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Recent posts by Liz Daehnke

Gardens serve as living textbooks for herbalist educator

An appreciation for nature, herbs in particular, led to a lifelong passion and career for Rachel Liester, owner of Red Road Herbs Retreat & Learning Center LLC, near Stanton, Nebraska. She teaches classes, offers tours, and sells fresh and dried herbs, as well as handmade herbal products.

Preserving life for the next generation - a guide to barn restoration

Barns. They stand proudly against blue skies along the interstate, a highway, or even a lonely gravel road. Some are the centerpiece of a family farm, often as big or bigger than the old farmhouse near it. Others are modest in size, standing alone in the middle of a field, surrounded by crops, or are shadowed figures hidden by decades of overgrowth on long-abandoned homesteads.

Bringing healthy, sustainable eating to rural areas

Sustainable and healthy eating is a challenge for many people, especially those in rural areas. However, some people may think the opposite.

Recently, Center for Rural Affairs community food specialists April Goettle and Suzi French were guests on Totally Rural, a podcast hosted by Daisy Dyer Duerr.

April and Suzi work alongside members of the Santee and Omaha Reservations with a focus on their local food systems. Both are located in northeast Nebraska, and the projects are managed in conjunction with Nebraska Indian Community College (NICC).

One dream: to farm in America

Daily life on a farm outside Lexington, Nebraska, is far from luxurious. However, Vicente Acevedo and Magdalena Barrios wouldn’t have it any other way.

“A typical day: I come home from work, prepare dinner, clean the house, and then I go outside to help feed the animals,” Magdalena said. “There is never a day off. I would rather be at the farm than go out to a party.”

Farming is life for this couple. Both grew up on ranches in rural Mexico — Vicente raising animals and Magdalena helping to cultivate beans and corn.

Ruth helps neighbors by serving on the FSA Committee

About six years ago, Nebraska farmers Ruth Ready and her husband Sid stopped into their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office to ask about loan programs and opportunities.

While there, Ruth was presented with an altogether different opportunity.

“They were looking for someone from my area to run for the FSA committee,” she said. “I did, was elected, and started on the board the following January.”