The Sioux Indians are building greenhouses 8 ft underground and heating them with a geo thermal unit to 52 degrees Fahrenheit. The sun provides warmth and then heat is circulating at night. As the greenhouses are built, the Sioux communities are getting fresh vegetables, consisting of micro greens, Swiss shard potatoes and more. Now they’re able to provide a healthy diet to their families.
It takes very little cash and the ability to try something new to overcome food scarcity. The Sioux are making progress!
below ground, at the bottom of a short flight of stairs, the inside of this 80ft-long sleek structure is bursting with life – pallets of vivid microgreens, potato plants growing from hay bales and planters full of thick heads of Swiss chard and pak choi. Two people bend over the pallets, using scissors to harvest delicate sprouts of microgreens.
This is an underground greenhouse, or walipini, and the harvesters are members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. It is one of at least eight underground greenhouses that, over the past decade, have been built or are being constructed on the reservation – which has one of the highest poverty rates in the US. Some hope they can help solve the interconnected problems of the lack of affordable, nutritious food and the difficulties of farming in the climate crisis.