The Edmond Sun

February 12, 2014

Workshop scheduled to promote self-sustaining communities

By Sean Hubbard
Special to The Sun

STILLWATER — Promoting a self-sustaining community with the ability to grow and prepare original foods is part of the Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Service’s mission.

To help spread the knowledge of doing just that, Extension has partnered with USDA’s Risk Management Agency, Otoe-Missouria and Ponca tribes and Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry to present a workshop Feb. 19.

“It’s documented that Otoe-Missouria people historically raised crops such as corn, squash and beans for food sources. I’m excited we’re taking part in a project that will help us restore our connection to growing healthy foods,” said Melanie Harader, Otoe-Missouria Council second member. “We’ll be able to not only produce fresh, culturally appropriate foods, but also provide learning experiences, exercise and inter-generational interaction for all participants.”

The Specialty Crops Workshop is free and open to the public. Participants should meet at the Cultural Building, located at the Otoe-Missouria Complex and garden at 8151 highway 177, in Red Rock for registration.

Participants are asked to preregister by contacting Sara Siems, OSU Cooperative Extension assistant, risk management education, at 405-744-9826 or email her at sara.siems@okstate.edu or call Frankie Reid, Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians, at 580-723-4466, ext. 120 or email at freid@omtribe.org.

Beginning at 9 a.m., the workshop will include information on ground and soil preparation, risk management, planting demonstrations, row covers, seasonal crop recipes and more. Complimentary lunch and refreshments will be provided.

“Crops such as vegetables, fruits, herbs and other crops can be grown successfully, butrequires knowledge of various aspects common to all farming ventures,” said Lynn Brandenberger, OSU Cooperative Extension and research specialist, horticulture food crops. “This workshop will focus on all of these aspects of specialty crop production. Knowledge of these aspects is important for minimizing the risks associated with this enterprise.”