Čhaŋšáša Wanáȟča

Čhaŋšáša, an  important plant medicine (Cornus sericea), grows all across North America. In the spring, it produces clusters of lovely four-petaled flowers.   Spring comes at widely different times in different territories, but this is an April čhaŋšáša flower from central California. In other, colder territories (like Standing Rock), the plant wouldn’t even be producingContinue reading “Čhaŋšáša Wanáȟča”

Eating Local in the Lean Months: Winter Squash

Seven months after harvest, it’s still fresh and ready to eat: Local winter squash. This is one of my own: it was purchased at the co-op in Bismarck. I don’t know the name of this variety, but it’s beautiful, stayed fresh for over 7 months, and tasted great, too! I’ve heard people say that ifContinue reading “Eating Local in the Lean Months: Winter Squash”

Seed Stories: Corn Rematriation

When we started the Standing Rock Seed Exchanges we had last year, we made it our custom to open each one with a prayer. I’m glad we did, because that opens the space for some truly extraordinary things to occur. The Standing Rock Seed Exchanges we had last year resulted in many people forming relationshipsContinue reading “Seed Stories: Corn Rematriation”

Retrospective: Biodiversity at Sacred Stone Camp

This month marks three years since the founding of Sacred Stone Camp in April of 2016, on land just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, at the confluence of two important rivers. These photos were taken during Prof. Linda Black Elk’s Sitting Bull College Field Ethnobotany class in June 2016. This day we didContinue reading “Retrospective: Biodiversity at Sacred Stone Camp”

Buckbrush in Bloom

Here’s an early-summer picture of a Buckbrush bush in bloom. When I take people out onto the prairie, they frequently ask about this plant. It’s common for people to mistake the greenish-white berries for some kind of late-season blueberry or juneberry. Some notice the somewhat similar leaf shape and texture of Buckbrush and Juneberry bushes,Continue reading “Buckbrush in Bloom”

Processing Dried-out Čhaŋšáša

Oops. I let the čhaŋšáša dry out — again. Have you ever gotten so busy that you just didn’t get to processing the čhaŋšáša you harvested before the bark got all dried out? Or maybe you just forgot about a piece, and discovered the poor, dried-up stick in a corner somewhere, months later? I’ve doneContinue reading “Processing Dried-out Čhaŋšáša”