From the Earth

Progress report for LNC18-414

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2018: $131,676.00
Projected End Date: 12/01/2021
Grant Recipient: Stockbridge-Munsee Community
Region: North Central
State: Wisconsin
Project Coordinator:
Kellie Zahn
Stockbridge-Munsee Community
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Project Information

Summary:

"From the Earth" is a community-based educational project that will provide a hands-on learning space and resources dedicated to increasing the number of local food producers within a rural community. This project will involve the expansion of current community gardens into a new learning space that demonstrates vegetable production techniques, soil conservation practices, honeybee hives, and a pollinator habitat that create a holistic approach to food production. The objectives of this project are to increase community outreach and education regarding food production, and increase the number of sustainably active farmers in the community. The Stockbridge-Munsee Community (SMC) has conducted several community surveys and planning meetings regarding the development of a sustainable food production project that will restore the community members ability to produce their own food.

"From the Earth" will be open to all interested community members with a primary focus of new farmers and food producers within the SMC and surrounding area. Anticipated outcomes of this project are beneficial to SMC farmers by providing a learning space that offers techniques that can be adapted by the farmers for any size of food production system. "From the Earth" will create a long-term support system with resources available for the community.

This project will be done in a series of phases over a three-year period, with a main focus of education throughout the growing season. This will be done through hands-on field days, a video teaching blog (vlog), and fact sheets. The Project Coordinator will also develop an end of year report, documenting time and money spent in each of the project areas. The SMC Food Sovereignty Committee will be the sounding board for this project and will assist the Project Coordinator with the management of this project.

Project Objectives:

Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will gain knowledge and skills of vegetable production techniques and soil conservation practices.
2. Participants will gain resources and information on keeping honeybee hives and developing pollinator habitats.

Action Outcomes

1. Farmers will implement sustainable horticulture skills, such as: cover cropping and composting on their farms.
2. Farmers will use new vegetable production techniques, such as: raised rows, raised beds, row crops with living mulches and plastic mulches.
3. Farmers will participate in pollinator habitat development and staging of honeybee hive.
4. Increase the number of SMC farmers producing fresh vegetables.

Introduction:

From the Earth is a community based education project focused on providing hands on experiences for farmers near and around the Stockbridge-Munsee Community. Educational content in developed for three categories: Vegetable Crop Production, Beekeeping, and Indigenous Crop Production. Through this project local farmers are able to learn about production techniques relevant to the area and are able to network with presenters and other local farmers to discuss challenges and opportunities for their farms.

Cooperators

Click linked name(s) to expand

Research

Involves research:
No
Participation Summary

Education

Educational approach:

This project has a multi-facet educational approach. The primary base for educational activities take place at the Farm the Earth Farm learning center. This is a farm designed to conduct trials and demonstrations for local farmers and community members to demonstrate fruit and vegetable growing techniques, beekeeping, and traditional Mohican crop growing techniques. On farm demonstrations are the primary form of education during the typical growing season (May-September). In conjunction with the on-farm demonstrations, fact sheets and educational videos are created to share the information with a greater audience and are used as a reference guide for program participants. Furthermore, data is collected on vegetable production and harvest information. This data is complied and made available through an end of year report to the community and class participants. This data includes crop yield, harvest dates, and an estimation of income generated from the sale of the crop through a variety of market channels including whole sale, farmers market, and a CSA. Numbers for the CSA and Farmers Market reflect projected sales within the Stockbridge-Munsee Community. 

