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DURANT – Growing is what kids do. Children enrolled in the Choctaw Nation Head Start and Daycare in Durant got into a different kind of growth spurt Friday when about 60 of the students visited the Choctaw Nation Hoop House. There, in the half-moon-shaped, plastic greenhouse they planted vegetable seeds. It was the first step in the new Edible Schoolyard Project.

“Today they are planting the seeds,” said Chahta Foundation Executive Director Seth Fairchild.

Later they will transfer the plants that grow from these seeds to their “garden classroom,” located between the Head Start and Daycare centers.

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GROVE (AP) – On a mission to offer fresh food preparation information to area school cooks, Partners for Ottawa County Inc., Delaware County Community Partnership and Cherokee Nation recently joined forces to offer a full-day workshop featuring some of the top chefs and nutrition consultants in the area.

Thomas Mangos, property executive chef for Cherokee Casino & Hotel West Siloam Springs, led the charge with a full day of interaction and training with the attendees. The 2015 Delaware & Ottawa County School Chef Workshop was held Aug. 6 at Grove Publics Schools.

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Tribe now helps 111 centers with Learn to Grow gardens

STILWELL – Toddlers and preschoolers at the Cherokee Nation Child Development Center in Stilwell now have new gardens, fresh soil and cages to grow tomatoes, squash, bell peppers, okra and cucumbers.

Adair County becomes the sixth county in the Cherokee Nation’s 14-county tribal jurisdiction to implement the tribe’s Learn to Grow program for daycares and home provider facilities serving Cherokee children.

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ADA, Okla. -- Chickasaw citizens are aware of the superb food served at Okchamali’s Café located inside the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center. Hundreds of people eat at the café daily, knowing the food served is healthy. Fruits, vegetables and a full-service salad bar are items served daily.

While most of the food is consumed by patrons, there are always leftovers that must be safely discarded. To reduce the burden on the local landfill and support the Chickasaw Nation’s stewardship core value, Okchamali’s Café will be the test site for a new composting program.

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