What up folks! It’s been a good ride this Spring and here is what we have been up to as the summer is in full swing. Original Story on Facebook with 108 photos
Through building projects, activism and regenerative agriculture The Tea House Project is the coming together of many hands to serve their local communities. All are welcome to join in our efforts. The Tea House Project exists as a mobile unit camp. Its physical space takes the form of a 14’ yurt, a 28’ conical tent, a tool trailer and a ’94 Dodge Cummins to transport it all.
On the Tea House crew this year we have Shannah Bupp out of Southern California and Matt Yerge from Buffalo,NY. The Tea House Project is currently on site of OLCERI, the Oglala Lakota Cultural Economic Revitalization Inactive. Located on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation about 80 miles south of Rapid City South Dakota.
We are here supporting a garden design by OLCERI founder Bryan Deans and in collaboration with other groups across the reservation, including a Food Distribution Network to supply fresh foods to people throughout Pine Ridge. We will also be prepping the site for the 3rd annual Indigenous Wisdom Permaculture Convergence happening August 19th-25th. The convergence will bring in volunteers to continue construction on the Indigenous Wisdom Center that will serve as a Lakota language school and cultural preservation center. The THP will support both the building of the center and the convergence. Our daily routine brings us up before sunrise caring & maintaining the garden and animals on the land. With the support of previous volunteers whom came months ahead of time, we are in the process of transplanting over 1000 plant starts into the garden and into the hands of the community. The garden will help feed the people of Pine Ridge and provide meals for the IWPS convergence.
In the past 6 months we have covered some good ground across the country, beginning at the U.S./Mexico border. We teamed up with Altruist Relief Kitchen building the infrastructure and kitchen to support the caravans of refugees coming from impoverished gang controlled lands of South and Central America. It was a successful six-week mission as we built relationships with fellow activists and service workers to supply thousands of meals to our sisters and brothers in need. The fundraiser for the border helped supply food, gas and supplies for camp. Much gratitude to those that supported our going out there. Please keep prayers going for those families and children being held in detention camps.
April brought us out to Moab, Utah where our friend Val DeMars generously donated his shop, skills and patience. He and Matt spent many hours with a sewing machine giving the Tea House a new facelift. With the new conical tent the Tea House is growing into a more resilient project that will allow for additional volunteers to support the building and work as we travel nomadically across these various landscapes.
In May we headed to Big Mountain, Black Mesa AZ, home to the Diné nation. This northeastern corner of Arizona is yet another epicenter in the struggle over land and water rights. A struggle where indigenous values of balance and respect to Mother Earth are resisting against the corporate mind set of greed that the coal industry has displayed over the past 50 plus years. Here we joined hands with the Katherine Smith Water Project to support a Dine family and their way of life with infrastructure that is necessary to survive off grid. We were gathered by a beautiful landscape where we helped with shepherding, sheep shearing, and building a roof for the sheep corral which doubled as a rainwater harvesting / catchment system. The system now in place will gather 100 gallons of water for every inch of rain.
All of the Tea House projects are service/support work that is entirely volunteer. We have put a good deal of our time and savings into all that we do while living a modest lifestyle. Over $6,000 went into the materials, gear and maintenance for transportation for the past 4 months. We so appreciate all of the support that has come in from previous projects. A $5.00 donation is a blessing any amount comes with much appreciation.
Ways to monetarily contribute to the Tea House Project as it continues its journey of service:
or Peer-to-peer crypto by using the DropBit App and my twitter handle https://DropBit.me/@MattYerge
Other ways to support:
- Join as a Volunteer with a current or upcoming project
- Spread the word (social media, dinner conversations, marketing and support) #TeaHouseProject
- take us under your wing as a a current 501c3
- share your advice or send us a message with any thoughts
- Gift cards to Home Depot, Lowes
Sponsorship and donors are as important to these projects as all the physical labor that is done on the ground . An ongoing donation of $5.00 a month or as a one time gift greatly increases our efforts and help with everything from providing nutritious food to fuel the crew to the proper tools and supplies for the projects.
As the THP moves into the 2019 Fall season it will be looking to proceed and expand into a non-profit and is seeking the necessary benefactors, mentors and assistance in doing so.
An important note: I like to also mention how fortunate we all are for the opportunity to engage in all of these projects. We are privileged to have the opportunity to be in service. A motto that the THP lives by. While in service exist the opportunity in meeting such strong heartfelt individuals whom give so generously with their time and resources to support the world we live in. It is also an amazing opportunity for skill sharing. In the way our societies have been shaped from the generations before us have greatly determined how one gets introduced into certain skills. Within these projects skill sharing crosses over gender roles giving opportunity for growth, both for the inexperienced and the experienced.
Thanks so much for your time. Enjoy the photos. We’ll be posting more as the summer starts to really heat up out here!
The Tea House Project