2020 Crop Information

What's in the box? Full Shares Half Shares
Week 1- July 29th Green Beans- 4#
Lettuce- Large 1#
Basil- Large
Garlic Scapes (6)
Zucchini (2)
Green Beans- 1.5#
Lettuce- Medium .5#
Basil- Small
Garlic Scapes (3)
Zucchini (1)
Week 2 1 Pepper
1 Cucumber
1 Zucchini
Green Beans- 3#
Sugar Snap Peas- 8 oz
Lettuce- Large 1#
Cherry Tomatoes- 4
Radish- Small Bunch
Basil- Large
Garlic-2
1 Pepper
1 Cucumber
1 Zucchini
Green Beans- 1.25#
Lettuce- Medium .5#
Radish-2
Basil- Small
Garlic-1
Week 3 Green Beans- 2#
Green Onions- 7
Sugar Snap Peas- 4 oz
Tomatoes- Pint
Basil- Large
Cucumbers- 3
Zucchini- 1
Pepper-1
Kohlorabi-1
Lettuce- Large 1#
Potatoes- 1.5#
Green Beans- 1#
Green Onions- 3
Sugar Snap Peas- 4 oz
Tomatoes- 1/2 Pint
Basil- Small
Cucumbers- 1
Zucchini- 1
Lettuce- Medium .5#
Potatoes- .75#
Week 4 Beans- #3
Cucumbers-4
Carrots- .5#
Corn- 4 ears
Tomatoes- 1 qt
Peas- 6oz
Lettuce- .5#
Potatoes- 1.5#
Basil- :Large Bag
Zucchini- 2
Pepper- 1
Kohlorabi- 1
Beans- #1.5
Cucumbers-2
Carrots- .5#
Corn- 2 ears
Tomatoes- 1 pt
Lettuce- .5#
Potatoes- .75#
Basil- :Small Bag
Zucchini- 1
Pepper- 1
Week 5 Beans- #3
Cucumbers-4
Carrots- .5#
Corn- 6 ears
Tomatoes- 1 qt
Lettuce- 1#
Potatoes- 2#
Zucchini- 1
Pepper- 2
Beans- #1.5
Cucumbers-2
Carrots- .5#
Corn- 3 ears
Tomatoes- 1 pt
Lettuce- .5#
Potatoes- .75#
Zucchini- 1
Pepper- 1
Week 6 Beans- 1.25#
Cilantro- 1 Bunch
Potatoes- 2#
Zucchini- 1
Peppers- 2
Carrots- 1 bunch
Corn- 8
Tomaotes- 1 qt
Letuce- .5#
Peas- 4oz
Beans- .75#
Cilantro- 1 Bunch
Potatoes- 1#
Zucchini- 1
Peppers- 1
Carrots- 1 bunch
Corn- 4
Tomaotes- 1 pt
Letuce- .25#
Week 7 Potatoes- 2.5#
Corn- 6
Pumpkin- 1
Cucumbers- 4
Zucchini- 2
Tomatoes- Quart
Apples- 3.5-3.75#
Onions-3
Peppers-2
Peas- 4 oz
Potatoes- 1.25#
Corn- 3
Pumpkin- 1
Cucumbers- 2
Zucchini-1
Tomatoes- pint
Apples- 1.75#
Onions-2
Peppers-1
Week 8 Potatoes- 2.5#
Acorn or Spagehetti-1
Cucumbers- 4
Zucchini- 1
Tomatoes- 2
Apples- 3 #
Peppers-1
Cabbage- 1
Herbs- Assortment
Potatoes- 2.5#
Acorn or Spagehetti-1
Cucumbers- 4
Zucchini- 1
Tomatoes- 2
Apples- 1.5 #
Peppers-1
Cabbage- 1
Herbs- Assortment
Week 9 9/22 Potatoes- 3#
Carrots- 5 oz
Peas- 6 oz
Cucumbers- 3
Apples- 4.25#
Pepper- 1
Squash/ Melon-1
Lettuce- .5#
Onions- 2
Tomatoes- 1 large & 8 cherry
Corn- 4
Potatoes- 1.5#
Carrots- 2.5 oz
Peas- 2.5 oz
Cucumbers- 2
Apples- 2.5#
Pepper- 1
Squash/ Melon-1
Lettuce- .25#
Onions- 1
Tomatoes- 8 cherry
Week 9.5 9/24 Cabbage- 1
Squash- 1
Pumpkin- 2
Peas- 10oz
Assorted Extra Items
Cabbage- 1
Squash- 1
Pumpkin- 1
Assorted Extra Items

