Come to Shell Lake, Wisconsin, USA, in the summer of 2011 and visit the Native Restored Remnant Tallgrass Prairie that is dedicated as a Monarch Butterfly Habitat. Tour with Mary Ellen Ryall and learn about differnt native host and nectar plants, shrubs, trees, wild edibles and butterflies.
Ryall, M. E. (2010 October 27). Happy Tonics October News. Washburn County Register, p. 9
October 22 – Mary Ellen Ryall, a 2003 graduate of Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College, Hayward, WI, received a 2010 Outstanding Alumni Award. The award honors an alumni’s outstanding contribution to the college and community.
Marie Basty, was selected to receive the first-ever Alumni Award. Basty graduated in 1996 and was recognized for her personal and professional success. Jason T. Schlender, 2007 Native American Studies graduate, was also honored as a 2010 Outstanding Alumni Award winner.
October 15 – Janine McNulty and her young family visited Happy Tonics Visitors Center/Store. The children brought native seed to help seed the Monarch Butterfly Habitat. McNulty works for the LCO Hertel tribal offices.
She is interested in planting native wildflowers around the tribal buildings in Hertel. She is now able to collaborate with Happy Tonics and LCO in Hayward for leads in how to obtain work study students and interns to assist with this project.
Samuel Thayer reaches for salsify leaves.
October 19 – Samuel Thayer’s Wild Edible Class, UW Barron County, Rice Lake campus, was attended by Ryall and Rochelle Becker, a Happy Tonics volunteer. Thayer is the author of The Forager’s Harvest and Nature’s Garden. For the final class, students brought in wild edibles which were cleaned, prepared and added to the community soup pot. We drank hazelnut milk, ate wild fried parsnips and tossed fiddlehead ferns, puffball mushrooms and chopped dandelion roots into the soup pot. For dessert, we had black nightshade berry – some used to think it was poisonous – topping on cheesecake. The meal was fun and delicious. Every student in the class contributed to making a success of the program. Happy Tonics plans to start one of the first Wild Edibles Club in the USA in Shell Lake, spring 2011. Many students of Thayer’s class are interested in being members of the club.
NOTE: I stand to be corrected about shipping Tall Bluestem Native Grass from Happy Tonics online store. Recently I spoke with Dave Vold, of Shell Lake City Hall. He suggested we not ship the seed because it may not be a native plant elsewhere. Tall bluegrass is a native grass more frequent in prairie states. It is used for prairie restoration, soil erosion, water conservation and as a forage plant for deer and cattle. The plant is also used by birds for nest making and seed. Happy Tonics is always willing to listen. Often opinions add to the collective knowledge base.