5 Outstanding Ways to Celebrate MLK Day in Your Community

This year, Harvest of OH is celebrating MLK Day and as we commemorate the enduring legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., we realize there’s no better way to honor his life than by actively contributing to the well-being of our communities to create a meaningful impact. Here are five inspiring ways to spread joy and create a more vibrant community:

Community Clean-Up:

There’s a unique sense of camaraderie that comes with working together towards a common goal. Organize a community clean-up event where residents come armed with gloves and trash bags to rejuvenate local parks, streets, or communal spaces. This not only enhances the physical environment but also fosters a shared commitment to the well-being of the community.

Kindness Ripple Effect:

Initiate a kindness campaign that encourages residents to perform random acts of kindness throughout the day. Distribute cards or flyers suggesting simple yet impactful acts like offering a friendly smile, helping a neighbor, or leaving positive notes in public spaces. Watch as these small acts create a ripple effect, uplifting the spirits of everyone involved.

Cultural Potluck Celebration:

Break down barriers and celebrate diversity by organizing a community potluck that showcases the rich tapestry of cultures within your neighborhood. Encourage residents to bring dishes that represent their heritage, fostering understanding and appreciation for the vibrant backgrounds that make up your community.

Community Storytelling Gathering:

Embrace the power of storytelling to strengthen the bonds within your community. Host a gathering where residents can share personal stories that highlight unity, resilience, and overcoming challenges. Whether through spoken word, written narratives, or visual presentations, storytelling fosters empathy and connection.

Artistic Expressions of Unity:

Tap into the creative talents of your community by organizing an art project that reflects the themes of unity, equality, and positive change. Encourage local artists to contribute murals, sculptures, or other visual representations that celebrate the shared values of Martin Luther King Jr. These artistic expressions not only beautify public spaces but also serve as constant reminders of the community’s commitment to a brighter future.

CBD Month: Top 5 CBD Products You Can’t Miss!

We understand that the world of CBD can be overwhelming, with an abundance of products flooding the market. That's why we've taken it upon ourselves to sift through the options, meticulously selecting the crème de la crème to bring you a list of must-try CBD products. Each item on our list has earned its spot through rigorous testing, positive customer feedback, and a commitment to the highest standards of quality.

1.) Wana 100mg Hybrid 2:1 CBD:THC Gummies- Exotic Yuzu Lemon

Immerse yourself in the extraordinary fusion of flavors with Wana’s Exotic Yuzu Sour Gummies, featuring a 2:1 CBD to THC ratio for a well-rounded experience. Inspired by the rare Asian fruit, these handcrafted treats capture the distinct acidity and unique sweetness of Yuzu, creating a taste sensation that sets them apart. Crafted with care using all-natural, vegan, and gluten-free ingredients, these gummies undergo a meticulous infusion process during cooking. The result is a perfect balance of CBD and THC terpene-enhanced distillate, offering the combined benefits of both cannabinoids in a 2:1 ratio.

2.) UBGOOD: 110mg 20:1 CBD:THC Tincture (Relief)

Savor the simplicity of a cannabis experience free from lingering tastes, providing a seamless and effective solution to your wellness needs. UBGood’s commitment to quality shines through in every drop, offering a tincture that not only meets but exceeds the expectations of patients seeking a refined and reliable cannabis experience. This is a favorite among patients for its clean, non-lingering taste, remarkable effectiveness, and cost efficiency.

3.) Certified 100mg Hybrid 1:1 Gummies Black Cherry Rubies

Certified’s Black Cherry Rubies are meticulously formulated with higher doses of CBD, strategically designed to combat inflammation and target various pain mechanisms with the utmost comfort. Each bite is a fusion of effective relief and the indulgent taste of black cherry, offering a palatable solution to your wellness journey.

4.) 2mg : 6mg CBD 'Social' Sparkling Pear

Camino Sparkling Pear Gummies aren’t just a treat for your taste buds; they’re a holistic experience carefully curated with terpenes including Limonene, Beta-Caryophyllene, and Linalool that align with your well-being. Elevate your moment with the perfect blend of taste, relaxation, and therapeutic magic.

