Monday, August 27, 2012
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Laura C. Native sister! From Pame tribe *heart* of Northern Mexico now living in San Fran, stopped in after her conference in Rochester! We spent the morning comparing and contrasting; asking each other question after question about every aspect of our native culture!!!! Niaweh (thank you) Laura, safe travels! Come back and see our new SenecaArtsCultureCentre!
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Thursday, August 16, 2012
|Iroquois White Corn|
The Iroquois White Corn Project got into full swing this summer. We processed and packaged about 100 pounds of corn flour and whole white corn. The one pound bags were sold at the Ganondagan Dance and Music Festival in July.
What is Iroquois White Corn?
|Iroquois White Corn|
Where Does the Corn Come From?Native American farmers here in our region grew the white corn for the project. After being harvested by hand in the fall, it must hang to dry. For this, it is braided in the traditional way. After it has dried a few months, the kernels must be removed from the cob. This is done manually by pushing the kernels off the cob with one's thumb. Some people use a tool to remove the kernels.
How Is the Corn Processed?If the corn is to be made into roasted white corn flour, it is roasted, ground and bagged. The White Corn Project uses a large coffee roaster for the creation of the Roasted Corn Flour product. The nutritional advantage to our white corn products is that the germ is not removed, so the products are whole grain. The flour should be refrigerated, as the oils in the germ need to be kept fresh. The germ contains vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber.
White corn to be used in soup or stew (as hominy) must be treated in a lye bath to remove the outer hull on each kernel. This process is known as nixtamalization. Many people follow the traditional way to create a lye solution with hardwood ashes. That is done by rinsing the corn using a corn basket, which is a traditional tool still made by Native basket makers. These baskets are constructed of ash splints that are sized and spaced specifically for the corn washing. Throughout the region, Haudenosaunee people are still using and teaching this method.
|One of many hand-crafted steps in processing the corn|
After the corn is rinsed free from the outer shell covering and the lye, and drained, it is placed in the dehydrator. The corn takes about 4 hours to dehydrate. These kernels are bagged to be sold as Hulled White Corn. To use in a soup or stew, they must be soaked overnight, drained and then cooked according to the recipe, until soft. After dehydration the corn can also be ground to into White Corn Flour. This flour can also be used as a substitute for corn meal or blended in combination with other types of flour in recipes.
Why Iroquois White Corn?Besides connecting connecting people with local agriculture, the Iroquois White Corn Project also connects people with history and ancient traditions.
For some, it is also a personal connection with with their ancestors. As one of The Three Sisters, this corn is sacred to the Haudenosaunee people. We thought of Sister Corn as we finished up our work - her portrait hangs in our workspace and smiles down as if in appreciation.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
|Native Medicine Plant - Joe Pye Weed|
There will be six different classes will be held over a period of five weeks, September 20th – October 18th 2012. Students can elect to take the entire series or individual classes. The guided herb walk for this series will be held at Ganondagan on September 22.
Please contact Classical Formulas for details and registration - their website has full class descriptions and registration information.
Of note, Classical Formulas also now has a Facebook page that you can "like" to get news about upcoming classes, lectures, and workshops as well as daily posts about herbal medicine and medicine plants.
Friday, August 10, 2012
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Monday, August 6, 2012
Grandmother Moon was full and beautiful last week - hopefully you got to see her. The next full moon, on the 31st of this month, will be a rare "blue moon" - a second full moon in a calendar month. Be sure to catch her second full moon August appearance then.