 

Crop Weight Commodity
 Value/ #
Total
Commodity
Value
Radish 22  $             0.83  $          18.26
Lettuce 173.5  $             0.75  $        130.13
Carrots 129.7  $             0.44  $          57.07
Onions 43.1  $             0.29  $          12.50
Sugar Snap Peas 128  $             1.75  $        224.00
Zucchini 425.1  $             0.46  $        195.55
Cucumbers 594.5  $             0.44  $        261.58
Beans 551  $             0.93  $        512.43
Pickling Cucumber 211.4  $             0.44  $          93.02
Potato 600.7  $             0.57  $        342.40
Pepper 116.3  $             0.58  $          67.45
Kohlrabi 44.3  $             2.75  $        121.83
Tomato 233.6  $             0.67  $        156.51
Basil 22.1  $             4.25  $          93.93
Watermelon 96.3  $             0.48  $          46.22
Eggplant 32  $             1.91  $          61.12
Corn 702.6  $             0.24  $        168.62
Acorn Squash 185.8  $             0.51  $          94.76
Butternut Squash 133.7  $             0.55  $          73.54
Spaghetti Squash 121  $             0.48  $          58.08
Gourd 10.3  $             0.49  $            5.05
Cabbage 155.1  $             0.28  $          43.43
Pumpkins 437.4  $             0.49  $        214.33
Stockbridge Beans 1.3    
Munsee Beans 1    
White Corn 18    
Blue Corn 32.7    
Broccoli 101.1

$ .70

$        70.11

Total 5323.6    $    3,122.55

2019 Crop Information

CSA Box Example Full Shares Half Shares Estimated Market/ Grocery Value  

Est. Farmers Market Values

Week 1- June 24 Large Bag of Lettuce
Radishes
Baby Carrots
Small Bag of Lettuce
Radishes
Full-$4.50
Half- $2.50
 

Large Lettuce-$3
Medium Lettuce- $2.25
Small Lettuce- $1.50
Bunch of Radishes- $1

Week 2 Large Bag of Lettuce
Radishes
Baby Carrots
Green Onions
2 Qts Strawberries
Small Bag of Lettuce
Radishes
Green Onions
1 Qt Strawberries
Full- $14
Half- $7.50
 

Baby Carrots- $.50
Carrots- $1.00/#
Green Onions- $1.00
1 Qt Strawberries- $4.00
1 Pt Strawberries- $2.00

Week 3 1 Qt+ 1pt Strawberries
Large Bag Lettuce
Green Onions
1 Zucchini
SugarSnap Peas (8oz)
Radishes
1 Qt Strawberries
Small Bag of Lettuce
SugarSnap Peas (4oz)
Radishes
Carrots
Full- $13.50
Half- $8.50
 

Zuchinni- $.50/ each
Cucumber- .$50/ each
SugarSnap Peas- $4.00/#
Beans- $3/#
Summer Squash- $1
Potatoes- $2/#

Week 4 2 Zucchini
2 Cucumbers
Small Bag of Lettuce
Radishes
Carrots
SugarSnap Peas (16oz)
1 Zucchini
2 Cucumbers
Radishes
Carrots
SugarSnap Peas (10oz)
Full- $11.50
Half $6
 

Green Pepper- $.50
Tomatoes- $.50/ each
Cherrie Tomatoes- 6 for $.50
Watermelon- $5
Onion- $.25
Basil- $.50

Week 5 2 Zucchini
3 Cucumbers
Beans (10oz)
Carrots
Radishes
SugarSnap Peas (1.5#)
1 Zucchini
2 Cucumbers
Small Bag Lettuce
Carrots
Radishes
SugarSnap Peas (1#)
Full- $12.50
Half- $9.00
 