5.) Wana 100mg Strawberry Lemonade 1:1 Gummies

Meticulously crafted with all-natural, vegan, and gluten-free ingredients, these delectable treats marry the essence of bright citrus and the richness of strawberry. Beyond their delectable flavor profile, the popular 1:1 ratio within these gummies offers a unique blend of psychoactive effects, promoting a sense of relaxation and tranquility. Elevate your CBD experience with the perfect equilibrium of nature’s flavors and the harmonious balance of cannabinoids..

“Kwanzaa Crash Course: Understanding the Seven Principles and Symbols”

"Kwanzaa Crash Course: Understanding the Seven Principles and Symbols"

As the year draws to a close, we come together to celebrate a wide range of holidays and enjoy festivities. Among these celebrations, Kwanzaa stands out as a meaningful and vibrant observance that honors African American and Pan-African family, community, and culture. Kwanzaa Awareness Week, dedicated to spreading knowledge and understanding of this unique celebration, provides an opportunity for individuals of different backgrounds to come together in the spirit of unity.

Kwanzaa, which means "first fruits" in Swahili, was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga as a way for African Americans to connect with their roots and celebrate their shared history and values. The week-long celebration, occurring on December 26th through January 1st, focuses on seven core principles known as the Nguzo Saba. These principles serve as a guide for reflection and action throughout the week.

These are the seven principles of Kwanzaa in the order they are followed, along with their representative meanings, according to the official Kwanzaa website.

1.) Umoja (unity): "To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race."

2.) Kujichagulia (self-determination): "To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves."

3.) Ujima (collective work and responsibility): "To build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together."

4.) Ujamaa (cooperative economics): "To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together."

5.) Nia (purpose): "To make our collective vocation the building and development of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness."

6.) Kuumba (creativity): "To always do as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it."

7.) Imani (faith): "To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle."

Kwanzaa Awareness Week plays a crucial role in fostering a deeper understanding of this cultural celebration. It encourages individuals from diverse backgrounds to engage in discussions, attend events, and explore the traditions associated with Kwanzaa. By promoting awareness, we not only honor the African American heritage but also build bridges between communities, fostering a sense of respect and appreciation for the rich cultural mosaic that makes our world so beautifully diverse. So, let's come together during Kwanzaa Awareness Week, light the Kinara, and embrace the values that unite us all in the spirit of love, community, and cultural pride.

35 Years of World AIDS Day

35 Years of World AIDS Day

In 1988, World AIDS Day marked a historic moment as the first-ever international day dedicated to global health. Since then, December 1st has become a day when individuals worldwide unite to honor those affected by HIV/AIDS. This annual observance not only honors the lives impacted by the virus but also serves as a crucial platform for raising awareness, sharing information, testimonials, and exploring innovative treatment options.

In Ohio, a positive HIV or AIDS status qualifies as a medical condition under the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (OMMCP). According to the Ohio Department of Health, there were 25,419 individuals living with HIV in Ohio in 2022. Notably, half of this population had received a diagnosis of AIDS as well. With the advancements of medicine, individuals diagnosed with HIV/AIDS are able to live long and healthy lives, which is why it is important to continue to inform the world about preventative measures such as medications that prevent transmission. It’s our hope that through raising awareness on dedicated global and local health days such as World AIDS Day, that those affected by these conditions have a community support system filled with crucial resources.

Under the message of "Let Communities Lead," this year's theme emphasizes the huge impact of community engagement. As demonstrated by the successful passing of Issue 2 in Ohio, the collective strength of communities is a force to be reckoned with. When communities actively seek AIDS funding, advocate for educational programs, and promote prevention initiatives, they contribute significantly to the fight against HIV/AIDS.

As we observe World AIDS Day, let us recognize the power that communities hold in shaping the narrative and response to HIV/AIDS. By fostering community-driven initiatives, we can make meaningful strides in education, prevention, and support for those affected by this global health challenge. Together, we can contribute to a future where HIV/AIDS is better understood, effectively managed, and, ultimately, eradicated.

