PLEASE VOTE FOR OUR GRANT PROPOSAL on Brighter Planet

Happy Tonics has been selected again as a candidate for the April 1 – 15 VOTING PERIOD with Brighter Planet.  Our Grant Proposal Native Habitats and Community Gardens in Shell Lake, Wisconsin, needs your VOTE at
http://brighterplanet.com/project_fund_projects/100
We are a nonprofit 501(c)(3) Environmental Education Organization and Public Charity.  Officers and board work for free.
 
 
Please take a minute to REGISTER on BRIGHTER PLANET and VOTE for our Grant Proposal.  Thank you for helping us create a world of beauty for today and the future.  
 
Bees on Coneflower

Native Bumblebees on coneflower

  Our work is dedicated to helping the littlest of species the pollinating butterflies and native bees that need our help.  We grow native habitat and crops to promote biodiversity which pollinators depend upon.

Thank you for VOTING for our Cause at http://brighterplanet.com/project_fund_projects/100
 
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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 Ten – Counting Votes for Climate Change Native Habitat Community Gardens in Shell Lake, WI

http://vimeo.com/7327532     Check out Brighter Planent’s short video of a bee and a daisy.

Happy Tonics Environmental Education Intern Tabitha Brown is a student at Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College.  She took the initiative to email the entire student body with permission from the college staff.  Tabitha is also getting out the word out on her MySpace Blog So what’s up?  She is recruiting for friends and students to Sign Up and Vote for Happy Tonics grant proposal at Brighter Planet for Climate Change Native Habitat and Community Garden in Shell Lake, WI.  We need your votes at http://brighterplanet.com/project_fund_projects/100

Our Morph Your Mind Environmental Education Program teaches about Colony Collapse Disorder and importance of native wildflowers as pollen sources for bees that need our help.   Seeing Beyond Ourselves, we hope you too will help our friends the native plants, bees and butterflies and the crops that feed us.  All these species are experiencing stress because of climate change.  Help us make a difference in our hometown.  We are a sustainable city but to plant gardens and maintain a Restored Remnant Tallgrass Prairie and butterfly meadow, we need funds to do so.  We are grateful to Brighter Planet for this opportunity.

You are voting for species that cannot speak for themselves.  Bless your hearts.

Day Nine – Teaching Importance of Native Crops through Brighter Planet Grant Proposal

A special thank you to Tim Reedy, State Farm Insurance, of Spooner, WI, for voting for our cause.  To the countless anonymous voters, we are grateful that you are supporting our grant proposal.  

Happy Tonics collaborates with Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College to teach that we need to grow local and native crops to support biodiversity of plants and pollinators during climate change.  Please Sign up and VOTE for Climate Change Native Habitat and Community Gardens Shell Lake grant proposal at Brighter Planet at http://brighterplanet.com/project_fund_projects/100  Your votes may help decide if we are able to secure funding for the Morph Your Mind Environmental Education Program that reaches far and wide to bring Indigenous wisdom of sustainability to the public.  

Beautiful corn silks that add flavoring and nutrients to soup.

The Lac Courte Oreilles OJibwe Community College (LCOOCC) Sustainable Living Institute in partnership with the LCO Green Team, Happy Tonics Butterfly Sanctuary, and LCOOCC Library are bringing an Environmental Film Festival to LCO! 

 February 18th Event in the Auditorium includes: 

 Luncheon: Prepared by LCO Elders Association, Student Center $5 – serving starts at 11:30 a.m.
Noon:  Speaker:  Mary Ellen Ryall, Happy Tonics Butterfly Sanctuary Executive Director.
Topic: Role of biodiversity of native corn and reasons why native crops best survive climate change.
12:15pm Film:  “King Corn”
1:45pm Community Discussion:  Advocacy to Action! 

Native dent, flour, flint, popcorn and sweet corn

 Almost everything Americans eat contains corn: high fructose corn syrup, corn-fed meat, and corn-based processed foods are the staples of the modern diet.  Ready for an adventure and alarmed by signs of their generation’s bulging waistlines, college friends Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis know where to go investigate.

Eighty years ago, Ian and Curt’s great-grandfathers lived just a few miles apart, in the same rural county in northern Iowa.  Now their great-grandsons are returning with a mission:  they will plant an acre of corn, follow their harvest into the world, and attempt to understand what they—and all of us—are really made of.  Visit the movie link to learn more at http://www.kingcorn.net/ 

Good night dear voters where ever you are.

Day Eight – You did it! You got us over the hump with 100 VOTES

And on the Seventh Day They Rested.

