Days

Want to save seeds from your bean plants? Pick lots of beans, early. It tricks the plant into producing more beans.

Angela Cain and Paula Cook each have garden plots where they grow plants for seed.

On today’s show we talk with the mother daughter team of Cankú Lúta Gardens, growing, saving and selling indigenous seeds.
We learn about the expanding organic farming industry and we join Chef Arlyn Llewellyn in the Function Brewing kitchen for a warming Yellow Thai Curry Vegetable Soup.


Cankú Lúta Gardens
Angela Cane and her mother Paula Cook sell a variety of indigenous seeds from their Cankú Lúta Gardens booth at the Bloomington Farmers’ Market. Proceeds go to support gardening efforts at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. I spoke with them at the market and Mitchell Teplitsky, Director of Communication at The Language Conservancy, interviewed them in our studio earlier this fall.

The name of the organization, Cankú Lúta is a Lakota term meaning Red Road

Cankú Lúta, in the language of the Lakota people, means Red Road. The Red Road is the Good Road of Life, the path that we aspire to walk with our children and their children, and ALL OUR RELATIONS. –found on the Cankú Lúta website

The first iteration of the organization was run by Cane’s parents Paula Cook and Kenneth Cane. Angela Cane spent her early years travelling around to benefits and speaking engagements as her father, the dynamic leader of the organization, raised money for the Lakota tribe, and the people living at Pine Ridge in South Dakota.

After her father passed away in 2011, Cane knew she wanted to carry on the tradition of Cankú Lúta, but she wanted to take a different path. Instead of food drives and benefits, she decided to work with seeds.

For more of their story plus food and agriculture news and a fabulous soup recipe, listen to this week’s podcast.

For more reading on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation:
A 2012 piece from Indian Country Today about gardens at Pine Ridge
An Al Jazeera piece from 2015 on gardens at Pine Ridge
A story from Partnership with Native Americans about gardens at Pine Ridge
A Slate story about a photojournalist turned advocate, after covering Pine Ridge
An Al Jazeera piece from 2016 about conditions at Pine Ridge
A Video by The Guardian on the impact of alcohol sales in White Clay on the (dry) Pine Ridge Reservation.
Pine Ridge Statistics from Red Cloud Indian School
A piece about a greenhouse project at Pine Ridge
A short bio on Milo Yellow Hair


Music in this episode:
Earth Eats theme music:Smoothie Song, Nickel Creek, This Side
Electric Set
All That Glitters, Death In Vegas, Dead Elvis
4R Ancestors, Keith Secola, Wild Band of Indians
Coyote Dance, Robbie Robertson, Music for the Native Americans
Dirt, Death in Vegas, Dead Elvis

Stories On This Episode

Thai Yellow Curry Vegetable Soup

Make your own curry paste for a deep, complex flavor. Llewellyn makes it simple in the food processor. In a pinch, you can buy prepared curry paste.

Organic Acreage On The Rise

As prices drop for conventional crops, some farmers are looking to organic.

Poll Shows Americans Are Confused About Food

How much do you know about what's in your food, and where it comes from? Who do you trust to tell you?

Hunger Levels Remain Stubbornly High In US

A USDA survey shows that the number of Americans suffering from hunger remains well above pre-recession levels nearly a decade ago.

Clovis Withdraws From USDA Nomination

Sam Clovis was linked this week to the federal investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Kayte Young

Kayte Young discovered her passion for growing, cooking, foraging and preserving fresh food when she moved to Bloomington in 2007. With a background in construction, architecture, nutrition education and writing, she brings curiosity and a love of storytelling to a show about all things edible. Kayte raises bees, a small family and a yard full of food in Bloomington’s McDoel Gardens neighborhood.

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