It has been an outstanding year for Bodwéwadmi Ktëgan (Potawatomi Farm) being able to provide Forest County Potawatomi (FCP) tribal members and departments with healthy protein options along with fresh produce for everyday meals. The farm has become a self-sustaining operation, with meat sales rising and the variety of farm animals expanding.

The farm, located in Blackwell, Wis., was purchased by FCP in the late 1990s. Cattle were the original plan, but it was later decided to raise European red deer. The Red Deer Ranch housed red deer while providing a sustainable amount of venison for the tribal community.

A feasibility study was done in late 2016 leading to a change in focus for the farm. This new plan started with cattle and swine, eventually adding chickens to the picture. The new farm name, Bodwéwadmi Ktëgan, is now home to 23 cattle, 100 swine, 150 laying hens, 300 meat chickens, bees, and their newest addition — 39 bison in February 2019.

Bison is a lean, heart-healthy meat option that compliments the other healthy proteins they offer. Bison had a historical significance as they were a source of meat for the tribe many years ago.

The cattle, along with the bison, are grass-fed, and the chickens and pigs are pasture-raised. Grass-fed beef and pasture-raised pork is a great source of protein which contains five times more omega 3s than grain-fed beef! Omega 3s can help your health by reducing the risk for heart disease and reduce stiffness and pain. Conjugate linoleic acids (CLAs) are another abundant resource in grass-fed beef. CLAs can reduce the risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Grass-fed beef also contains higher amounts of Vitamin A and E which are great for our bodies.

The farm produces a wide variety of seasonal vegetables and fruits including: beets, peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers, zucchini, carrots, rutabaga, kale, green beans, and cabbage. The new aquaponics facility will be able to produce lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers year-round. Aquaponics is a system where waste produced by farmed fish supplies nutrients for plants to be grown, which, in turn, helps the plants purify the water.

The newest structure to the farm is the Wash N’ Pack Building, which is where all of the harvested produce from the farm is washed and packaged in a commercial kitchen. While some fresh produce is taken to tribal departments, other produce can be preserved in the kitchen by canning/freezing to use throughout the winter months. Large meals for events will also be prepared in the commercial kitchen.

The public can purchase all of the Bodwéwadmi Ktëgan’s products, along with souvenirs, at its storefront located at 3389 County Hwy. H in Laona, Wis. The variety of products offered include hamburger, steaks, bacon, pork chops, hams and much more. Snack stick flavors consist of old-fashioned, cheddar, jalapeño and cheddar, landjaeger, and a customer favorite — honey barbecue pineapple. Beef jerky comes in three flavors: buttery prime rib, cracked pepper and garlic, and hickory. Snack sticks, jerky, and bacon are available at both Carter and Stone Lake C-Stores. Please call (715) 889-2335 for a complete list of inventory.