Friday, October 5, 2007

OSN Receives Grant for Community Food Projects

TULSA – "Cultivating Good Food for Good Health in Green Country" is a
new long-term project that will help ensure Oklahomans have convenient
access to healthy and affordable Oklahoma-produced foods. The USDA's
Community Food Projects program has awarded a three-year $299,996 grant
to the project, which is a partnership of eleven Oklahoma nonprofit
organizations and agencies.

"This grant award provides the Oklahoma Sustainability Network a
tremendous opportunity to help Oklahoma in several ways," said Chad
Settle, OSN Board Member. "The grant allows us to help communities in
Oklahoma with food production, educational opportunities about
Oklahoma-produced foods and increased access to fresh and healthy foods,
all while stimulating Oklahoma's economy. This would not be possible
without all of our grant partners, and OSN is grateful to each of them
for helping us implement the program."

Low-income residents will obtain nutritious foods more easily under the
program. New community gardens, where urban residents can grow their own
fresh produce, will be established in low-income neighborhoods in the
Tulsa area. Meanwhile, existing community gardens will benefit from
improved infrastructure. Education will be an advantage of community
gardens that are planned for installation on the grounds of some
Tulsa-area schools. Other community gardens will be neighborhood-based
gardens which will allow citizens to grow their own food. The project
will also expand the use of food stamp benefits at farmers' markets, in
addition to assisting in the development of a state-wide plan for
administering a farmers' market nutrition program for seniors and WIC
recipients in Oklahoma.

Business opportunities for Oklahoma farmers and producers also will be
enhanced. Training sessions on best management practices will be held
for local farmers and farmers' market managers. Better business
practices will result in increased direct sales of Oklahoma foods to
Oklahoma customers. The project team will also identify information
about successful state Beginning Farmer Programs and share it with state
administrators, policy makers and other stakeholders with the eventual
goal of creating a Beginning Farmer Program in Oklahoma to assist those
just starting their own farming operations. Additionally, a session will
be held at the OSN annual conference to facilitate networking between
Oklahoma farmers, consumers and organizations interested in
Oklahoma-produced foods.

Oklahoma food will be promoted with an enhanced "Buy Fresh, Buy Local"
campaign. This campaign encourages consumers to purchase
locally-produced foods with a promotional campaign and a local food
guide. The "Buy Fresh, Buy Local" campaign will be expanded to at least
two other Oklahoma communities following the initial promotion in Green

"Much of the food produced in Oklahoma is exported out of the state for
consumption by people who live elsewhere. At the same time, many
Oklahomans confront hunger and cannot find convenient and nutritious
food that is reasonably priced," said Seneca Scott, OSN Past-President.
"Oklahomans face challenges when trying to buy healthy, affordable food
while Oklahoma-produced food is distributed out of state. The new
program in Green Country aims to address this situation."

Key project partners for "Cultivating Good Food for Good Health in Green
Country" are Oklahoma Sustainability Network, Kerr Center for
Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Green Country, North Tulsa EATS,
Global Gardens, Tulsa Area Community Schools Initiative, Oklahoma
Cooperative Extension Service, Oklahoma Department of Human Services,
Tulsa City-County Health Department, Oklahoma Center for Rural
Development, and Oklahoma Farmers' Market Alliance.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Cody welcomed us to her beautiful home for


Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Christina and Shawna told OBU Students about Sustainable Shawnee

Great Magnification!

Monday, October 1, 2007


At our last meeting we saw the result of Beth's dedication to environmental education. She has developed FABULOUS notebooks filled with GREEN worksheets and lesson plans for use at the Shawnee early childhood center and elementary schools. The notebooks are accompanied by supplemental books and posters. The material will be housed in the school libraries so that teachers can check out units.

This is HUGE!

If Sustainable Shawnee did nothing but this in our first year, it would be enough.

Cody, Beth, & Donald peruse the new GREEN educational materials.