WIN 6-09-15

Nenana Wellness Coalition
June 9, 2015

The Nenana Wellness Coalition is an alliance of representatives from various organizations, government agencies, community groups and individuals that meets weekly to discuss, evaluate, coordinate, consolidate, celebrate and help implement plans for improving the wellness and quality of life in Nenana Alaska.

We had 8 participants today: Bonnie Reed, Kat McElroy, Harriett Borst, Virginia Young, Miles Martin, Gayle Rayme and David & Steven Poppe. We enjoyed spicy pasta and meatball casserole, mixed green salad and sliced cheese with Ritz crackers for lunch.

WELCOME followed by the READING OF MISSION STATEMENT: By this week’s chairperson, Bonnie Reed.

PRESENTATION OF AGENDA AND CALL FOR MODIFICATIONS: Two changes to the agenda as presented.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Posted on the WIN link at and submitted electronically to the WIN e-list.

INTRODUCTION OF GUESTS: Steven Poppe was introduced by his Uncle David.

Market Garden Report: Mary was gone for a week visiting family. Virginia indicated that the youth workers had planted a mess of broccoli seeds, the seedlings came up thick like sprouts. She and young Michael thinned them and they were delicious. They will tackle the unclaimed plots at the community garden and get something planted into them. No one hired for the market manager position yet, it is anticipated this would be about ten hours a week and that person would decide hours of operation, venue of the market, etc. Some of the venues suggested have been the old Take Chief site or the parking lot of the recreation center. Everyone who had been working at the rec center got hired into other jobs so the rec center is open weekends only by Janet Allen on a volunteer basis.
Virginia segued into a general farm report on her peony project. She said she’s been working on this project nine years now, beginning with research. The majority of her plants were put into the ground four years ago and only now are beginning to make abundant blossoms. The are coming in well and have a lot of buds so she is hoping to actually see a profit from the operation this year. She will need to hire harvester to help come July.
WELLNESS THOUGHT: Every part of this country is sacred to my people. Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove has been hallowed by some fond memory or some sad experience of my tribe. Even the rocks, which seem to lie dumb as they swelter in the sun along the silent shore in solemn grandeur, thrill with memories of past events connected with the fate of my people.
—Chief Seattle, SUQUAMISH

(This quote is reputed to be from Chief Seattle’s treaty oration 1854, which Kat misidentified as having been presented to US Congress but upon research seems to have been spoken in his native tongue at a public meeting in the State of Washington, later read into the Congressional record. My bad.)
Reminder: June 30th has been selected as the date that WIN will revisit the issue of their opening format.
Miles: Everything is doing really well in the greenhouse although those that he transplanted outdoors seem to have stalled due to the cold snap. He heard that some people lost squashes and broccoli, etc. to frost. He really likes the idea of our community building self-sufficiency. He looks at the long-range picture, that by sharing knowledge and supporting one another’s projects, we are building a better prospect for everyone.
David: Entertained us with more moving the boar stories; boar was finally successfully relocated to pasture. They took down all the fences where the pigs were and knocked down a half a dozen dead trees. Leon and Steven cut, split and stacked probably about two cords of wood. David began roto-tilling an area that will ultimately be about 150 feet by 150 feet square where they will plant potatoes, corn, kale, daikon radishes. He moved the chicken house over to behind the soccer field. At this point, all but the two milk cows are out on pasture and all but the four baby pigs. He still needs to get over to Delta to pick up quantities of barley and he wants to till 10 acres to plant in barley.
Harriett: Has been thinking about her garden when she was young. She had horses that would reach over the fence and eat the tops of their corn plants. She had a chicken that escaped the run and came back later with a clutch of baby chicks.
Kat: She is enjoying some down time from work. Has three teenage kids under her roof which has been great fun. She smoked some salmon yesterday and they ate trout the kids caught over at the pond. They were delicious.
Steven: He has been here one week today. He is visiting until August 10, will be helping David plant and hay and is up for hire for farm and garden work.

Bonnie: The Senior Center will have a Father’s Day lunch June 19th. The 23 and 24 the Breast Cancer people will be at the clinic. June 27th is the Prevention Carnival and picnic at the ball park, 12-4 PM.
June 30 there will be a sobriety potlatch at Old Minto. (Text to Donald Charlie indicated he thinks this is misinformation and pot latch at Old Minto will be late July.)
There is an art activity tonight at Bonnie’s at 7 PM.

There was discussion about the water kimchi we made last week. Some people have already started eating it and report that it is good (Natalie said she had eaten hers Saturday); other said they would wait till there were more bubbles. There were questions if it was time to put it into the fridge. We all agreed we want to have future kimchi activity and learn to make other kinds.

We displaced the people at the living center who are preparing for the Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) camp; they will be working with around 40 youth 6th and 7th graders doing Brain Camp activities. They were kind enough to share their space with us and after WIN they toured us to see the small portable smoke houses they built to do fish smoking with the students when they get here next week. We gave them some suggestions of places and activities they might want to try to include in their work with the students.


Next week we have an Envisioning Wellness presentation by Bart, the new CEO of Toghotthele Corporation.

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