By Pastor Lex Liberatore, Lake Edge UCC and LENA member
Last month a new neighborhood effort was announced to support our most vulnerable students and families at Frank Allis Elementary School. A joint effort will provide non-perishable food to up to 60 students each weekend (more by Fall). The first scheduled delivery is Friday, January 27. This program, led by Lake Edge United Church of Christ (4200 Buckeye Road), Zion Lutheran Church (Atwood Ave @ Linden Ave) and Frank Allis School Administration, will help some 60 students each week.
More than just food security, we want to build community. Beginning in March, a monthly First Friday meal will be offered without cost (a free will offering will be taken). First Fridays support our neighbors, and we mean anybody. Anyone in our school community and neighborhood, whether your budget is tight or not, can come and enjoy a hot meal and time together. First Fridays will give parents a break, give children a chance to run around and have fun, help us pack the next weeks food bags, and most important, give all of us time to talk. If our neighborhood can better understand each other, we can create a real sense of hope and connection. To find out more about First Fridays or the backpack program, or to find out how you can help out, contact Pastor Lex Liberatore, 608-222-8668 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The First Fridays program will officially begin Friday, March 3 at 5:00pm at Lake Edge church, across from Frank Allis Elementary School.
By Stacey Fiener, Owner/Farmer of My Fine Homestead
The tasks vary from farm to farm however these are our daily and weekly tasks at our farm, My Fine Homestead.
Harvest days are long days, but fun because harvest is the culmination of growing produce. It is also a day to look forward to because others arrive to help us. There is a spirit of cooperation and camaraderie that makes the work go quickly. We spend the morning and afternoon picking, pulling, digging, cutting, and collecting vegetables. As we harvest, we cover the crates with thin, wet white flour sack towels to protect produce from the heat until it is delivered to the pack shed. Once there, it is soaked to remove the heat from the field, rinsed, bagged (if necessary), and stored in the walk-in cooler.
After that is done for all the crops harvested that day, I print labels. Bill, and whoever is helping, counts out and assembles boxes. Next, labels are taped to the appropriate size box. Then the fun begins, the washed and cooled produce is brought back out of the cooler to be distributed. This is when we find out how well we did counting items in the field. If we’ve done a good job, we have the correct number. If not, someone hustles to the field to get more amid good-natured calls of, “It wasn’t me that messed up!”, or “I got all mine!” Then with all the produce accounted for, boxes are closed up and sorted in stacks according to their delivery location. We load the boxes in the cooler – first delivered are first in so they are the last loaded into the van the next morning.
All that is left is to shut the lights off in the pack shed. Harvest day is done.
Wednesday is delivery day the various pick up sites. I get up early to put the weekly newsletter together. I try to get most of it done pre-dawn before I’m distracted by the rest of my family as they get up for the day.
I list the box contents, any announcements, add a recipe or two, and write this part – what has been happening on the farm. This section gives you a window into the work we do. My goal is to connect you to us, your farmers, our practices, and ultimately to your food. After the newsletter is sent out, we load the van. Bill and Liam line the back of the van with a combination of styrofoam insulation and bubble-wrap to keep the produce cool. We load the boxes, and after a final check with the kids, we’re off! (Saturdays are similar except the newsletter is done already, and we deliver to only one stop – the Spring Green Farmers Market.)
By evening the boxes will be in your hands, and we will be on our way home. Tired but satisfied. Harvest and delivery days are busy yet rewarding.
By Pastor Lex Liberatore, Lake Edge UCC and LENA member
Beginning in late January a new community partnership will address hunger and bring our Lake Edge neighborhood together. Lake Edge United Church of Christ, Zion Lutheran Church, and Frank Allis Elementary School are organizing a "back pack nutrition program" for low-income students who attend our neighborhood elementary school. The program will provide weekend non-perishable food for up to 60 students for the Spring 2017 term at Allis, with a goal to expand to 100+ students by Fall 2017. The food is meant to help close the gap for some of the 75% of students who live at or below the poverty level at Frank Allis Elementary School. As part of this effort, a special first Friday free-meal is also planned at Lake Edge UCC beginning in February. The First Friday meal is a way to support families on a tight budget and to allow neighborhood, church, and school to mingle and build relationships with each other. If our neighborhood can learn about each other and what are lives are all about we can create a real sense of hope. Look for more details in future articles; including the official start date. For more information or to inquire about helping out, contact Pastor Lex Liberatore at Lake Edge UCC, 608-222-8668 or email at email@example.com.
