Community Food News

Nebraska Artist Honors Native Culture through Traditional Beadwork & Quillwork

There is so much to discover in Nebraska’s small towns. The Santee Sioux Reservation, located east of Niobrara, is filled to the brim with talented artists and craftspersons, entrepreneurs, and some of the most beautiful landscapes. Kady Strickland is one of Santee’s beadwork/quillwork artists and an amazing role model for her community.

Attracting Pollinators with a Pollinator Garden

Pollinators are insects and animals that transport pollen from plant to plant to fertilize the plant so it produces fruit or seeds. There are more than 1.000 different plants grown for spices, foods, beverages, and medicine that are dependent on pollinators. In fact, in the US alone, pollinators account for more than $40 billion worth of products annually.

Good News for Kids, Farmers, & Small Towns

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) along with Representative Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH) have taken the lead in introducing the Farm to School Act of 2015, a bill that will expand the highly successful USDA Farm to School Grant Program. The bill increases children’s access to fresh foods in schools, supports family farmers, and helps to build strong local food economies. With support from more members of Congress hopefully this will become part of the Child Nutrition Act reauthorization later this year.

Rain Barrels: An Ancient Tool to Meet Today’s Needs

If you’ve been paying attention to the Center for Rural Affairs’ work with Native American communities, you know a grassroots movement for food sovereignty is underway.

Garden workshops in Macy and Santee are facilitating a garden revival via farmers markets. Programs at the Nebraska Indian Community College campuses introduce students to growing food. And innovative efforts like the Unci Maka (Grandmother Earth) Public Market are putting tribal food traditions back on the table.

Young Santee Artist Grows Hobby into Income

Shaylana Lewis, a proud member of the Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska, first learned to bead at the tender age of 11 by Donelle La Pointe, her Dakota language teacher from Marty, South Dakota.

Now 19 years old, Lewis is still beading. She says beading brings her to a calm and positive state. Lewis beads jewelry such as earrings, necklaces, rings, headbands and does custom orders. But what originally started out as a hobby has now turned into a lucrative opportunity to make a small income on the side. 

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