Who says squirrels are not cute

babysquirrelThis photo is copyrighted but I don’t know who the photographer is. I downloaded it from Google animal photos. Today I was at Saratoga Community Garden. My intentions for the visit was to add raw vegetable scraps in the composter. I sat on a bench under the arbor listening to the peepers in the fall warm afternoon sun and enjoying the show before me.

sunflowerpollinatorsWhen I set my eyes on a raised garden bed in the distance, I noticed a brown squirrel in the path chewing on a yellow sunflower head that had fallen to the ground. The squirrel was enjoying a pleasant experience, but decided that he/she wanted to carry it out to a lawn area. At a distance, I watched as he devoired sunflower seeds. I mean this squirrel wasn’t going to stop eating till he/she ate all the seeds. It really was enchanting to watch.

Spend time outside and learn something new about the natural world. Nature calms us down and is healing.

Happy thoughts.

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Dreaming

Today I plan to go out to the Sundial Community Garden and start planting the cool crop seedlings. My sister is dropping off some white rosa rugosa. I am planting thorny plants on the outside of fence to deter the public, including children, from climbing over the fence.Image

It is my hope that we can encourage a youth garden where we can teach children how to grow their own vegetables that they would be proud to bring home to their mothers.

WELLNESS FAIR AND FARMERS MARKET AT LCO CONVENTION CENTER

Join us for the upcoming Wellness Fair and Farmers Market at the Lac Courte Oreilles Convention Center at the Casino in Hayward, WI tomorrow, September 30, 2010 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Baby pumpkin

Baby pumpkin

  We will display native crops that we grew at the Monarch Butterfly Habitat in the summer of 2010. There will be pumpkins and squash.

Happy Tonics will be shucking Hidatsa beans for winter soup and packaging some for our online store at http://stores.ebay.com/HAPPY-TONICS

We will also be packaging our organic herbal teas and culinary herbs that will be available shortly online.

Washburn County Fair – Spooner, WI, July 24, 2010

I hope you will enjoy our type of entertainment up here in the North Country where we honor the heritage of agriculture and country.  Also view our night sky view at http://www.spooneradvocate.com/articles/2010/07/27/news/doc4c4dd47fa6939664545916.txt

Compliments of the Spooner Advocate  in Spooner, Wisconsin.

Quilters win First Place and People’s Choice Ribbons at Washburn County Fair

Myrna Atkinson hand stitching the butterfly quilt

Myrna Atkinson hand stitching the butterfly quilt

Hard at work, Back left Mary, front Marian, Right Myrna and Mary

Hard at work, Back left Mary, front Marian, Right Myrna and Mary

The Sit and Chat Wednesday Quilters of Friendship Commons won the People’s Choice Ribbon and First Place Ribbon in the Cultural Arts Division for the “Butterflies are Free” hand stitched and appliquéd quilt at the Washburn County Fair recently. Design, stitching and overall supervision were made possible by Master Quilter Myrna Atkinson. The dedicated quilters included Myra Atkinson, Mariah Brinken, Carol Hubin, Mary Olsen and Mary Raehsler.

The quilters met weekly for a whole year to complete the cultural art winner. The quilt will be sold by Happy Tonics, Inc. to support the nonprofit and the Monarch Butterfly Habitat.

Visit Happy Tonics at 25 Fifth Avenue, Shell Lake, Wisconsin to see the quilt at the Grand Opening event on August 3, 2010. 

Butterfly up close

Butterfly up close

Kucinich on GMOs

On June 21, 2010, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) announced he would introduce three bills to comprehensively regulate all genetically engineered products, including a bill that would require all foods containing genetically modified ingredients to be labeled.

Kucinich on GMOs: “Why do we continue to throw precaution to the wind?”

“Today the Supreme Court ruled that when it comes to genetically modified organisms, we as consumers have to wait until the damage is done and obvious before we can act to protect health and the environment, even if that damage could be irreversible.”

“Haven’t we learned from the catastrophe in the Gulf of the dangers of technological arrogance, of proceeding ahead with technologies without worrying about the consequences? Why do we continue to throw precaution to the wind?

“Tomorrow I will introduce three bills that will provide a comprehensive regulatory framework for all Genetically Engineered (GE) plants, animals, bacteria, and other organisms. To ensure we can maximize benefits and minimize hazards, Congress must provide a comprehensive regulatory framework for all GE products. Structured as a common-sense precaution to ensure GE foods do no harm, these bills will ensure that consumers are protected, food safety measures are strengthened, farmers’ rights are better protected and biotech companies are responsible for their products.”

– Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), a long-time advocate of family farmers and organic foods, on June 21, 2010, after the Supreme Court voted 7-1 to allow the experimental planting of genetically modified alfalfa seed before an environmental review is completed

Northwest Wisconsin Sustainable Living Fair

You are invited to attend a day long event at the Rusk County Fairgronds in Ladysmith, Wisconsin on July 10, 2010. Mary Ellen Ryall will speak at 10 a.m. on the Plight of the Monarch Butterfly.

http://www.nwwisustainablelivingfair.com

Environmental Film Festival “King Corn”

Yesterday Happy Tonics was a co-sponsor at the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College’s Film Fest featuring “King Corn.”  Mary Ellen Ryall, Executive Director of the nonprofit spoke about Oneida Corn, a tribal corn, that originated in New York State near Syracuse and Utica.  The corn seed was gifted to the Oneida tribe to the west side of Green Bay, Wisconsin in 1992.

Oneida corn

Oneida tribal corn

In 2009 Oneida corn was grown out by Mike Brenna of Little Footprint Farm, Turtle Lake, Wisconsin.

Mike told me that the Oneida Tribe in Wisconsin gave him some of the corn seed.  He cherished the seed and only gave us three ears.  I take one dried ear with me when I am lecturing. 

Corn silk is medicinal and good for urinary tract infection.  The dried silks can be added to soups and stews.  Ayner Larson (originally from Turkey) told me the silks can be used in tea. 

Phytochemicals:  Maysin, Carvacrol, Flavonoids and Polyphenols make up some of the medicinal properties of corn silk. 

Maysin helps protect the plant from bag bug larva such as European Corn Borer.  What is good for the plant may be good for our own intestinal health. 

Carvacrol may have antibacterial, anti fungal, antiviral and anti-cancer  properties when naturally distilled in liquid.  If corn silks are in a liquid base such as tea, soup and stew, this will allow the phytochemical to release its essence into the liquid.

Flavonioids have antioxidant properties.  Polyphenol also has antioxidant properties.  Rather, they may affect cell-to-cell signaling, receptor sensitivity, inflammatory enzyme activity or gene regulation.

Food sources are more than just a question of eating.  Are we conscious of what we eat?  For example, Oneida corn is a life substance to the Oneida people.  My ancestors came from Ireland and I am tied to the potato.  Being connected to our ancestral food has an effect on our DNR.  We are linked to our past through food.

King Corn points out that corn being grown today is often not for human consumption.  Corn is grown to feed cattle in the concentrated animal feed operations.  It is often grown as a byproduct called corn syrup.  It’s in mayonnaise, ketchup, boxed food and soft drinks.  Corn syrup is a processed product from a non food source. Diabetes is often caused by a diet of high corn syrup.  The closer to the natural food source, the healthier we can be. 

Happy Tonics display featured Tarahumara corn from a remote area of  Sierra Tarahumara, Chihuahua, Mexico.  Growing biodiversity of corn species can keep the landraces alive. There are more types of corn besides yellow sweet corn.  Tribal people understand the importance of growing dent, flour, flint, popcorn and sweet corn. 

Tarahumara serape corn

tarahumara serape corn

 Tarahumara serape corn tassels.  Just look at the beautiful red striked tassels.  This species is a  Flour/Flint Corn.  When dry, flints generally store better and have a great resistance to insect damage.  The kernals can be toasted and ground and popped.

There is more to the corn story.  Visit http://happytonics.org/mbr13b1.htm to read the Colonization of Maize by Mary Ellen Ryall.

Be happy insectamonarca friends where ever you are.

The Good Dream Starts with a VOTE

Hello Insectamonarca friends,

I just watched a video of the Shuar Indians of Ecuador who knew that their world was disappearing when the outer world started to invade the Rainforest.  I lived in the Amazon along the Napo and Misahualli River in the late 1970s.  Please learn more here at http://www.pachamama.org/content/view/262/97/

Copyright Sue Sill

Lady sitting in Guadamala copyright by Sue Sill

  I am asking for your VOTE so that we can adapt to climate change with native habitat and community garden in Shell Lake, WI, USA.  It is not that far away from Ecuador in the dream time.  The Shuar say, “The North needs to change its dream.”  Materialism is causing all kinds of harm to Mother Earth known as “Pachamama” in South America.  We need to start to grow our own local and organic food and protect and plant native habitat for all species be it plant or animals.  Man cannot live without the natural world.

Please Sign Up and Vote for our Grant Proposal with Brighter Planet at http://brighterplanet.com/project_fund_projects/100

I won’t be blogging tomorrow so I am wishing you a Happy Sunday.  Thank you for being part of our dream.