Eggplant- $1.00
Cantelope- $4
Apples- $2/#
Acorn Squash- $1/ each
Butternut Squash- $1/ each
Spaghetti Squash- $1/each
Corn- $4/doz

Week 6 2 Zucchini
1 Summer Squash
3 Cucumbers
Beans (1# 4oz)
Carrots
SugarSnap Peas (10oz)
Small Lettuce
Green Onions
Potatoes (1qt ~1# 10oz)
1 Green Pepper
2 Zucchini
2 Cucumbers
Beans (12oz)
Carrots
SugarSnap Peas (5oz)
Green Onions
Potatoes (1 pint ~12oz)
Full- $16.00
Half- $9.50
   
Week 7 1-2 Zucchini
1 Summer Squash
1 Small Bag Lettuce
Carrots
1 Pepper
2 large cucumbers
1.5# Beans
Potatoes (1qt)
2 Zucchini
Carrots
Pepper
2 large Cucumbers
1# Beans
Potatoes (1 pint)
Full- $13.00
Half- $8
   
Week 8 2 Zucchini/ Summer Squash
3 Cucumbers
1 pint Tomatoes (2 for Clinic Peps)
1 Green Pepper
3 Onions
Carrots
1.5# Beans
Basil Pack
1 Zucchini
2 Cucumbers
1 Tomato
1 Green Pepper
1 Onion
Carrots
1 # Green Beans
Basil Pack
Full- $11
Half- $7.5
   
Week 9 2 Zucchini/Summer Squash
4 Cucumbers
1 qt Tomatoes (3 large & 12 cherry)
1 green pepper
2 onions
2# Green Beans
Watermelon
Basil Pack
1 Zucchini/Summer
2 Cucumbers
1 pint Tomatoes (2 Large & 6 Cherry)
1 Green Pepper
1 Onion
1# 4oz Bean
Medium Bag Lettuce
Basil Pack
Full- $18
Half- $10.5
   
Week 10 2 Zucchini/ Summer Squash
4 Cucumbers
1 qt Tomatoes
1 Green Pepper
Cantaloupe
1 # Beans
Eggplant
Watermelon
1 Zucchini
2 Cucumbers
1 Pint Tomatoes
1 Green Pepper
Cantaloupe
1/2# Beans
Watermelon
Full- $18.50
Half- $14
   
Week 11 2 Zucchini/ Summer Squash
3 Cucumbers
1 qt Tomatoes
2 Green Peppers
1# 4oz Beans
2 Onions
Watermelon
3# Apples
1 Zucchini/ Summer Squash
1 Cucumbers
1 pt Tomatoes
1 Green Peppers
10 oz Beans
1 Onions
Watermelon
1# 10oz Apples
Full- $21
Half- $13.25
   
Week 12 2 Zucchini/ Summer Squash
4 Cucumbers
1 qt Tomatoes
1 Green Pepper
1# 6oz Beans
3 Onions
3 # Apples
1 Watermelon
Lettuce- Large Bag
1 qt Potatoes
Optional Item ($1- 4 ears of corn or squash)
1 Zucchini/ Summer Squash
2 Cucumbers
1 pt Tomatoes
1 Green Pepper
10 oz Beans
2 Onions
1.5 # Apples
1 Watermelon
1 pt Potatoes
Optional Item ($1- 4 ears of corn or squash)
Full- 25.50
Half- $14.50
   
Week 13 1 Zucchini
2 Cucumbers
1 pt Tomatoes
1 Green Pepper
1 # Green Beans
3 Onions
2.5# Apples
1 Watermelon
1 Spaghetti Squash
3 ears Corn
1# Carrots
Lettuce- Large Bag
1 qt Potatoes
1 Cucumbers
1 pt Tomatoes
1 Green Pepper
.5 # Green Beans
2 Onions
1.5# Apples
1 Watermelon
1 Spaghetti Squash
.5# Carrots
Lettuce- Medium Bag
1 pt Potatoes
Full- $27
Half- $17.5
   
