When Accompaniment Becomes a Calling
by Vernita Kennen
I’ve previously shared with you about our congregation’s annual hunger group field trips. Here is the 2015 version; hopefully you will find these ideas ones which will spark similar interest for you and others you know who are interested in ending hunger.
Dream of Wild Health is a native-owned, native-grown farm in Hugo, MN. They work with urban Native American youth to teach them the growing process, the use of native foods, and the spirituality of reconnecting with the earth. The students are bused to the site; they work the land, plant the seeds, tend the plants, harvest, learn to cook the traditional foods and sell them in the market. The students learn about healthy eating and other life skills. The farm is organic and they have a seed-saving program with varieties of indigenous seeds.
The E2’S Emu Ranch in Shafer, MN was also fascinating. This family established the farm in 1996 and they are 80% self-sufficient in producing what they need to live. They garden, have chickens (all kinds and their eggs are all colors and shapes), ducks, turkeys, sheep, alpacas (beautiful yarn and products), geese, a multi-fruit orchard and even grow corn used to heat their home. And of course emus which they use for meat, and oil products. One of the members in our group found an emu oil that immediately relieved a mosquito bite itch!
We ended our outing with a meal of bison at Eichten’s in Center City and shopping for cheese. Many of us were familiar with their cheese products from our local farmers’ markets. It was another excellent adventure, reminding us of the many other local farms in our area.