Mary Ellen

Day 11 – Let’s Vote and Speak Out about Climate Change

I am awed that we have reached so many VOTERS through Brighter Planet. As of 9:30 p.m., 193 conscientous citizens have voted for our grant proposal.    Thank you.  We are still plugging for VOTES for Climate Change Native Habitat and Community Garden in Shell Lake.  For those of you signing up and VOTING now please click on http://brighterplanet.com/project_fund_projects/100 and give us your support.

 Happy Tonics hopes you will listen to testimony about climate change by Ross Gelbspan, author of “The Heat Is On,” on his Web site at http://www.heatisonline.org/  It is no longer about when.  It is about how we are going to adapt to Climate Change. 

Cherry tomago

native tomatoes raised in containers at Lakeland Manor

  All of us need to bring the message home that we need to protect biodiversity and plant native grasses, wildflowers and crops to withstand climate change.  I am hopeful of seeing many rain barrels in place this year in Shell Lake.  Andrew Eiche, Executive Director of HUD Housing, told me he plans to grant our request for a rain barrel for resident container gardens at Lakeland Manor, senior housing, in Shell Lake in 2010. 

 I called Jeff Parker, Director of Public Works, Shell Lake, today about donating a rain barrel for Friendship Commons where the girl scouts are going to plant a container garden with an Aldo Leopold Education and Pheasants Forever Grant.  The seniors are pleased that the younger generation will be involved in beautifying outside the center.  The educational garden will teach others about growing bee pollinator, butterfly (second more important pollinator), herb, flower and veggie gardens.

Happy Tonics is thrilled that Shell Lake is starting to get the message that we need to grow local and organic food. 

Borage a bee plant

Borage a taste of cucumber and bee plant

 We need native plants for pollinators.  It has taken Happy Tonics a few years of teaching environmental education to reach the public on a deep and profound level.  Protecting Mother Earth comes natural to Happy Tonics.  Nick Vander Puy, reporter at News from Indian Country, wrote on his Facebook blog recently something to the effect, “Our grandchildren will ask what did you do during the Great War for the Earth?”

 It is all about the baby steps and teaching others how to grow their own food in sustainable ways to adapt to Climate Change.

Be happy Voters where ever you are.

Day Six – PLEASE VOTE for Climate Change Native Habitat…on Brighter Planet

Brighter Planet logo copyright

Please help pump up the votes.  Please Sign up AND VOTE for the Climate Change Native Habitat and Community Garden Shell Lake grant proposal at Brighter Planet at http://brighterplanet.com/project_fund_projects/100

Happy Tonics wants to thank Donna Barnes-Haesemeyer, Mayor of Shell Lake, for her VOTE.  The Mayor and I took part in The Natural Step for Communities – How Cities and Town can Change to Sustainable Practices in 2008.  I am proud to announce that Shell Lake is a sustainable city.

farmers market

Local grown food Famers Market

The mayor has implemented many initiatives to help the city start a Farmers Market, promote community gardens, improve wetlands and increase native habitat.  She is proactive in environmental advocacy work. 

Personally I am proud to live in this small community where so many are trying to protect the lake from invasive species.  We have the cleanest lake in Washburn County and perhaps throughout many areas in Wisconsin.  The Shoreline Protection Committee is reestablishing native habitat at 13 public access areas around the lake. 

cottonwood tree

The campground with aged cottonwood tree and lake

native black-eyed Susan

Native black-eyed Susan at Native Wildflower and Butterfly Garden.

Happy Tonics implemented a Native Wildflower and Butterfly Garden on city land.  Now we are trying to raise funds through Brighter Planet to maintain the habitat and help the community with community gardens.

  Let me tell you way.  Washburn County will shortly be impacted by 8,000 more people who have been taken off the unemployment benefits roll.  This means that food pantries need to gear up to address an ever increasing crisis in food security for citizens.

A community that can feed itself is sustainable.  You are allowed three votes and we are asking for your help.  Please sign up and VOTE for the Climate Change Native Habitat and Community Garden Shell Lake grant proposal at Brighter Planet at http://brighterplanet.com/project_fund_projects/100

Thank you for VOTING and proving you care. 

Quote Source:  Cassie McCrow wrote on Nick Vander Puy’s blog: “The genius of hunter-gatherers is that they must live as a part of nature rather than a manipulator of it – playing by nature’s rules, if you will. Part of that is the exchange – gratitude, relationship and respect (all good energies) for food, clothing and shelter.”

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