Patience for Plants and People

For Calista, growing food develops important skills beyond the garden.
Calista sitting on a tractor holding family photo

Patience is not something you expect from an eleven-year-old. But Calista, a member of the Zuni Pueblo in New Mexico, learned patience early on, when she was introduced to gardening at the Zuni Youth Enrichment Project (ZYEP), and by her grandfather.

For Calista, gardening is more than a chore. “I like that it’s an outdoor activity, where you can get some fresh air, and garden with your family.”

She attended ZYEP summer camp when she was just eight years old, doing simple tasks like planting seeds, watering and pulling out weeds. Now she grows tomatoes, watermelon, cucumbers, and cilantro.

Calista planting in the garden
Calista posing in front of butterfly mural

At ZYEP, Calista also takes cooking classes, learning to make traditional Zuni foods like sweet tamales.

Though a proud Shiwi (Zuni) farmer, Calista looks to the future when she hopes to be a teacher, developing young minds.

“Gardening, you have to be patient with the growing process,” she says. “Just like learning in school, you have to be patient for something to happen.”

Newman’s Own proudly supports Zuni Youth Enrichment Project, which teaches Zuni children about their Native American agricultural traditions, countering centuries of destructive practices that separated tribes from their histories.

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