Growing Resilience

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Growing Resilience
2017 Projects

Part of Zaniyan mission is to promote food sovereignty, self reliance and support education that is needed to develop self-reliant communities.  We are developing partnerships with existing programs, farms, and organizations that support those goals.

Eugene Oregon Area

Food Grows Community Inter-generational Project

In partnership with Reality Kitchen, a free organic lunch for River Road neighborhood elders and guests while interacting with each other and the Reality Kitchen students. Michael Vasquez has planted a large organic garden on donated land in the neighborhood to produce food for the weekly lunches. Volunteers from across the community gather and contribute time and talents to harvest and help prepare food.

This project increases neighborhood social capital and caring. The convergence of organic food grown within a few miles, together with enthusiastic volunteers and young adults in conversation with elders, has created a lively and growing community worlds away from institutionalized free lunch programs.

For more information, go here.

 Garden Helper Referral Program

While gardening has wonderful therapeutic value, growing one’s own food can be physically demanding, particularly for Elders or those with physical limitations. With a little help with some of the heavy tasks, many people can continue to garden and reap the benefits from both healthy food and physical activity.

Our Garden Helper Referral Program is a referral and matching service. There is NO FEE to Helper or Gardener, as it is our mission to increase community food sovereignty and resilience, promote health through plants, and learning from and with elders.

For more information, Go here

Eugene to the Dakotas Spring 2017

The Growing Resilience Project 2017 is bringing volunteers, plant sta

rts, seeds, books, and gardening tools and supplies to tribal community groups and the Water Protector Resistance Camps that evolved from the Standing Rock protests. Willing volunteers will also stay for a time and help the people plant their own food and medicine, or work on other sustainability projects

We are coordinating with existing community groups that grow food for people living in the Standing Rock, Pine Ridge, Lower Brule, Cheyenne River, and Rosebud reservations.

Volunteers and supplies needed! See lists below

Lakota reservations are extreme food deserts. The people have little to no access to fresh vegetables, or to any type of natural, organic, or non-GMO foods. Herbal medicines are equally hard to come by. The highest rates of life-threatening health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, and the lowest life expectancy, are on these Lakota reservations. Many of these conditions are preventable by having access to better food.

Supplies needed:

  • – Gardening tools: hoes, shovels, rakes, whatever is good for gardening
  • – Plant starts and seeds
  • – Gardening books and magazines
  • – Organic fertilizers and soil amendments
  • – Smart pots or raised beds (which can be transported in a small space)
  • – Watering and irrigation supplies
  • – Greenhouse supplies
  • – Gift Cards for Lowe’s and Walmart (few other stores in the area sell garden supplies)
  • – Cash for travel expenses and for purchasing items too heavy/unwieldy for transport (such as straw, soil, fertilizer, etc.)

Volunteers needed:

Going to the Reservation:

  • – You need to be self sufficient (some sites will feed and house you in rustic conditions)
  • – You need to have permaculture and gardening experience or be willing work  under direction
  • – You need to be willing to drive to the Dakotas and live there for a few days to a few weeks to help people get gardens established


  • – Eugene-area volunteers willing to pick up and prepare supplies for transport to the Reservations

Virtual and Elsewhere:

  • – Volunteers to work on virtual projects such as this site, social media, etc.
  • – Volunteers to organize runs from outside of Oregon to the Resistance Camps and Community Centers
  • – Volunteers to help create fundraisers and awareness campaigns
  • – Grant writers and board members

Donation Drop-off Points, Eugene Area:

  • Eagletree Herbs, 2740 Shirley Street, Eugene (home business – open most times but please call 541-688-9404 before coming)

Contact us for Dakota  addresses to drop off or mail items directly.

Do you need supplies or volunteers for your site? Please complete and submit this form.

Donations are tax deductible!

Interested in volunteering? Can you make a donation? We need your support! Thank you!


Donate to Zaniyan Center

Zaniyan Center is a 501c(3) Nonprofit Organization, your donation is tax deductible.  We deeply appreciate your support.

Donations can be made to general fund or to specific projects by request.

You can also donate directly via PayPal using your credit card to or by mail to the address at the bottom of the page.

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