Editor's Note: LENA has been invited to participate and contribute to the initiative. As the program details are being worked on, the specifics are unknown at this time however LENA Board and Pastor Lex are in contact. We will be sure to keep you informed as things progress.
By Lori Scarlett, DVM, Four Lakes Veterinary Clinic
One of my favorite things to do with my dog is go to a local dog park. Letting him play with other dogs, being told how handsome he is, and getting to talk about dogs with other people is a highlight of my weekend and his! Unfortunately, sometimes having to drive a distance to get to a dog park stops me from going.
But now Monona has it's own dog park! This off-leash dog park is next to the Public Works Garage at 851 Femrite Dr. (the corner of Femrite Dr and Edna Taylor Parkway). It is roughly one acre in size – about the size of a soccer field. It is not as big as some of the Madison dogs parks, but certainly is big enough for a nice romp outside with some friends.
Your dog does need to be licensed and have a dog park permit ($30 per year), which gets them more bling on their collar and admittance to all the Dane County dog parks. In order to be licensed, your dog must have an up-to-date rabies vaccination. For the safety of your dog, having distemper, parvo, Bordetella, and influenza vaccines is also a very good idea. These are all contagious and potentially fatal diseases that are easy to protect against.
Because the new park is smaller than some, it is important to know the etiquette for a dog park. First, please don't take your dog if you know he/she doesn't do well with other dogs. When at the park, pay attention to how your dog is interacting with the other dogs and people there. If he is hiding behind you, growling, barking, or charging other dogs, take him home. No one, including your dog, is having a good time. If you are at the park and encounter an aggressive dog with an unresponsive owner, get yourself and your dog somewhere safe, then can call the police to intervene.
Please pick up after your dog. Intestinal parasites are easily spread through dogs parks and cleaning up your dog's poop immediately is the best way to prevent transmission. Some of the parasites carried by dogs can also be contracted by people, so please do the right thing! Having your veterinarian check a stool sample yearly is a good idea and keeping your dog on heartworm preventative year-round will also keep intestinal worms in check.
If your dog isn't spayed or neutered yet or hasn't had all the puppy vaccines (the last one is given after 4 months of age), please wait to take him/her to the dog park. Four Lakes Veterinary Clinic offers a Free Vaccines for Life program that is worth checking into and they also perform spay and neuter surgeries. Getting your dog “fixed” will also decrease the cost of a dog license!
So check out the new Monona off-leash dog park. Remember, a “tired dog is a good dog!”
Dr. Lori Scarlett is the owner-veterinarian at Four Lakes Veterinary Clinic, 4504 Monona Dr - a proud sponsor of LENA!
Update/Correction Notice: City of Monona officials indicated that dogs must be licensed and no other permits or licenses are required at this time. The program will be evaluated for potential charges to non-resident use however that is not the case for at least 2017.
by Angela Jenkins, LENA President
A few months ago, I had this idea, an idea that was stewing and is now becoming a reality! My family and I are CSA members for the past few years through my work in what is called a workplace CSA. We have always been interested in the concept but never had the guts to pull the trigger until the second season it was offered. This was largely due to a dear co-worker who graciously offered her produce with me throughout that season. She was either going to be out of town or there were simply too much for her and her roommate to consume. It was rather strange but each week, I brought home a large bag filled with fresh, organic vegetables which we enjoyed. Then my co-worker asked if we would be interested in splitting a share for the next season. I hadn't thought about it but after some discussions with the family, we've decided to go for it. It is then I learned about the healthcare rebate from our health insurance which saved us some money. The farm had other offerings (e.g. organic free-range eggs) in addition to produce which I took advantage. Before long, we were accustomed to the process and routine; box of fresh, in-season, organic produce delivered once weekly with our fresh eggs. Prior to this, I've never been a meal planner but inevitably, I had to modify my cooking behavior in order to consume the fresh veggies we receive on a weekly basis. It was a challenge initially but it didn't take long before we got used to the new routine. You see, the farm publishes weekly newsletter to its members with information around the farm and of course, the vegetables for the week. This way, you know what you'll be receiving and can plan accordingly. It became a routine where we look forward to the newsletter weekly and plan meals for the upcoming week. I loved it! I mean, it was great! Other than the occasional item here and there, we've eliminated vegetables from our grocery list. How great is that?! I think it is.
