- Agronomic: hemp
- Crop Production: seed saving, varieties and cultivars
- Farm Business Management: value added
- Sustainable Communities: ethnic differences/cultural and demographic change, quality of life
Seeds are critical to food security and sustainable livelihoods for tribal producers. Access to hemp seeds collapsed 70 years ago, with that came the collapse of traditional tribal folkways, access to hemp home remedies, and other food and fiber products traditionally made from hemp. In this project, a Virginia State University Graduate student will plan and implement an interdisciplinary community based participatory research effort with urban agriculture educators, extension researchers, non-profits, tribal leaders and citizens in the Nottoway Nation will work in partnership to assess and action plan for tribal food security. The team will receive facilitation training based on existing SSARE resources on community based participatory research, and will be provided with up to date, information for the production, processing and policy related to hemp based on the findings of the Virginia Industrial Hemp research, and relevant Hemp Production Program plants. Partners will then distribute seeds, and collect data to inform recommendations for rural food security interventions that address the accessibility, availability, traceability, and adoption of various hemp seed varieties. Trained tribal citizens will collect data by engaging family farms across the Southern U.S. in pre-colonial knowledge related to hemp. Tribal leaders will use pre-colonial knowledge to recommend value-added hemp products that reflect the longstanding heritage of Native Americans with hemp. A web-based information and seed database will be developed. Additionally, case studies and a social media campaign continue to educate the public about the pre-colonial production and use of hemp in tribal lands.
Project objectives from proposal:
- Identify sources of literature, policy and seed sources to increase understanding and decrease the impacts of the absence and prolonged prohibition of hemp seeds and crops in tribal farming systems.
- Train personnel in five organizations to conduct food system assessments and action planning using community based participatory methods.
- Conduct four focus groups to collect data that increase knowledge related to the various home remedies, cultural healing, and health promoting uses of hemp that can be considered a part of traditional tribal knowledge.
- Develop four case studies that contribute to the produce of traceable value-added seeds and products in the SSARE region.