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April Newsletter

Spring has arrived! 

As the sun shines upon the earth for a few minutes longer each day, the sounds and smells of Spring become much more prevalent. Before climate instability, our ancestors would read the stars and the phenology of nature. Their lives were guided by the thinning ice on waterways, the return of certain winged relatives or the changing color of the four-legged relatives coats. Although much of the Earth around us is still covered by a blanket of snow, we are using our greenhouse space to awaken the seeds that will nourish us later this year. Our bundle of Indigenous seeds are planted with the cycle of the moon, just as they were planted by our ancestors since time immemorial. Planting the seeds with the moon cycle not only gives the seed the perfect environment to germinate, but is also a necessary practice to prevent cross-pollination later this growing season. 

The stewards of the farm continue to research best practices on ways to regenerate the soils that have nourished our youth and communities. We have added different tools and implements to reduce compaction and erosion; feed the micro- /macro- biology of the soil; and incorporate perennial insectary strips throughout the farm. We are doing our best to leave the earth better than we found it and to ensure our future generations will have nutrient-rich soils to farm in the future.

April is often called Iskigamizige-Giizis (Iskigamizige-to boil things down / Giizis-sun or moon; Ojibwe). This is usually the maple tree tapping season. Ininaatigoog is the Ojibwe word for maple trees. Before boiling down the sap, there is a ceremony to thank the trees for the gift of sugar. Imbiindaakoojigemin means, "We are offering tobacco." A feast is often involved, so you may hear--Inga-wiikongemin. "We are going to have a feast." The songs are sung and the prayer pipe is brought out to show our gratitude for the beautiful gift of sugar/calories as we made it through the winter. The birds are returning and bringing the season of Ziigwan (Spring). The days are longer and the nights grow shorter. Ani-goshkozi akiing, meaning, "Here, the land is starting to wake up."

At Dream of Wild Health, we are excited to kick-off Spring with you! Our team is growing, we have begun planting seeds, and are preparing to welcome our Cora's Kids and Garden Warriors to the farm again this season. 

Miigwech / Pidamaye / Ahéhee' / Pinagigi / Wado / Goshted / Thank you for your ongoing support and participation!

The Dream of Wild Health team

(Spring intro provided by Jessika Greendeer, Farm Director. Plant, medicine and language teachings provided by Hope Flanagan, Community Outreach & Cultural Teacher.)
 


Day at Porky's Sugarbush


Last month, we were able to incorporate and teach our youth about Sugarbushing at Porky’s Sugarbush! We brought 8 youth to Porky’s over two weekends and endured the cold to chop wood, carry syrup, and make sugar. We really appreciate Deb and those at Porky’s who made us all feel so welcome and taught us so much. This was an amazing opportunity for our Youth Leaders to showcase their strength in the community and continue with their teachings.

Miigwech / Pidamaye / Thank you to our hosts at Porky's Sugarbush and to the elders for sharing your teachings. We had an amazing time!


Miigwech / Pidamaye / Ahéhee' / Pinagigi / Wado / Goshted / Thank you to everyone who donated and shared our Indigenous Food Share Solidarity Fund! With your support we exceeded our fundraising goal and raised over $10,900, which will directly support Indigenous Food Shares (IFS) for Native families in the Twin Cities metro area who would otherwise not be able to afford a share. This fund has allowed us to transition our IFS program to a sliding scale payment model, which greatly increases access to Indigenous foods in our community. Any remaining funds from this season will roll-over to next season. We hope to continue these fundraising efforts each season allowing us to continue building food sovereignty in our community, especially as we grow and expand into the new land we are stewarding.

The need to increase access to Indigenous foods in our community is clear. We received more requests to join our IFS program this season than ever before. We sold out of shares during our pre-sale and the waitlist quickly filled up; and last year, we sold out in just a few hours. We have doubled the size of our IFS program last season and we look forward to growing into additional acreage as we expand to meet the needs of our community. 

Thank you to all of our IFS members, both present and past - we truly can’t do this work without you!

To those who we were unable to accommodate into our IFS program this season: we hope you’ll continue to support us as we grow and we invite you to join other opportunities to access our farm’s foods and medicines via online ordering and the farmers market (stay tuned for 2022 season announcements).

We are so grateful for your continued support, and can’t do this work without each and every one of you!

  Donate to Dream of Wild Health today! Together, we grow strong leaders, rebuild indigenous food systems, and increase food access to our community.  Find out what Dream of Wild Health means to our youth by watching this DWH Video
 
Upcoming Community Events & Reminders
All times are Central Standard Time unless otherwise noted.
 
Learn language for this time of the year!

Ma¥a okada wi
April: goose egg-laying moon
Dakota

Iskigamizige-Giizis
To boil things down moon
Ojibwe

 
Astrid Clem's, The Root of The Problem. Astrid Clem (Ojibwe), DWH Youth Leader and Garden Warrior shared, "It is meant to show what I believe are some of the causes and effects of colonization on Native communities and specifically, Native women. Written on the roots of the tree are some of the causes such as systemic racism, murder, patriarchy, and the case of Oliphant v. Suquamish. On the branches of the tree are the effects of these issues which include:murder rates 10 times the national average, half-hearted investigations, the dehumanization of women, and unawareness of MMIW.”

Miigwech / Thank you for sharing your beautiful artwork with us, Astrid! 
 
 
Reminder to apply by Friday, April 8th!

Apply for your Native youth to join our Cora's Kids and Garden Warriors sessions this summer. Youth will learn about growing and cooking Indigenous foods, Indigenous seeds, and culture. Youth Program info here

 - Cora's Kids (ages 8-12): Apply Here
 - Garden Warriors (ages 13-18): Apply Here

Questions? Contact Youth & Community Programs Coordinator, Matt McDonald.

Program dates are subject to change depending on COVID-19 guidelines by CDC and MDH. Our staff has safety protocols and reduced numbers in place to keep our communities safe. 

 
The Indigenous Food Network (IFN) aims to increase access to healthy Indigenous foods and increase consumption of healthy Indigenous foods. It provides an opportunity for Native-led organizations in the Twin Cities to work together to rebuild a sovereign food system by identifying and leveraging community assets.
 
Indigenous Food Sovereignty is the right for Indigenous nations and peoples to define their own diets and shape food systems that are congruent with their spiritual and cultural values.
 
The mission of the IFN is to rebuild sovereign food systems within the intertribal Native communities through collaboration.
The vision of the IFN is to reclaim our health for future generations, recognizing that Food Is Medicine.

IFN Partner Highlights:
NACDI is hiring an Assistant Market Manager for the Four Sisters Farmers Market. 

Miigwech / Pidamayaye to our IFN partners at Native American Community Clinic who participated in our Seed Sowing event at the farm to support our pollinators! Pictured.
 

If you would like to get involved or want more information about the IFN please contact Program Coordinator, Kateri Tuttle.
 
Healthy Indigenous foods and lifeways, collaboration, and community are at the heart of what we do. Pidamayaye / Miigwech / Thank you to all of our IFN partners for all the work you do and for your continued participation and support!
 
Maple Roasted Spring Vegetables
Makes 3-4 servings

Ingredients:

2 bunches radishes, washed with leaves and ends trimmed, cut in half
2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into cubes
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
4 medium carrots, sliced into 1-inch pieces
¼  cup olive oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Salt and pepper to taste
 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil
2. Add all of the vegetables to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, and salt/pepper. Drizzle the mixture over the vegetables and toss to combine. 
4. Spread vegetables evenly onto the prepared baking sheet and bake until tender, 30-35 minutes. 

Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

Find more recipes in the Dream of Wild Health Youth Leader cookbook!
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