Turning Pumpkins into Go-Karts

Siblings Jazlyn and Jaxson learned to grow and sell produce to support their hobby.
Jaxson and Jazlyn showing off plants in the greenhouse

Jazlyn was only 11 when her grandmother brought her to learn gardening at the Oyate Teca Project in Kyle, South Dakota, which serves more than 700 Oglala Lakota children on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

She started by growing pumpkins. “I didn’t want to do it at first,” said Jazlyn, now 15. “But I went to classes, and they showed me how to make soil blocks for my pumpkins and once I got started it was pretty fun to do.” Within months she had grown over 200 pumpkins, just in time to sell for Halloween at the Oyate Teca farmer’s market.

Jaxson and Jazlyn posing outside
Jaxson and Jazlyn in the greenhouse

Eventually, Jazlyn enlisted her younger brother Jaxson, her mom and dad, to help with the pumpkins, but also with “normal garden stuff” like zucchini, green peppers, tomatoes, and onions. Jaxson’s favorite food to grow? “Watermelon!”

Oyate Teca teaches economics along with food sovereignty. By selling her produce, Jazlyn purchased not one but two go-carts. The family also operates a pizza food truck using the ingredients they’ve grown together.

Newman’s Own proudly supports the Oyate Teca Project, which promotes healthy living for children through cultural and educational programming, serving the Oglala Lakota community of Kyle, South Dakota.

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