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Bird Creek Farms renamed Harvest Land

Photo caption: Construction on Harvest Land’s 44,000-square-foot multipurpose building is nearly complete. A ribbon-cutting will take place on Dec. 21, 2020, at 1 p.m. CODY HAMMER/Osage News

The Osage Nation’s Bird Creek Farms has been renamed Harvest Land.

“There’s so much more going on out there than just a farm,” said Jann Hayman, director of the Nation’s Department of Natural Resources that now oversees operations. “We are farming, but we are also doing other things. Aquaponics, greenhouses, and more.”

Thanks to $7.4 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act money, Harvest Land now has a 40,000-square-foot greenhouse and a 44,000-square-foot multipurpose building that includes two aquaponics systems. Construction is nearly complete on the new facilities and a ribbon-cutting is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 21 at 1 p.m.

Crops currently grown on the farmland include bell peppers, cantaloupe, cucumber, okra, pumpkins, squash, sweet corn, heirloom corn, tomatoes, and watermelons. But according to Hayman, that harvest is about to become bigger.

A Grow Plan developed by the University of Missouri’s Land of the Osage Research Center is introducing native species back to the area that the Osage used to traditionally harvest. That includes pawpaw trees, elderberry bushes, pecan trees, hickory nut trees and others, she said. They just received a shipment of the trees and bushes for a new orchard, she said. They will begin planting in the coming weeks.

Hayman said there are no plans to sell the produce locally, only to make it available for Osage tribal members. Currently, produce is given to the Nation’s school systems and elder programs.

In terms of hiring additional staff for the increased operations, she said they will begin hiring at Harvest Land as soon as everything is in order. They recently hired a horticulturist, she said.

Harvest Land is 74.22 acres and the Nation is currently waiting for approval by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to place the land into trust status. The land was first gifted to the Nation in 1990 by the Lynn family and rediscovered by the Standing Bear administration in 2014. Initially named Bird Creek Farms, the land and operations have been renamed Harvest Land.

Harvest Land is located at 102 Midland St., in Pawhuska. For more information on the Nation’s Department of Natural Resources, visit https://www.osagenation-nsn.gov/what-we-do/department-natural-resources


By

Shannon Shaw Duty


Original Publish Date: 2020-12-02 00:00:00

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Shannon Shaw Dutyhttps://osagenews.org
Shannon Shaw Duty is the editor of the Osage News. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor's degree in Journalism and a master's degree in Legal Studies, Indigenous Peoples Law from the OU College of Law. She served on the Board of Directors for the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) from 2013-2016 and served as a board member and Chairwoman for the Pawhuska Johnson O’Malley Parent Committee from 2017-2020. She is a Chips Quinn Scholar, a former instructor for the Freedom Forum’s Native American Journalism Career Conference and the Freedom Forum’s American Indian Journalism Institute. She is a former reporter for The Santa Fe New Mexican. She is a 2012 recipient of the Native American 40 Under 40 from the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED). In 2014 she helped lead the Osage News to receive the Elias Boudinot Free Press Award, NAJA’s highest honor. An Osage tribal member, she and her family are from the Grayhorse District. She currently resides in Pawhuska, Okla., with her husband and six children.
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