Crossing Worlds Hopi Projects

Hopi Food Sustainability Orchard-Garden Projects

Hopi Food Sustainability Orchard-Garden Projects

May, 2015 orchard planting with Natwanhoym Tunatya.

Orchard, garden and healthy eating projects in support of Hopi food sustainability.

Orchards, edible shrubs, herbs, kitchen garden projects using low water drip systems and permaculture design-with-nature practices (such as mulching, companion planting, contouring, rain cisterns) as part of creating more local food supply and healthier diet for Hopi food sustainability.

There is growing interest at Hopi in this type of food raising along with the traditional dry-farm crops that Hopi farmers have cultivated for centuries.

We are support Hopi initiated projects led by knowledgeable Hopi and regional gardeners. The goal is for each project to become a viable food-producing installation and a learning opportunity for other Hopis while increasing Hopi food sustainability.


Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture

Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture vision statement (founded in 2004):

“Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture Institute is a 501(c)3 U.S. non-profit fueled by passionate people. We are a community-based organization, initiating hands-on learning projects that support Hopi youth and community to develop skills and practical experience needed to promote a more ecological and healthy Hopi community.”

Orchard in 7th year Kykotsmovi with companion plantings (guilds and wind break trees) and heavy mulching thrive with very little watering. Photo by Sandra Cosentino 2018.

Solar Greenhouse part of new natural home by Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture.

This dedicated group is doing very effective work in training Hopis in permaculture style farming with drip systems, mulching and companion planting, greenhouses. They are leading workshops to plant orchards in schools and individual Hopi farms, created the Hopi Food Co-0p group, and are building energy efficient natural homes and training Hopis builders.

2017 Straw bale natural home with start of food growing terraces by Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture.

“In the Hopi language “Hopi Tutskwa” refers to the life ways and knowledge of the land and soil. The origins of Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture stem from a deep commitment to maintain our distinct identity and lifeways as Hopi people in order to pass knowledge to the future generations and rebuild sustainable and healthy communities.” “Our vision is to strengthen community through the continued intergenerational practices of traditional Hopi farming and gardening, rainwater harvesting and spring restoration, natural building, and orchard-keeping while applying applicable Permaculture principles, methods, and techniques.”

Garlic harvest by Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture.

Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture envisions a world in where:
  • “Communities practice cooperation in all aspects of life, continuing the traditional Hopi values of Sumi’nangwa and Nami’nagwa which means to help others selflessly for the good of everyone.
  • Communities learn to value, care for, respect, protect, and manage the natural environment while ensuring adequate resources for the future generations.
  • Communities will learn innovative ways towards creating sustainable communities locally and regionally.
  • Communities have clean water, good nutritious food, and thriving ecosystems and watersheds.
”
Quotes above from Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture website.
We are proud to support the effective work of Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture.   In 2017 we made 2 grants in support of the excellent work they are doing at Hopi:
  • $2000 to support HTP youth permaculture training work
  • $2000 to be administered by HTP to 3 of their worthy trainees to provide support for drips system installation and mulch hauling to support their new permaculture orchards and gardens.  Sedona orchardist Mario Valeruz and I will be meeting these farmers and seeing their sites this fall.  We will continue supporting Mario’s field visits to consult with Hopi groups on orchard restoration.
In 2018 we donated $7,000 (including a specific $2,000 grant to them from a supportive donor!) to deepen support for this effective and dedicated group.

Field Class with Hopi farmers led by Lilian Hill, Executive Director of Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture


Hopi Youth Farm Group

Since 2014 we have been providing support for a Hopi youth group at Second Mesa which is called Natwanhoyum Tunatya (means teach and farm together for the future). Spring 2015 we provided plants, supplies, tractor repair, and an instructor for the the installation of their drip-system supported orchard-vines-herbs garden adjacent to the dry farm area of their coordinators.  2016 and 2017, we continued support with additional plants, mulch hauling,  camping and learning supplies, and continued permaculture workshops with Sedona orchardist Mario Valeruz.  

 Natwanhoyum Tunatya (means teach and farm together for the future) at Second Mesa, Hopi. Farming at Hopi is a whole set of values and spiritual practices.

A 5-year old in this group said, “If we don’t farm, our village will die.”

information about the group provided by Natwanhoyum coordinators: “Natwanhoym Tunatya was founded in 2012 by two Hopi farmers and 28 Youth Farmers, the purpose of this Hopi-based service group is to develop a farming relationship with the Shungopavi youth between 6 – 18 years of age.

Natwanhoyum Mission: 

Namitnagwa – to teach and practice the principal of farming together Samitnagwa – to teach the growth process of natwani (means produce and refers to the processes and rituals necessary for the rejuvenation of all life) and its values.

Providing natwani to their family table, ceremonies and social events.

To practice organic gardening–both with Hopi traditional dry farming and using drip irrigation–and promote healthy eating habits.

To teach Hopi language and art (which is part of livelihood on the Hopi reservation)

Philosophy of the Coordinators: Promote good guardianship and stewardship of the Natwanhoyum Resources today and tomorrow to benefit the current and future generations.

Core Values: Share core values from our Elders and Kiva teachings of Hopi character and identity that one must practice to be a good person:

  • Respect all life
  • Work hard
  • Wake up early and pray to Dawa (the sun)
  • Be humble
  • Uphold conservation practices for all natural resources
  • Be good role models
  • Promote quality mentorship
  • Promote traditional reciprocity, Pa’ung’ne/Namitnagwa
  • Use personal experience and education to promote Hopi and modern land and water conservation practices

Vision To stay connected to Mother Earth while we pray to Dawa, our father.  Through our prayers we ask to be blessed with rain so that our crop fields and grasslands have sufficient water for food production for healthful life.


We welcome your support for Hopi Orchard/Garden projects that support Hopi food sustainability:

  • Donations to purchase trees, edible shrubs, soil enzymes, drip systems to help new permaculture home garden/orchard start ups under supervision of Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture
  • Farming tools and equipment
  • Haul free mulch from Flagstaff locations to Hopi in your truck or trailer
  • The Hopi youth farming group needs notebooks and pencils for Hopi language learning; art supplies to help teach them art as part of their livelihood (acrylic paints, paper, art boards, exacto knives and sandpaper for carving and making gourd rattles).
  • Sponsor a Hopi student to attend a Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture apprenticeship