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Tea Grower Fallan Maggi and O’yo’p’ Food Pantry Manager Cindy Salway are seen holding Mason jars of tea sold to the pantry from Maggi’s garden.

The Growing Health Tea Project is finishing up its first season with tea sales to the O’yo’p’ Food Pantry. The Blackfeet Food Access and Sustainability Team (FAST) began the project last spring with 10 participants from Browning. Each participant was provided raised garden beds and traditional Blackfeet tea plants to care for. Throughout the season the participants were taught how to grow, harvest and dry their teas and given the option to sell any excess tea to the Food Pantry to be shared with the community.

Fallan Maggi, one of the tea growers, brought her first batch of dried tea leaves to the pantry this fall. She shared with us why she chose to be a part of the program and what has kept her invested in the work.

“In the beginning I just wanted to be a part of something positive for the community and bring medicine to the people that needed it the most, but I started seeing the youth learning how to grow too,” she said. “The little kids around the neighborhood were curious about what was in my backyard and would come over. I showed them things like, ‘here is how you take sage- you cut it, don’t rip it out.’ Seeing how interested the kids were made me really happy about what I’m doing because it showed me that it’s not just for me. There’s a lot of people that want this knowledge.”

To read the complete article, pick up a copy of this week’s issue or subscribe to the Browning Glacier Reporter, Cut Bank Pioneer Press,  Shelby Promoter and The Valierian newspapers at http://www.cutbankpioneerpress.com/site/services/

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