Then I had this idea. What if we start a public CSA site right here in the neighborhood?! Wouldn't that be great? To be able to share the same experience we had with friends and neighbors? I brought this up casually with a few neighbors and surprisingly, the reactions were overwhelmingly positive. I've never organized something like this before and I didn't know where to begin but I mustered up the courage to contact the FairShare CSA Coalition office. We invited the Executive Director, Erika Jones to share information about CSA and FairShare to one of the LENA meetings. She helped us create a survey to gather interest in the neighborhood with the premise that if there is enough interest, we would pursue the opportunity. Well, you've spoken and here we are.
Based on the survey results and with help from our friends at the FairShare, we've identified a farm that meets our needs; My Fine Homestead, located just west of Muscoda in Blue River. I've had the opportunity to meet the farmers, Stacey Fiener and Bill Meyer last week. They were kind enough to come to meet me at the Monona Community Center where my 4 year old had her final ballet class. Both Stacey and Bill are equally as excited as I am in building this relationship. Here are some of the details discussed:
*notification can be sent via text or email (please specify)
Thank you Carrie and Erika at FairShare for your assistance and Pastor Lex at the Lake Edge UCC for agreeing to let us use the facility as a pick up location. There is a secondary goal and I have ideas in how we may contribute to the Allis nutrition program. More information to come on that. Until then, please feel free to spread the word and I can't wait for the upcoming season to begin!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Tell me about FairShare CSA Coalition
A. FairShare CSA Coalition aim to support and connect CSA farmers to us (CSA members).
Q. Are all CSA farmers FairShare members?
A. No. The FairShare farmers have been through a peer-reviewed application and interview process to ensure their ability to provide the highest quality foods and customer service. The farms must be certified organic or are practicing organic farming techniques (i.e. in transition to be certified).
Q. What financial assistance are available?
A. All FairShare farms participates in the financial assistance in addition to health care plan reimbursements (limited to produce and fruit only). Eligible households may apply for assistance via the Partner Share Program from FairShare.
Q. How does the healthcare reimbursement work?
A. Learn more about this on the FairShare website: Health Insurance Rebate.**
Q. What types of shares are available and how much?
A. Depends on the farms however My Fine Homestead offers many options year-round. Check out their website for information.
Q. Is this only available to Lake Edge neighbors?
A. No - this is open for all who wish to support local farms and in having fresh, seasonal farm products delivered weekly.
Q. I have an extensive garden during the growing season. What options are available to me?
A. The farm offers spring and winter shares along with other goodies such as meat, eggs, and sweet shares.
FairShare CSA Coalition: http://www.csacoalition.org/
**Contact Carrie Sedlak at firstname.lastname@example.org or Erika Jones at email@example.com for questions re: Heatlh Insurance Rebates
By Kristie Schilling, MESBA
Do you have a great photo of the Monona East Side community? Then, consider submitting it for the 2017 cover photo contest! The 2016 edition was a stunning photo of sailboats on Lake Monona provided by Matt Lueck from the Lake Monona Sailing Club. If you’re interested in submitting a photo, following is the criteria sought for a winning photo (all of the following in order from most heavily weighted in the judging).
Best results are achieved by using a Digital SLR, not a phone camera.
If you’d like to submit a photo, please email it to connect@MononaEastSide.com by February 1. Photo credit will be given on the table of contents page, on the Monona East Side Business Alliance’s social media channels, and in the weekly e-news, the Monona Minute. If you would like to be added to the mailing list for the Monona Minute, please send us an email at connect@MononaEastSide.com or give us a call at (608) 222-8565.
Details on the Guide to the Monona Area
2015 was the first year the Guide to the Monona Area was published and 9,000 copies were produced. Demand for the guidebook has increased greatly and has become a reliable resource to area information. The magazine serves as a promotional publication for the Monona East Side community and members of the Monona East Side Business Alliance (MESBA). In 2017, the Alliance will produce and publish 15,000 copies that will be direct mailed to the following zip codes: 53713, 53714, 53716, and 53718. Watch for your copy in your mailbox in early April! The Guide can also be viewed online at MononaEastSide.com.
Being featured in the publication requires membership in the Alliance. Through the support of members working together, the Alliance is able to promote the community to a wider audience, recruit new businesses to locate here bringing jobs and new residents, promote many of the great assets of the community for tourism initiatives, and to promote existing businesses and encourage local support. More information on MESBA can be found online at MononaEastSide.com.
Kristie Schilling is the Executive Director of MESBA, 5708 Monona Drive - a proud sponsor of LENA!
By Mallory Shotwell, Lake Edge resident and Founder of Madison Community Discourse
Moving into the Lake Edge neighborhood in March, Mallory, her fiancé Chad, and her son Liam found themselves loving it right away. They quickly got busy planting vegetable gardens, walking their dog, and riding down the long hills. People often describe their house as living inside a treehouse, as the view from the top of the hill is incredible.