Week 14 2# Apples
Large Bag Lettuce
1 Green Pepper
2 Cucumber
2 Zucchini
1.25# Carrots
4 Onions
1 Pt Potatoes
1 qt Tomatoes
1 Squash
2 ears Corn
Watermelon
Eggplant
1# Apples
Medium Bag Lettuce
1 Green Pepper
1 Cucumber
1 Zucchini
.75# Carrots
2 Onions
1 pt Potatoes
1 pt Tomatoes
1 Squash
2 ears Corn
Full- $22.25
Half- $12.25
   
Week 15- October 1 4 # Apples
Large Bag Lettuce
1 # Carrots
1 # Onions
2 Green Peppers
1 Zucchini
1 Cucumber
1 pt Potatoes
1 Pumpkin
1 Squash
2 Gourds
2# Apples
Medium Bag Lettuce
.5# Carrots
.5 # Onion
1 Green Pepper
1 Zucchini
1 Cucumber
1 pt Potatoes
1 Pumpkin or Squash
1 Gourd
Full- $20.00
Half- $12.25
   
    Total Value Full/ Share $248.25 $3,723.75 15 Shares Total
    Total Value Half/Share $152.75 $2,291.25 15 Shares Total
      Total Value $6,015.00  

 

Crop Weight Commodity
Value/ Pound
Total
Commodity Value
Watermelon 836.6  $          0.48  $      401.57
Cucumbers 468  $          0.44  $      205.92
Zucchini 375.34  $          0.46  $      172.66
Beans 341.44  $          0.93  $      317.54
Tomato 312.26  $          0.67  $      209.21
Pumpkins 250.8  $          0.49  $      122.89
Potato 202.63  $          0.57  $      115.50
Lettuce 183.2  $          0.75  $      137.40
Pickling Cucumber 143.14  $          0.44  $        62.98
Carrots 154.86  $          0.44  $        68.14
Onions 119.3  $          0.29  $        34.60
Sugar Snap Peas 111.6  $          1.75  $      195.30
Radish 114.6  $          0.83  $        95.12
Cantaloupe 100.1  $          0.48  $        48.05
Spaghetti Squash 75.2  $          0.48  $        36.10
Corn 78.6  $          0.24  $        18.86
Butternut Squash 73  $          0.55  $        40.15
Pepper 74.14  $          0.58  $        43.00
Eggplant 65.4  $          1.91  $      124.91
Acorn Squash 66.2  $          0.51  $        33.76
Summer Squash 45  $          0.46  $        20.70
Gourd 18.6  $          0.49  $          9.11
Kohlrabi 12.2  $          2.75  $        33.55
Cabbage 5.7  $          0.28  $          1.60
Green Onions 4.6  $          1.19  $          5.47
Spinach 1.34  $          2.20  $          2.95
Basil 1.22  $          4.25  $          5.19
Total 4235.07 Total
Commodity
Value
 $   2,562.23

Project Activities

Beekeeping Basics: Hive Preperation
Beekeeping Basics: Installing Bees
Three Sisters Gardening: Planting Phase 1
Three Sisters Gardening: Planting Phase 2
Beekeeping Basics: Bee Check
Beekeeping Basics: Hive Split
Three Sisters Gardening: Plant Maintenance
Beekeeping Basics: Honey Harvest
Beekeeping Basics: Bee Check
From the Earth Education Day
Beekeeping Basics: Winterizing Bees
Crop Production: Cover Crops
Stockbridge-Munsee Community Composting and Farming
Building and using a seasonal high tunnel
Virtual Garden Tours
Virtual Seed Starting Class

Educational & Outreach Activities

15 Consultations
8 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools
10 Online trainings
2 Webinars / talks / presentations
12 Workshop field days

Participation Summary:

225 Farmers
20 Ag professionals participated
Education/outreach description:

Workshops/Field Days

2020 Update

The challenges of physically meeting together during 2020 forced us to share content and connect with our local farmers virtually, however, we were still able to develop a lot of content and make some great connections with our community farmers during the year. 

