TA 3-Year federal grant has been funded by the Administration for Native Americans specifically for the Tribe’s Economic Development. At the end of 3 years, the Tribe will have the business experience and fiscal records to qualify for Small Business Expansion opportunities and will have revenue to support the basic operations of the Tribal Government.
ANA Project Goals:
1. to develop an Agri-tourism Business on the 7 ½ acres adjacent to the Council House;
2. to increase the self-sufficiency of the Tribal Government;
3. to provide employment for Tribal members; (3 full time and 4 part time positions)
4. to have a new source of locally produced food – i.e. tilapia, lettuce, vegetables;
5. to enable the Tribe to develop a product line for traditional crafts and health products.
What is Agri-Tourism?
The “agri-tourism” strategy for the State of Florida is initiated by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to creatively use the farm concept to attract visitors for education, enjoyment, or active involvement in farm related activities. It is a means to sustain and share rural culture.
There are two forms of Agri-tourism: ecotourism (walking trails, farms, orchards, greenhouse growing) and heritage sites tourism (historic buildings with museums).
Muscogee Nation of Florida is designated as an Agri-tourism Business by the Walton County Board of County Commissioners through the Tourist Development Center.
Muscogee Nation of Florida is unique because we can have both types of Agri-tourism on one site. The historic Council House, Tribal Museum, and 160 years of uninterrupted Tribal history designates us as a ‘heritage site’. The Cypress Ponds and adjacent farming land can support walking trails and greenhouse farming as an ‘ecotourism’ industry.
What the Micro Farm Includes when Complete
A standard Greenhouse with raised beds for traditional vegetables and produce stand.
A 95’ x 160’ hydroponics (or aquafarming) greenhouse complex with 8 1,200 gallon Tilapia Tanks.
A Bob White Quail Hut and bird run.
An expanded blueberry orchard seasonally opened for u-pick sales.
A walkway with arbors and sitting areas that identifies plants and flowers indigenous to this area with signage. The signs will have the name of the plant in English and Creek and how it was used by our Tribe.
A stage on the cypress pond for a variety of venues.
A Learning Center. The outdoor center will have 4 stylized Arbors and a large fire pit in the center with large log benches for visiting students or Tribal Days; a School Room in the Council House that is restored to the 1920s; a turpentine display, and a museum with shelves, photographs, and displays.
Brochures for advertising the farm, books available for sale on indigenous plants and the Tribe, story books for children, a produce stand, and the work of artisans on consignment under a Muscogee Farm Logo.
A gathering of Tribal people in October and March of each year of this Project to share and learn.
Be part of the Florida Trail with traditional hunter’s lean-to, outhouse with chemical toilet, shower and potable water.
Project Partners: Land Management Board, Ohana School, Engineers Without Borders, Walton County Board of County Commissioners, and The Farm Extension Service and USDA