Thursday, January 23, 2014


Last week I got to join a group of Wisconsin gardeners, land stewards, and others to tour Tsyunhehkwa, the organic farm, commercial cannery, and natural retail store of the Oneida Nation. It is an impressive operation. I'll plan to return in the fall for their annual White Corn Harvest and Husking Bee. In addition to traditional white flint corn and cash crops, the farm includes herds of Black Angus cattle, buffalo, and an apple orchard that sells to two local retailers and holds pick-your-own hours.
In addition to the thrill of seeing buffalo (in the distance) and getting out in the winter landscape, it was great to get to meet some of the people on the tour. Among them Abby, an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer who heads up several Community Gardens with the Brown County UW-Extension Office and Gretchen and Jazz of Milwaukee's Victory Garden Initiative. Hooray for northeastern Wisconsin land stewardship and women who get things done with land and communities!

In these days when the cold feels relentless and the darkness long it is uplifting to see programs like Tsyunhehkwa and to get to meet people such as Abby, Gretchen and Jazz. It's the promise of warmer weather and future growth. 
Program manager Jeff Metoxen talks to the group about the farm.