Wiconi Waste Resistance Farm a Lakota regenerative agroforestry permaculture demonstration farm

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2019: $9,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2021
Grant Recipient: Wiconi Waste Farm
Region: North Central
State: South Dakota
Project Coordinator:
Michelle Tyon
Wiconi Waste Farm

Information Products


Not commodity specific


  • Crop Production: agroforestry, high tunnels or hoop houses, low tunnels
  • Education and Training: demonstration, youth education

    Proposal summary:

    Growing food on Wiconi Waste’s Resistance Farm has always been a big challenge. Our 165 acres are all hills and our primary site, is located on top of a high hill, west of Porcupine SD, approximately 3,400 ft above sea level. It gets very windy up here and we also get lots of hail, snow, and freezing temperatures. Heavy downpours can cause soil erosion. Our people don’t have a lot of money and many families around Porcupine have land that is sloped and forested. We propose to build a regenerative agroforestry permaculture demonstration farm where other Lakota people can learn all about permaculture, agroforestry techniques, soil conservation in erosion prone areas, how to grow on a slope, drip-irrigation, as well as how to use composting and mulching to improve the quality of our local soils. We also propose to create a local heirloom, organic seed bank on our farm to make it truly sustainable for generations to come. We will be working with SDSU Extension’s Tribal Local Foods and AgrAbility program who will be providing workshops and hands-on demonstrations of the above techniques, alongside us.


    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Identify techniques and strategies to reduce erosion on sloped, forested landscapes.

    2. Identify cultivatable traditional Lakota plant foods that can be incorporated into a regenerative, agro-forestry permaculture farm.

    3. Evaluate the effectiveness of permaculture agroforestry techniques and strategies on forested, slopes.

    4. Evaluate the effectiveness of using a system of drip-irrigation, sheet mulching and contoured plant beds and pathways on forested slopes to improve the quality of our soil.

    5. Share findings through videos, pictures and printed information on project with community as well as on social media and through workshops in partnership with SDSU Tribal Local Foods/AgrAbility program.


    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.