Friday, January 22, 2010

Tall Grass Prairie: Is It Just a Pile of HAY?

There are many joys to be had by living in Southeast Nebraska and being married to The Normanator . Glorious opportunities present themselves for growth and learning. One such example is our involvement with the Tall Grass Prairie Partnership.

They recently held the 6th Annual Tall Grass Prairie Seminar and we were on the front row.

The first speaker, Steve Clubine, hails from Missouri. He is extremely knowledgeable about grasses, grazing and management techniques. His humor kept us keenly interested; his common sense showed through and it was a delightful presentation. He is comfortable with teaching, so we were comfy in learning from him.

We were treated to the most charming of speakers, Sibylla Brown, from Iowa. She and her retired husband made the transition from a dental practice and a career in English and French to an in vivo education in managing a forestry project.

The title of Sibylla's talk was "Discovering Eden." She took us through their journey as they set about restoring a White Oak savanna. She traced the history of it through the ages. We "met" the people who helped them: biologists, botanists, grant writers, even neighbors whose oral histories helped them understand what they have on this piece of property.

The Browns were warned by their attorney. He admonished them about the poor quality of the soil on the land they had decided to purchase. His advice: "Be careful or they'll try to slip
another 20 acres into that package!"

According to Sibylla, as time went by the Browns discovered more Morrell mushrooms than they could eat in a season! Those were followed by happy discoveries of many more species of edible mushrooms, including the Red Reishi mushroom, which is considered to be the King of Mushrooms in Southeast Asia!

I am so pleased to tell you that the Browns have made arrangements for this precious, restored land package to be cared for in perpetuity. What a legacy to leave to the world! Impressive, to say the least.

During lunchtime, it was fascinating to chat with interesting, caring land owners who are making every effort to be good stewards of our planet. There were producers of organic raw milk; farmers who produce organic free range poultry and eggs; even The Buffalo Guy was there to talk about his beloved herd of bison. The Normanator's own cousin keeps bees and grows enough vegetables to have a stand at the Farmers Market. His name is also Norman and he traveled with us to the Big Event.

The program following lunch did not disappoint, either. Gordon Warrick talked about the creation of burn associations to coordinate patch burning, promoting good grazing management and that meant lively discussion from passionate land owners.

The panel discussion organized to discuss weeds was introduced by Chris Helzer. HE KNOWS STUFF about weeds and how to deal with them! He called in reinforcements, though, and invited Paul Rohrbach to interact with other land owners to share their common experiences in dealing with the confounding issues weeds and invasive plants have created. Who knew weeds, of all things, could make for such a riveting program?

The program closed with a Patch Burning presentation by Dr. Stephen Winter, who had data and diagrams, demonstrations and a pony tail. He personified the crowd who showed up. Over a hundred people attended this event and each was as ordinary looking as the other. Some wore shirts with their state and department name on them. Those were the guys whose heads are filled to their eyebrows with knowledge they are eager for the world to have.

I deeply believe that if you want to see something special, you should discover Eden for yourselves by visiting the lovingly restored savanna in Iowa. If you need to know where to find it, I can hook you up.

If you need information about how to get or be well, have better relationships or reach success in your life whether you live in Tall Grass Prairie country or anywhere else on the planet, we can help there, too! The Healing Codes will be just the thing!

Connie Baum
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1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Connie. You are too kind. Bill and I truly enjoyed presenting at the Prairie Conference. Such a nice group of people. We love sharing our experience and hope to inspire others to restore their lands.

    Sibylla Brown


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