Cherilyn Yazzie understands the importance of healthy eating. As a social worker for more than a decade, and a Navajo woman, she managed the nutrition services department for Navajo County Public Health. She would continually recommend nutritionally dense and healthful foods to her clients.
Fresh fruits and vegetables weren’t always readily available, especially to those located on Navajo Nation reservation, where both a food deserts exist within the desert.
So to help her community, she and her husband, Mike Hester, started Coffee Pot Farms. Using a greenhouse, drip irrigation, careful soil management, and other techniques, they produce fresh produce despite the harsh desert conditions and lack of water.
Since 2016, they’ve been running and operating the farm, providing fresh produce to the Navajo Nation.
And now, Cherilyn Yazzie’s story will be shared even more widely, featuring in a documentary film, Big Water Summer: A Creation Story at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival.
The film follows Cherilyn as she embarks on her largest crop to date, faces an unprecedented drought, navigates the financial challenges of land ownership restrictions on the reservation, and overcomes devastating loss from the pandemic.
The screening times are as follows:
- Sunday, March 13 at 2:30 pm local time at the Rollins Theatre at the Long Center
- Monday, March 14 at 9:00 am local time; Online only
- March 17 at 3:30 pm local time at Alamo Lamar D
"It means so much to me that my entrepreneurial journey will now be shared with thousands at SXSW and beyond," said Cherilyn Yazzie, Farmer and Owner of Coffee Pot Farms. "I hope that this film empowers others to take the leap and start their own ventures."