Warrior Institute Nurtures Healthy Minds, Bodies and Spirits

The Warrior Institute launched another farming project this season after a handshake with property owner, Byron Nelson opened about five acres of prime farm land to opportunity. The farm features a creatively designed herb garden, about 100 different crops ranging from tomatoes to kale, salvaged wood from the lumber mill and several eye-catching scarecrows visible from Highway 96 near Hostler Field./Photo by Allie Hostler, TRT contributor.

The Warrior Institute launched another farming project this season after a handshake with property owner, Byron Nelson opened about five acres of prime farm land to opportunity. The farm features a creatively designed herb garden, about 100 different crops ranging from tomatoes to kale, salvaged wood from the lumber mill and several eye-catching scarecrows visible from Highway 96 near Hostler Field./Photo by Allie Hostler, TRT contributor.

Growing Strong, Farm Component In Full Swing

By Allie Hostler, Two Rivers Tribune Contributing Writer

Published on July 5, 2016 in Volume 22, Issue 27

Editor’s Note: This is part one of a two part series about the Warrior Institute. Click here for Part II.

With the help of his family and team, the visionary and leader of the Warrior Institute, Joseph Marshall, is nurturing his dream to awaken a new generation of youth leaders one step at a time.
Each year since its launch in 2011, the Warrior Institute expands its various programs to empower people to cultivate healthy minds, bodies and spirits.

This year the Warrior Institute added a six-acre farm with more than 100 crop varieties to its ambitious summer and fall programs that include whitewater rafting, cultural skill building and CrossFit training.

“We can’t have clean minds and healthy bodies if we’re not eating right,” Farm Manager, Arthur Warren said. “You can’t have a gym program where the people are doing CrossFit and eating Doritos. The real missions is to create a holistic healthy platform of being outdoors, being physical, working out and having a fresh mind. Good nutrition supports all of that.”

Over fried squash blossoms, onions and zucchini, fresh lettuce and an ice cold blackberry beverage, Warren and young adult interns shared their roots and why they were drawn to Hoopa and the Warrior Institute.

Warren owns a farm with his sister in upstate New York where they grow more than 300 crop varieties. After spending a decade in the media and fashion industry, Warren simultaneously pursued his agricultural dream. For the past five years he has dedicated his time solely to he and his sister’s farm. But he was still not satisfied.

“I was looking for an opportunity to use both of my skill sets; entrepreneur director combined with agriculture,” he said. “The farm is not just a farm. It’s a support component to the health motivations of the Warrior Institute.”

Andrea Jannotta is a 23-year-old intern on the farm. She arrived last week just as the Peace and Dignity Journey runners were passing through Hoopa.

“My first few days on the farm were epic,” she said. “I’m learning a lot.”

Jannotta is a recent graduated from Eckord College with a degree in Environmental Studies.

“Food is something that unites people and brings people together, but it is also the one thing that separates people in terms of social class…in terms of who eats how. Mostly in America, it’s the separation in quality,” Jannotta said.

Meredith Nesbitt is 19 years old and was raised in a 150-year large-scale farming family.

Andrea Jonnotta and Meredith Nesbitt plant a freshly tilled bed with beet seeds at the Warrior Institute's garden in Hostler Field./Photo by Allie Hostler.

Andrea Jonnotta and Meredith Nesbitt plant a freshly tilled bed with beet seeds at the Warrior Institute’s garden in Hostler Field./Photo by Allie Hostler.

“My whole family is into commercialized farming, soy and corn farming. I don’t even know how many acres. I used to look at the corn fields and think they were beautiful. I realized later that type of farming wasn’t actually how it was supposed to look,” she said. “So I set out to find a better way to produce food while helping and supporting people, and to do that in an environmentally fair way.”

Matthew Kay is 21 years old and from South Carolina. He found out about the Warrior Institute through the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) website.

“Talking to Arthur inspired me and convinced me that there was a lot of good things going on here,” Kay said. “I wanted to work on a farm that a community needs, a place where the health is poor and where a farm can help assist people to get on the right track—a healthy track.”

There are currently three interns on the farm, and more are scheduled to arrive in the coming weeks.

Warren emphasized that the farm is just a component of the Warrior Institute, a supportive link in the goal to create a healthier community. Although the Warrior Institute’s farm is currently supported by some grants, Warren’s mission is to nurture it to sustain itself financially by cooking the food, selling it and sharing it in a celebratory way at community events.

“Sustainability is my main goal,” Warren said. “By presenting local, healthy food in a celebratory format it’s easier to build enthusiasm around farming and sustainable agriculture.”

In Part 2 of this series, Warrior Institute Founder and Executive Director, Joseph Marshall will be interviewed about the rafting, cultural and CrossFit components of the Warrior Institute.

The Warrior Institute recently launched a new website that is filled with beautiful photographs and more information about their programs. Visit www.warriorinstitute.org and support the Warrior Institute movement in your community.

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