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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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TULSA – He’s a culinary school dropout who hasn’t managed to leave the stove.

“I’m pretty good at this. I like to burn stuff,” laughs Justin Phillips, who is Cherokee and Ponca.

Coincidentally, he dropped out of culinary school to go fight wild fires even though he had enrolled in culinary school to end his firefighting career.

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