Beekeeping- 3 videos, 5 consultations

Our beekeeping consultant, Josh Jensesn continued to share updates about the bees with our community farmers throughout the season. He was also able to help are farmers who had questions about beekeeping. 

Three Sisters Gardening: 5 Videos made in 2020, 12 consultations

Due to covid we were not able to have community planting days for our three sisters gardens, but over the year we were able to secure 2 additional traditional varieties of corn and 2 varieties of beans. We grew these crops in three separate community garden and with the main focus on seed saving and developing grow sheets for these crops so we could share them with the community in 2021. We have 12 community farmers who will be growing Lenape blue corn for the first time in 2021 because of the work done during the summer of 2021 and we hope to expand this number in future years, along with expanding the traditional seeds that will be made available within the community. 

This "From the Earth Update 2020" video talks about some of the projects going on at the education farm and highlights composting work in the community:  https://youtu.be/n91R4rV_p0s

This "Traditional Corn Update" video shows our different varieties of traditional corn, how they are growing, and the features of each variety: https://www.facebook.com/976870492503608/videos/328849951557059

Virtual Content

Throughout the year we were able to connect virtually with our community farmers and created over 25 videos featuring information on crop updates, production techniques, and our traditional crops. We also had the opportunity to share about our project at the Tribal Lands and Environment Virtual Conference during August and share the videos we made with the Agriculture SubCommittee with the Wisconsin Tribal Conservation and Advisory Council. By partnering with these organizations we are able to share the story of this project beyond our community farmers to reach other Native farmers and tribal employees. 

2019 Update

During 2019, 12 workshops were held in conjunction with the From the Earth project. These field days took place at various locations around the Stockbridge-Munsee Community. Topics for workshops were divided into three categories: Beekeeping, Three Sisters Gardening, and Crop Production. 

Beekeeping- 7 Workshops Held in 2019

These workshops featured information from starting a bee hive to checking bee health to harvesting honey and preparing the bees for winter. During these workshops, participants were able to gain hands-on experience during each phase of the process. These workshops were led by farmer consultant Josh Jensen as he shared his personal experience as a beekeeper and answered questions from the participants about their own hives. 

Three Sisters Gardening: 3 Workshops Held in 2019

These workshops featured information on traditional Mohican gardening methods. Participants gained experience building mounds and planting and caring for the corn, sunflowers, beans, and melons grown through these demonstrations. These workshops were led by farmer consultant Warren Miller. Warren shared his personal experience with food production and seed saving.

Crop Production: 2 Workshops Held in 2019

These workshops featured information on cover cropping, pest management, and over all crop production. Participants were able to gain insight into sustainable production methods for a market garden and were able to try out tools and gain experience planting cover crops as part of a production system. These classes were led by project coordinator Kellie Zahn.

 

There were seven educational videos made in conjunction with the field days to share information beyond the participants who were able to come to the class and give the participants a place to reference to for information.  

Learning Outcomes

12 Farmers reported changes in knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness as a result of their participation
1 Agricultural service providers reported changes in knowledge, skills, and/or attitudes as a result of their participation
Key areas taught:
  • Increased knowledge of beekeeping
  • Increased knowledge of Three Sisters Gardening
  • Increased knowledge of Traditional Food Systems
  • Increased knowledge of vegetable growing techniques
  • Increased knowledge of honey harvest

Project Outcomes

15 Farmers changed or adopted a practice
Key practices changed:
  • Mound planting system for traditional crops

  • Monitoring bees for mites

  • Integrated pest management in vegetable crops- scouting techniques and treatments

  • Companion planting vegetable crops

  • Management for winterizing bees

7 Grants applied for that built upon this project
5 Grants received that built upon this project
3 New working collaborations

Information Products

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.