What a great weekend. Thank you one and all for voting on our grant proposal at Brighter Planet. Happy Tonics now qualifies for another chance at the brass ring in the future because we got 100 VOTES. The nonprofit realizes that we are up against some pretty stiff competition.  New Orleans is in the lead with their grant proposal.  Winning the Super Bowl Sunday was a wonderful success. Well done Saints. 

Be sure to Sign up and VOTE at Brighter Planet for Climate Change for Native Habitat and Community Garden Shell Lake at http://brighterplanet.com/project_fund_projects/100

Good news!  February 8, the Washburn County Public Property and Land Sales Committee granted Happy Tonics permission to plant a raised bed garden at Friendship Commons, the senior center, in the summer of 2010. 

Libby loves being a butterfly

 Girl Scout Troop Number 4392 (MN, WI Lakes and Pines) will plant, grow and maintain the garden.  Seniors will be partners in this intergenerational activity.  A grant from Leopold Education Project and Pheasants Forever are funding the project.  Happy Tonics believes that all sustainability projects are accomplished from the ground up.  A community that can feed itself is sustainable. 

The garden will be a teaching garden.  We teach through the monarch butterfly who is the canary in the coal mine.  What happens to the butterfly can happen to us.

 Even a little grant is a big thing to a small nonprofit.  We volunteer for Happy Tonics. Won’t you help us spread our wings to teach others to adapt to climate change?

We offer the Morph Your Mind Environmental Education Program.  Our classes, events and two native wildflower and butterfly gardens are nature’s outdoor classrooms where we teach others about the importance of native crops and plants as native host and nectar sources for the monarch butterfly and other pollinators.  The natural landscape supports life.  Monoculture and invasive species are replacing native habitat.  Native habitat is the only habitat can withstands drought conditions and climate change.   

Taking Environmental Education to the Classroom

Thank you for your kindness.

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.”

Day Five- HELP US GET 100 VOTES Over Weekend Brighter Planet

We are only 14 VOTES away from 100 VOTES.  I know we can do it with your help.  Please REGISTER AND VOTE for Climate Change Native Habitat and Community Garden Shell Lake at Brighter Planet at http://brighterplanet.com/project_fund_projects/100

monarch hat

Wear your passion and show others you care.

We want to thank Salt of the Earth Press at http://www.saltpress.com/

for voting today.  Be sure to check out our beautiful butterfly art wear created by Lindy Casey, owner of Salt of the Earth Press.

 Lindy was kind enough to create butterfly product designed by artist and Happy Tonics former member Kathy Maas at CafePress.  All sales support Happy Tonics’ Monarch Butterfly Habitat and Morph Your Mind Environmental Education Programs. 

Earth Friendly Water Bottle art by K. Maas

We will campaign over the weekend on the blogs to recruit, recruit, and recruit for your VOTES. Be happy voters where ever you are.

Day Four – Ringing the Bell for Brighter Planet Grant

We’re almost there at 81 VOTES at 9:10 p.m.  Only 19 more VOTES to go till we reach 100.  Yeah Team!  If you are watching the results and have voted once, you are entitled to two more votes.  Each voter can vote three times.  If you are new please REGISTER AND VOTE AT http://brighterplanet.com/project_fund_projects/100 for Climate Change Native Habitat and Community Garden Shell Lake. 

Monarch Butterfly Habitat Sign

Got Milkweed? Sign made by Matt with DNR Grant

milkweed

Wild milkweed meadow Go Wild with Butterflies

I thought you might be interested in the DNR Monarch Butterfly Habitat that Happy Tonics has land use for a seasonal habitat.  Just look at the milkweed.  Native milkweed is the only host plant of the monarch butterfly and this meadow is full of milkweed.   Here is a photo of our sign that Matt made last year with a small grant from the Spooner DNR.

Today we want to thank Paul DeMain, Editor of News from Indian Country, for voting and passing the word along.  Please read Nick Vander Puy’s interview with Dawn White on the Importance of Water. 

Happy Tonics is a co-sponsor of the Environmental Film Festival.   We heard from Belinda Bowling, Owner Innkeeper, Casa Escondida Bed & Breakfast in Chimayo, New Mexico at http://www.casaescondida.com/

Sandy Stein and I had the pleasure of staying at the Casa when we were exhibiting at Tesuque Pueblo, New Mexico, in 2008.  Facebook friend Amy Lou Jenkins, author of Every Natural Fact Five Seasons of Open Air Parenting also voted for our grant proposal.  The book has not been released yet but can be pre-ordered.  We like to make friends all along the way.  So many individuals have emailed to say they have voted and we are deeply honored.  You never know who your friends are until you need them.

 Till tomorrow, keep up the good work.  REGISTER AND VOTE for Happy Tonics.  We love hearing from you.

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