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 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.

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.

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