Looking at Cuba’s Organic Food Movement and More

LCO Green Team Sign Honor the Earth

LCO Green Team Sign Honor the Earth

November 3, 2010, The GreenTeam at Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College, in Hayward, WI, hosted the first in the series of the II Annual Environmental Film Fest. There was a good turnout of instructors in science, natural resources and ethnobotany. The event was hosted by Happy Tonics, Inc, LCOOCC and the Sustainable Living Institute.

 A film “Power of Community” showed how Cuba responded after the collapse of Russia in Cuba.  The country had to face a loss of utilities and industry. Transportation came to a grinding halt. The people went from cars to bicycles, from inported food to growing their own as they suffered a loss of income and petroleum for energy. None the less, the people have something to teach the world. They brought back healthy small agriculture that is no longer dependent upon large agricultureal machines and pesticides and herbicides.

Healthy food is now abundant in Cuba and the soil has been improved by sustainable some agricultural and family garden practices. We can learn something from Cuba. The USA and the rest of the world are now experiencing rising food prices as the global food supply is becoming more expensive and fuel prices keep surging. In Wisconsin many communities are starting to raise their own food. Families are maintaining garden plants. Our small farmers are being respected for the job that they do to bring local food to our tables. I see this movement growing in northwest Wisconsin and I feel proud to live in a community that understands that our security comes from knowing who is growing our food and where we can buy local grown produce that is free of chemicals.   

Teresa Depies, owner Springbrook Organic Dairy

Teresa Depies, owner Springbrook Organic Dairy

Teresa Depies, owner of Springbrook Organic Dairy, was the speaker at the November 3rd event. She raised some interesting points. There are new pasture rules in relationship to how many cows can be in the pasture. It is based on waste management. Teresa raises Jersey cows. They are a smaller breed and have less of a waste management problem than other species of dairy cows. This is a Grade A farm.  Teresa and her husband have been in the business since 1990. She is having success in distributing her milk to local grocery stores. I am proud that Dahlstrom’s Grocery Store in Shell Lake sells Springbrook organic milk.

When we buy from our local farmers we are supporting our own crops, dairy, poultry and grass-fed animals. This allows us to be prepared if we where to find ourselves in a “Food Security Situation.” Preparedness is readiness. The Green Team is busy at work networking a local food system into a viable way to purchase food.

Sierra White, intern from Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College

Sierra White, intern from Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College

 

Welcome Sierra White, a LCOOCC student and environmental education intern of Happy Tonics, Inc. Sierra will be Happy Tonics representative at the monthly Environmental Film Fest. She will assist with marketing, advertising, and recruiting partners for a local food network. Sierra will also assist with a “Day Trip”  itinery and partners with Happy Tonics Monarch Butterfly Habitat.

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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.

New Farmer’s Market at Lac Courte Oreilles (LCO) Reservation

Farmers Market Summer 2009 Shell Lake

Farmers Market Summer 2009 Shell Lake

  The 1st LCO Farmer’s Market will take place on Friday, August 6th from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.  in the parking lot of LCO IGA, in Hayward, WI.  We have 3 confirmed vendors and hopefully will get more – but its a start!  This will be a weekly event through the end of September. Submitted by Amber Marlow, LCO Green Team.

Happy Tonics is a member of the LCO Green Team and we applaud everyone who worked so hard to make this a reality. Let’s support our local farmers and stop importing petro food from far and wide.  The community that can feed itself is sustainable. Any questions please contact Amber Marlow at marlowa@lco.edu

I would like to mention that Shell Lake Farmer’s Market is part of the Green Teams effort to promote local grown food. We are in our third year. For information contact John Mahur, (715) 468-7544. Happy Tonics plans to have a table at the Farmer’s Market to sell our teas which we are drying now for packaging. We will also have our events calendar available for visitors who wish to discover Shell Lake’s Native Wildflower and Butterfly Garden.

Joy and Nate at Happy Tonics table at Shell Lake's Farmers Market 2009

Joy and Nate at Happy Tonics table at Shell Lake's Farmers Market 2009

Today I stopped by the Farmer’s Market and bought fresh local corn, beets and kale. There was also green tomatoes, snap peas and green beans.  Right now I am boiling the kale. I grew potatoes at Lakeland Manor senior housing complex. Yes, we have our own container gardens too.  Many seniors living here came from a agricultural background and feel happy knowing we are growing our own vegetables even if in a limited way.

Be happy insectamonarca friends where ever you you.

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