COACHELLA (CNS) – The Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians received a $50,000 grant from the First Nations Development Institute for its Temalpakh Farm, officials announced Thursday.
The grant was awarded to the tribe through the California Tribal Fund so that it can focus on growing three seasons of organic produce at Temalpakh Farm, whose name means “from the earth,” according to Lindsay Grant, chief marketing officer of the farm, as well as Cahuilla Ranch and Augustine Casino.
“The grant helped us improve the operation in many ways,” General Manager John Frank said in a statement. “From our ability to prepare the ground each season to the variety of vegetables we have to offer to how we harvest and transport our crops.”
Grant said that with the funds, the tribe has purchased seeds, a disc plate to help break up soil, a plow machine to help with the preparation of subsurface soil and equipment from Agri-Carts to transport the harvest and farm equipment.
The grant has also funded the farm’s educational center including equipment like tablets, cases, chairs, tables, microscope slides and children’s books, according to Grant. A classroom is expected to become available to local education outlets soon to teach about the tribe’s culture, history and organic farming, according to Grant.
“We are grateful for the funding from FNDI to expand our mission of providing locally sourced organic produce,” Amanda Vance, tribal chairperson, said in a statement.
Vance helped guide the tribe to realize her mother’s, former tribal chairperson Mary Ann Martin, dream for the farm which began about 10 years ago, according to Grant. The tribe created the roughly 50-acre farm — starting with construction in 2014 and the opening of its market in 2022 — to grow healthy and organic food for its neighboring communities. The market features a smoothie bar with drinks made from freshly picked ingredients.
More information about the farm can be found at temalpakhfarm.com. It is located at 1 Roberta Way in Coachella, and is open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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