Mallory is happy, not only because she loves the new neighborhood, but because she is studying it this year with her nonprofit Madison Community Discourse. She is the founder and executive director of this community arts nonprofit that connects community through art and discourse. She believes that art and discourse are the solutions for change in the community, and connecting through that makes an incredible difference. One less stranger and one more friend creates this stronger sense of belonging in our community.
Founded in 2013, Madison Community Discourse (MCD) has studied a theme to connect people. In the past, they have studied love and courage, and this year it is happiness. It is an open-ended, universal experience that we can all share. One neighbor’s happiness is different than another’s, but we can connect to that because we both had that moment. MCD connects and strengthens community in three ways: interviews, community art workshops, and an exhibition at the end of the year. They are conducting interviews this year to create a ‘portrait’ of what happiness is in the community. Every age, race, gender, orientation, and background is included in this process.
There are two workshops every month. One is a hands-on art workshop, where visitors become participants as they engage in art and their own thoughts on happiness. The other is a philosophical discussion group called ‘Happy Hour’ where everyone is invited to share in larger questions on what happiness is in our lives. The exhibition is a multi-media interactive installation art show, where everyone who attends is invited to play, touch, create, and engage in the art. While there are some 2d art pieces, most of the pieces are interactive in that they are not completed until people actively engage with it. Artists will invite participants to ride on a bicycle to ‘light up your life’ (a light bulb installation that lights up with the user’s movements), typewriters on tables, video projections, headphones on the wall to listen to the interviews, and so much more.
MCD Exhibition Event
They are hosting the following workshops in November/December:
Please visit their Facebook page or website to learn more about the events, activities, or to see the stories of happiness all over the city.
By Ken Gusner and Seethong Yang, Monona Shoe Repair
Over the past seven years that I have been a cobbler, I noticed a few things that each of us can do to preserve and prolong the life of our shoes and in turn, improve the well-being of our feet. Well, a good and comfortable pair of shoes adds to the quality of our overall health. We ought to take the time to care for them. When a pair of shoes lasts longer and it is comfortable to wear, we spend less money and not to mention, our feet are happier. When our feet are happier, so do we!
The first thing anyone can do to care for their shoes is to clean them. In the case of your Allen Edmonds, Alden, Cole Haan, other leather shoes and boots, polish them. This is the single most important thing you can do to get the most out of your footwear. When you polish your shoes, it is recommended that you use a cream polish, which soaks into the leather to keep it soft and flexible. A good cream polish will condition the leather and extends its life and usage. It prevents the leather from drying and cracking. A paste polish may also work, but it won’t penetrate into the leather as well.
The second thing is to avoid getting your shoes wet. Getting your leather shoes wet and dry several times can crack the leather. You can keep your shoes dry by wearing an overshoes, which is a pair of thin rubber shoes that fits right over your shoes. Especially, when it’s raining or snowing. The other alternative is to wear your crappy shoes in crappy weather.
If your leather shoes get wet, don’t put them in the oven or by the fireplace to dry. Doing this will ruin the shoes. Wipe them with a clean cloth, hang them upside down on a broomstick and let them dry naturally. This will allow the moisture in the soles to evaporate. Once the shoes are dry, polish them with a cream polish. Remember that leather is a skin and it needs to be conditioned and cared for.
The third thing is to wear your footwear appropriately. Don’t wear your Allen Edmonds to mow the lawn or plow the snow. Your good quality shoes are not made to withstand such abuse. If you must do manual labor around the house or in the yard, wear something that is made for that purpose. Your shoes protect your feet, which is the foundation upon which you stand. How well those shoes fit your feet will affect your posture, movement and overall health. Your shoes add a lot to your health and well-being, you should care for them just as you would care for your hands or your feet. And remember, they’re shoes, they need love too.
Ken Gusner is the owner of Monona Shoe Repair, 4517 Monona Drive - a proud sponsor of LENA! Ken is also a resident in the Lake Edge neighborhood.
Save 20% on all fresh mulch from JR's Mulch - order now!
By phone at 608-692-2275 or visit the website by selecting the image below!
*Order now - expires Nov. 15
Correction - There was an error in last month's newsletter preventing the collection of the survey responses. Let's help Luke and Sara in their next house projects! Complete the survey here!
Sara's and Luke's House
Articles are written and submitted by members of the Lake Edge Neighborhood Association, residents, business owners, community members, and elected officials in the Lake Edge neighborhood or vicinity.