To learn more about how you can raise awareness for HIV/AIDS, visit the World AIDS Day website! While advancements in treatments have drastically lowered the fatality risks of breast cancer, there are still side effects that come with the disease. Breast cancer, along with many other cancers, may often result in pain for the patient, which can include joint and muscle aches, overall discomfort, and stiffness. Pain management is one of the most common reasons for breast cancer patients to use medical marijuana. According to “A Coala-T-Cannabis Survey Study of Breast Cancer Patients’ Use of Cannabis Before, During, and After Treatment”, 75% of surveyed breast cancer patients reported that it was extremely or very helpful in relieving their symptoms.

Research for medical cannabis and its effects on breast cancer is still ongoing, so speak to a doctor if you’d like to learn more about medical marijuana as a treatment option for you. As we discover more and more, we hope to create a future without breast cancer.

To learn more about breast cancer and how to spread awareness, visit the World AIDs Day website!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Embrace the power of pink during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month! It's an amazing time to emphasize the importance of preventative measures like regular screenings, being physically active, and maintaining a healthy diet. In uniting to raise awareness about breast cancer, we hope to create a world where early detection and effective treatments become the norm for the 242,100 people diagnosed each year.

While advancements in treatments have drastically lowered the fatality risks of breast cancer, there are still side effects that come with the disease. Breast cancer, along with many other cancers, may often result in pain for the patient, which can include joint and muscle aches, overall discomfort, and stiffness. Pain management is one of the most common reasons for breast cancer patients to use medical marijuana. According to “A Coala-T-Cannabis Survey Study of Breast Cancer Patients’ Use of Cannabis Before, During, and After Treatment”, 75% of surveyed breast cancer patients reported that it was extremely or very helpful in relieving their symptoms.

Research for medical cannabis and its effects on breast cancer is still ongoing, so speak to a doctor if you’d like to learn more about medical marijuana as a treatment option for you. As we discover more and more, we hope to create a future without breast cancer.

To learn more about breast cancer and how to spread awareness, visit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation!

LGBT History Month

Celebrate the rich spectrum of human experience with LGBT History Month! We honor the courageous individuals, pivotal events, and vibrant cultures that have shaped the journey towards equality and understanding for queer communities. From trailblazing activists who stood up against adversity to groundbreaking moments that propelled societal change, this month serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for acceptance and the power of love in all its forms. Join us in recognizing the past, celebrating the present, and paving the way for a more inclusive and compassionate future.

Happy LGBT History Month!

Dennis Peron (he/him). Dennis Peron is seen as the leader responsible for medical cannabis legislation passing in California. As an AIDS activist, Dennis understood the importance of gaining awareness and public knowledge and partnered with several others to gain signatures and change the stigma around medical marijuana. Throughout his life, Dennis believed that medical marijuana had a real place in the lives of those affected by various conditions and that it could truly help them. Near the end of this life, Peron opposed California Propositions 19 and 64 in 2010, which would have legalized recreational cannabis, because he did not believe that recreational use exists, as all people who use marijuana are using it medicinally.

Wendy Chapkis (she/they). Dr. Wendy Chapkis is an author and Professor of Sociology and Women & Gender Studies at the University of Southern Maine. Her book Dying to Get High: Marijuana as Medicine dives into qualifying conditions such as AIDS and cancer and how they were utilized to bring about the medical use of marijuana in the United States.

Richard Eastman (he/him). Richard Eastman has been dedicated to advocating for medical cannabis and changing the stigma around it for over 25 years. In 1999, he was the only AIDS patient invited to California Attorney General Lockyear’s task force meetings to advocate for medical marijuana and has helped organize various efforts to protect its use.

Paul Scott (he/him). Paul Scott is the Founder and Director of the Los Angeles Black LGBTQ Pride Movement. His empathy, activism, and determination led him to create the first medical cannabis facility in Inglewood, CA, where patients could find a safe space and have legal access to medical marijuana.

Isamarie Pérez (she/her). Isamarie (Isa) Perez works in the tech space as a cannabis advocate and has worked with over 200 companies to start careers and streamline business processes in the industry. Isa advocates for the abundant potential people of color and those in the LGBTQ+ Community have in the medical cannabis industry and encourages everyone to learn more about what it has to offer.

Amber Senter (she/her). Amber Senter has used her experience of over 20 years in project management and marketing to co-found Supernova Women, an organization dedicated to empowering people of color to become self-sufficient cannabis industry shareholders. Supernova Women worked with the City of Oakland to establish the first social equity program in the nation. Amber works to lower barriers of entry for Black and Brown people, and for communities most impacted by the failed War on Drugs.

