"The Landscape Tapestry of Cultivation"

Friends' Newsletter Spring 2006 vol. 4 no. 1

| Director's Column | Documentary Discs | The Landscape of Cultivation | Miracles of the Spirit |
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cultivating rice in long boats

Photo courtesy of Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center.


Exhibit at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center Running Through December 2006

The natural environment of the Bayfield peninsula and Chequamegon Bay watershed provide texture for an uncommon mix of harvested foods and cultivation practices in Wisconsin’s Lake Superior Region. Woven into that texture is the deep cultural history and mixed ethnic heritage of the region that together, creates a distinct landscape tapestry of cultivation in this region. This exhibit presents four of the most distinctly regional foods – those that are grown here and identify this region, its environment, people, and their common heritage.

Landscape stories of orchards, Ojibwe gardens, wild rice harvests, and maple syrup production are told visually and texturally through artwork, maps, sketches, photography, narrative, and material culture – both indoors and out. "'Orchard growers from the Bayfield area have participated and donated some fantastic agricultural implements for display, and visitors have come in to see these artifacts,” said Susan Nelson,an interpreter and educator with the U.S. Forrest Service. For each food husbandry theme, the exhibit also illustrates contemporary stewardship activities aimed at reviving or protecting the food landscape and the traditions that go with it. “Bad River Tribal support has also been amazing," said Nelson. Many who have been interviewed or heard about the exhibit have come in to see how everything turned out.”

Visitors can view this exhibit at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center from 9 am to 5 pm daily and it will run through December 2006.

Wild rice and harvesting tools
Wild rice and harvesting tools.
Photo courtesy of Janet Silbernagel..

This exhibit was funded in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities and support from the Wisconsin Historical Society. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Wisconsin Humanities Council supports public program that engage the people of Wisconsin in the exploration of human cultures, ideas, and values.

Information provided by Janet Silbernagel, Associate Professor, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, UW-Madison




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