Native Nutrition Day
UC Cal Fresh Hosts a Nutrition Themed Cultural Day
Students from Northern Trinity schools took a field trip to the Young Family Ranch where UC Cal Fresh hosted a Native Nutrition Day. The farm to table experience had a cultural twist with presentations by local Wintu tribal elder, Sonny Hayward, and his sons, and Tribal TANF manager Michael Chapman.
Upon arrival the children gathered in the garden to set to the task of digging potatoes from this year's spring planting done by another group of local school children. After retrieving an abundant harvest, they trekked to the lower lawn area to meet up with the Haywards. Initially the students and staff members were "smudged" with incense cedar to chase away any negative energy and welcome positive energy to everyone participating in the day's events. Then a journey prayer was given to show appreciation for the safe arrival to the ranch and to ensure a safe journey on the return trip back to the schools.
The children were given an overview of the local Wintu culture and then split into groups to participate in different activities.
Michael Chapman, local Wintu tribal member and manager of the Tribal TANF in Weaverville, led the students in a necklace making activity. He explained that pine nuts were not only a traditional protein food source, but they were also used in jewelry making. Along with colorful glass beads and dentillian and cowry shells, the focal peice of the necklaces were an abalone shell. Abalone was an important food source for the coastal Yurok tribes. Necklaces that were adorned with many dentillian shells signified great wealth, as these shells were used as a form of currency exchange in historical times.
Trinity County Cal Fresh Community Education Specialist Jeta Harmon showed students how to make no fry fry bread. The history of fry bread was explained to the children and they each made a low-fat healthy version with whole wheat flour. The fry bread was cooked on a hot griddle and served at lunch time along with a 3 Sister's soup.
The Haywards brought a plethora of artifacts to display and explained to the students how their way of life was centered around food. From hunting with a bow to making baskets for gathering bear grass seeds and acorns, the connection between local food and cultural development was made clear.
The concept of 3 sisters was explained by Trinity County Cal Fresh Community Education Specialist Kari Kennedy. The 3 sisters soup was made with squash grown in the Cal Fresh demonstration garden at the Young Family Ranch, and of course corn and beans. Students sampled the soup at lunch time and took home recipes for both the No Fry Fry Bread and the 3 Sisters soup.