Ohelaku Among The Corn Stalks
It is the first non-profit cooperative that produces traditional heirloom White Corn on the Oneida Reservation. We are not funded by the tribal government but we do have a free lease for 30 acres of land. Our group of 15 families of all ages were the first ones ever to get a free agricultural lease on tribal land. We are demonstrating that with adequate support, tribal members can make a difference in their community by taking the responsibility of growing traditional food for themselves and their families, build community, practicing traditional teachings, re establish trade routes with surrounding tribes and improve the soil structure.We started growing our traditional corn in 2016. The first year we harvested 1520 pounds of corn. Since that time we have reached out to other traditional farmers and learned a great deal about how to care for our corn. This year we harvested 10,148 pounds of corn all hand harvested, hand husked, hand braided and hand shelled. We have increased the amount of corn available to our entire community. Last fall we gave 300 pounds to the Oneida Tribal Cannery to process for the holiday season so that the Tribal citizens would have white corn on the table for Thanksgiving. We have come a long way in a few short years. Our goal is to increase the number of participants to 52 families and to open a White Corn Store where local artists can sell their work, people can gather to socialize and we can build a stronger community.
Population Served: Tribal community or community members
Scope of Work: Increases healthy food, Increases access to traditional food, Develops skills and opportunities for tribal community members, Improves viability of local agriculture, Improves policies that promote healthy food and healthy communities, Provides nutrition education to community members, Improves health outcomes for community members