Happy Tonics September News

Ryall, M. E. (2010, October 6). Happy Tonics September News. Washburn County Register, p. 10

Alex paying attention to learning to identify leaves

Alex paying attention to learning to identify leaves

 There was a Fall Youth Plant Science event at the Spooner Ag Research Station on Saturday October 2, 2010. Area 4-H youth and other youth were invited to attend the event. Happy Tonics is proud to announce that the Pines and Lake Girl Scout Troop of Shell Lake attended. The Girl Scout Troop had a container garden at Friendship Commons this past summer. Offering youth gardening opportunities is one way to jumpstart their interest in gardening. 

Emily experiences pure joy as she catches a falling leaf

Emily experiences pure joy as she catches a falling leaf

Kevin Schoessow, UW-Extension Spooner Area Agriculture Agent and UW-Extension Master Gardener Volunteers lead discussions and demonstrations on making compost, planting garlic, pruning grapes and raspberries and putting the garden to bed. There was a tour of the Spooner Ag Research Station Display gardens were youth learned about the “off the grid” drip irrigation system, powered by an airlift tech pump and windmill and the newly constructed hoop house for season extension. The girls learned something about seed saving and enjoyed tasting fresh fruit, vegetables and berries right from the garden.

Kevin showing a button bottom and a peanut shaped squash

Kevin showing a button bottom and a peanut shaped squash

Happy Tonics exhibited at the Lac Courte Oreilles Convention Center as part of the Wellness Fair and Farmers Market on September 30, 2010. The nonprofit organization is a member of the Green Team at the LCO Tribal College which sponsored the event.  A pumpkin and squash display was on Exhibit. The plants are native to the Americas. A Three Sisters Garden (Corn, beans and squash) was grown in the habitat to teach visitors how heirloom organic crops may have been grown by Native Americans in the prairie of long ago. WOJB did a live interview of the Three Sisters Garden with Mary Ellen Ryall.   Happy Tonics volunteer staff shucked Hidatsa beans and packaged organic herb tea and organic culinary herbs for their online Store at http://stores.ebay.com/HAPPY-TONICS

Happy Tonics received a Matching Gift from Hachette Book Group from Park Avenue, New York, as a match to the donation made by Erica Hohos of Worcester, Massachusetts. The donation will allow us to implement memory pavers around the large wild black cherry tree in the Memory Tree Grove. We will honor Happy Tonics members who have passed on with pavers. The nonprofit organization will invite the public to participate in this upcoming fundraiser. Citizens will be able to purchase an engraved paver in memory of their loved ones including family, friends and pets.

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.

Butterflies Are Free Quilt Story

Butterfly quilt.

Quilters Mary Olsen, Marian Brincken, Myrna Atkinson and Mary Rachsler.

Shell Lake, Wisconsin, USA –

A year ago, in January 2009, the Sit and Chat Quilters of Friendship Commons Senior Center began stitching a butterfly quilt as a fundraiser for Happy Tonics, Inc.

 The nonprofit 501(c)(3)environmental education organization and public charity implemented a Monarch Butterfly Habitat on city land in 2007.

 The elders wanted to donate a quilt for a fundraiser to help maintain the habitat.  The restored remnant tall grass prairie boasts native wildflowers and grasses for pollinating insects including butterflies, moths and bees.

The quilters celebrated their One Year Anniversary in January 2010.  It is hard to believe that the ladies are about half way finished with the project.  They meet weekly and work on the quilt for 3 hours at a stretch.  Can you imagine having the patience and diligence to work on a project with this time requirement?  I am amazed by their dedication and persistence.

Mary Olsen

Mary Olsen telling fabric story.

I visited them yesterday, February 11, 2010.  I asked where the fabric came from.  Mary Olsen looked up and said, “We brought in fabric from our homes and matched colors we wanted in the quilt.”  Each butterfly has a story of course because each has a fabric history.  Nothing goes to waste when one is thrifty.  The quilters have lived through the depression, recessions and the booming 90s.  They know the value of sustainability and raising milkweed for the monarch butterfly.  The quilters surely know the value of not throwing things away.

The frame.

The frame story.

Curt Atkinson drives Myrna to the center each week because his wife doesn’t drive.  He helps her unload the frame each week and then the frame is setup by the quilters.

 Myrna explained that the long boards for the frame were donated by Angie Klopp, a quilter up to a few years ago.  No longer able to get about, Angie now resides at Terraceview Living Center in Shell Lake.  Even the frame has a story.

Myrna called me last night to say, “The quilt is 93 inches x 103 inches.  There are 42 big butterflies in the middle and 28 little ones around the edge.”

Stay tuned.  The Butterflies are Free quilt will be auctioned off after it is completed.  Happy Tonics members and friends will have an opportunity to help support the Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake with an online auction in our eBay store.  Visit the store at http://happytonics.org/store/ where we sell milkweed seed, books, and clothing that supports our mission.

%d bloggers like this: