Archives for posts tagged as "Thanksgiving"
This Thanksgiving, many in the United States gather for a shared meal of traditional foods. Although regional variations exist, typical foods include turkey, gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes, pecans, green beans, and cranberries. Perhaps more interesting than the menu itself is North America’s history of traditional foods, and the agricultural practices that keep us fed, up to the present and into the future.
At a very general level, Native Americans were hunters and gathers, but also developed farming practices. Depending on the local ecosystem and distinct tribal practices, Native Peoples in North America domesticated corn, tomatoes and potatoes. They hunted local game, or gathered tubers, greens, berries and shoots. Practices included cultivating according to the season, rotating crops, or using “slash-and-burn” techniques. What is common across the diversity of Native practices is a longstanding “sacred value” of sustainable traditions and respect of the land. Indigenous environmental management practices of the Menominee in modern day Wisconsin, British Columbian coastal tribes, the Lakota People of the Dakotas, and the sprawling confederacy of the Iroquois People are discussed in a 2010 book “The Native Mind and the Cultural Construction of Nature”.Read more
This week we are reminded to express gratitude for the abundance of friends, family, and food we may take for granted. Last week we discussed the benefits of mindfulness in green spaces and the personal outcomes that experience provides.
What about the role urban green spaces play in bringing your friends and family together? Providing places for respite, recreation, and community connection, urban green spaces have the potential to improve individual and community well-being and wellness in multiple ways. In addition to physical environment benefits, participating in urban greening programs (e.g. planting a tree) is associated with community empowerment and social cohesion.1
Green spaces explicitly designed to support family and community activities fosters healthy and sustainable communities. Park preference research suggests large shaded picnic areas, play equipment, water features, sanitary facilities and open-air vendors or cafes increase attractiveness of parks for users who value community over individual uses.2 In addition, culturally significant gardens and planting strengthen a sense of community and tradition for minority or new Americans.3Read more