Black Business Month – Athens Black Business

The Shack: This convenience store has all you need! Located right in Athens, this one-stop shop offers a wide variety of quick and easy needs, from tasty snacks to flavorful drinks.

● Address: 20 S Court St, Athens, OH 45701

● Website: https://www.facebook.com/mikesdogshack/

Swim Printed: Swimprinted is a garment printing business that serves its patrons with high-quality, custom prints. Dedicated to helping people of all budgets, Swimprinted’s print-on-demand services are perfect for anyone wanting to develop their brand.

● Website: https://swimprinted.com/

DJ B-Funk: DJ B-Funk has been serving the Athens area for over 15 years with his unique and creative sets and seamless transitions. Offering his services at a wide variety of events like weddings, festivals, celebrations, and more, every party with DJ B Funk is one to remember!

● Website: http://djb-funk.weebly.com/contact.html

Bam & Bros Barbershop: Bam & Bros Barbershop has a cozy atmosphere and great conversation! You’ll love the results from the wide range of haircut services this barbershop offers.

● Address: 20 South Court Street, Athens, OH 45701

● Website: https://www.facebook.com/mikesdogshack/

Black Business Month – KafeLA

Kafela (pronounced Café-El-A) is a family-owned-and-operated business that brings the California sunshine to Cleveland. Owner Kayla Dial opened the restaurant in 2020 during the pandemic and has since grown the business and its audience exponentially.

Located on St. Clair Avenue, the restaurant's cozy atmosphere is filled with plants, hand painted decor, and amazing music, which gives patrons a reason to return time and time again. Kafela’s staff is incredibly friendly and makes sure that your experience is fantastic and unlike any other. Everyone will find something they love here, whether it's breakfast, lunch, or dinner, all of which are available all day, 7 days a week!

Kafela’s menu is extensive, featuring many of your favorite pleasures such as coffee, smoothies, ice cream, and delectable savory dishes. It is also a must-try for anyone looking for healthy options, as many menu items can be switched out for vegan and vegetarian substitutes.

We had a fantastic time during our visit. Of Kafela's several beverage options, we tried the amazing L.A. Island and Sunday Morning smoothies, which were filled with fresh fruit including pineapples, strawberries, mangos, and more. The L.A. Island smoothie paired perfectly with the Boulevard Buffalo Wrap, a particular favorite that was finished in a few bites. Each menu item was bursting with yummy, fresh flavor that kept you coming back for more.

You won't regret stopping into Kafela. When you go, tell their wonderful staff how you liked your visit, and don't forget to tell them Harvest sent you!

Location: 6710 St Clair Ave., Cleveland, OH 44103

Black Business Month – Raw Yoga 614

Raw Yoga 614 is a black-owned and operated yoga studio in Columbus that’s perfect for those who want to have a fun hobby or even become certified yoga instructors. Co-Owned by husband and wife, Derrick and Yaizmen, the studio offers classes for all ages that are designed to meet the needs of participants at all levels. These classes are broken down into three session types: Power Yoga, Slow Yoga, and Restoring Flow Yoga. Private Yoga sessions are available one-on-one, for small groups, and even for corporate activities.

Our Brand Ambassadors met with co-owner Yaizmen for a tour and an outstanding yoga session. When they arrived in Suite 157, they were greeted with great music, gorgeous decor, and a warm atmosphere. It effortlessly shows how the studio fosters a sense of community and self-improvement in each individual.

When you visit Raw Yoga 614, be sure to tell them Harvest sent you!

Location: 25 S St Clair St, Dayton, OH 45402

Black Business Month – Twist Cupcakery

At Twist Cupcakery, everyone can find a sweet they love and ship their favorite flavors nationwide to a friend in a tasty cupcake jar. Located in Downtown Dayton, the cupcakery makes sure to use the best ingredients so that their treats are both amazing to look at and eat. Cupcake flavors rotate each day with other bakery staples such as wedding cakes, brownies, and chocolate pretzels .

Location: 25 S St Clair St, Dayton, OH 45402