The Community Tradition, Food and Future project, conducted by the Mvskoke Food Sovereignty Initiative (MFSI), serves the people in the boundary of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation in northeastern Oklahoma. The project combines demonstration community gardens, greenhouses and cold frames with educational resources to help area growers expand their productivity and access to potential markets.
Two Native American communities serve as models of extended season vegetable production, Market Basket distribution systems and community organizing for improved food systems. Simultaneously, MFSI works with the tribal Elderly Nutrition service through on-site consultation and training for fresh food preparation and menu development to add local produce to the menus of the 18,000+ meals served monthly.
Additionally, MFSI continually expands their library of educational materials in the MFSI Center in Okmulgee, OK and hosts classes there, and in the various communities of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, on traditional farming (organic), foods, seed saving, community gardening and other topics to facilitate expanded production of foods, especially culturally significant ones, in the region.
To encourage youth participation, the MFSI Youth and Elder Sharing program records all project activities on videotape for production of “How-to” DVD’s for distribution and to be available at the MFSI Center as educational tools. Youth are paired with elders to assist with educational and gardening activities to ensure that traditional knowledge is passed to the next generation. The project serves to demonstrate that Native American communities have a rich agricultural heritage that can be used to combat contemporary health and food system challenges.
Community Food Project supported by:
USDA Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service Agency