On behalf of the Srtaa~ Shvm (hii) Mvlh Ghee-saa-ghit-na’ Project, we hope you had a happy, safe, and relaxing holiday season. Now that the days are getting longer, we are turning our attention towards planting perennial food forests and dreaming of our summer gardens!
Winter, from December through March, is the ideal time to plant fruit trees and other perennials while they are dormant. This allows planting to occur with minimal stress to the tree, and all energy to be devoted to new growth come spring. It is time for all of our Chee-ne’ Tetlh-tvm’ (Tree Gardens) to be planted! In Smith River, the Xaa-wan’-k’wvt Chee-ne’ Tetlh-tvm’ final location has been chosen at the Xaa-wan’-k’wvt Early Learning Program and soil preparation, fence-building, and planting will begin this month. At the Taa-‘at’-dvn Chee-ne’ Tetlh-tvm’, located on the College of the Redwoods Campus, soil preparation is underway with the generous help of Alexandre EcoDairy. This site will be a phased installation—this winter’s goals are to install the fence and plant 10-20 trees, with the rest of the perennial design scheduled for planting next winter. At the Margaret Keating Elementary food forest site, plants have been ordered and planting will commence as soon as they are delivered. In Weitchpec, the Saint’s Rest food forest site is currently being planned and plants ordered. We hope you can join us for a work event at one or more of these new features!
These winter months are also the best time for pruning your fruit trees. Pruning your trees can improve their health and increase your yields, as well as make fruit easier to harvest. Pruning is best done between December and early March, during dormancy. Please join us for a pruning workshop on February 4th at Sri’-srwvlh Mee-ne’ (16299 Hwy 101 North, Smith River) to learn how to prune your fruit trees with the help of Deborah Giraud of the UCCE Cooperative Extension. This will be followed by a grafting workshop on March 26 where you can learn how to take cuttings of older trees and graft them to rootstocks. This allows you to create new, young trees from any variety you like—offering an opportunity to preserve tree varieties that may be aging out and/or losing productivity, as well as control the full size of the tree by selecting different rootstocks.
We would like to extend an invitation for community members to come join us at our monthly Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation Garden and Food Forests meetings, held on the first Wednesday of every month at 11:00 a.m. in the Tribal Family Resource Center, 110 W. 1st Street. These are informal, monthly meetings for interested staff and community members to come and learn about how the Srtaa~ Shvm (hii) Mvlh Ghee-saa-ghit-na’ Project and other food-related Tribal projects are progressing, as well as a forum provide input on current projects’ progress and future plans. Light refreshments are provided.
In health and wellness news, we are pleased to announce that starting in March 2017 we will be holding weekly Staying Active and Independent for Life (S.A.I.L.) classes on Mondays at the Howonquet Hall and Community Center after the Elder meal program lunch (1:00). S.A.I.L. is a program designed to promote health and physical activity and decrease the likelihood of falls for Elder citizens. However, all age groups can benefit from the aerobic, strength, and flexibility exercises offered during class and all ages of participants are encouraged!
If you are interested in cutting back or quitting tobacco, we may be able to help support you. Even if you are just thinking about tobacco cessation, the Community and Family Services Department would like to hear about it. We can provide a limited number of quit kits, referrals to UIHS quitting resources, and every person who contacts us for tobacco cessation help will receive a free t-shirt. Contact Erika Partee at 707 954 9167 to begin the conversation around quitting.
If you have any questions or comments, or would like to learn about ways to help your community by volunteering to help the Srtaa~ Shvm (hii) Mvlh Ghee-saa-ghit -na’ Project, please do not hesitate to contact Erika Partee, Food and Garden Coordinator.