Nutrition Educator Liz Easterling of the Mississippi State Extension Service leads a cooking demonstration of "farmers market salsa."
“How many of you like vegetables?” The question posed to a gathering of Choctaw children in a garden in rural Mississippi elicits skeptical responses. But upon sampling the fresh produce harvested with their own hands, however, the children’s stereotypes of disgust turn to surprises of delight. A young boy taking a giant bite out of a juicy tomato could be the poster child for the vibrant red fruit. A pair of sisters declares cucumbers as their favorite. The newly adventurous children are even willing to taste raw eggplant…Now that’s impressive.
Through a summer program made possible by a Food Distribution Program Nutrition Education (FDPNE) Grant from the Food and Nutrition Service, 150 children from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians were able to get up close and personal with fresh fruits and vegetables. Twice a week, children ages 6-18 from the Boys and Girls Club and the Tribal Youth Court participated in the lifecycle of planting, picking, and preparing produce. The week my colleagues and I visited the Choctaw Indian Reservation, the children scattered seed for iron clay peas, witnessed the hustle and bustle of a farmers market, and learned how to dice vegetables for a salsa recipe. Read more »
A member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians removes the kernels from a corn of cob, one step in the hominy-making process.
For special meals like those on birthdays and Christmas, members of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians include hominy on the menu—but hominy, essentially dried corn kernels, is expensive to purchase. Read more »
State Director Trina George (left) and Chief Anderson in front of a picture of the health center building.
Trina N. George, Mississippi State Director for USDA Rural Development and Phyliss Anderson, Chief for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians held a Photo Op on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 in Choctaw, Miss., to commemorate USDA Rural Developments $1 million grant award to the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. The Tribe will use the funds for water and sewer upgrades to the Pearl River Community and the Health Center Development. Read more »
NRCS provided technical assistance to the Choctaws in the creation of Lake Pushmataha, a 285-acre lake in Neshoba County.
November is American Indian Heritage Month and offers a great time to recognize the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians for their stellar record as stewards of the environment. Read more »