Chokecherry flowers

Seen on a plant walk for the Culture Day at Selfridge Public Schools. I led walks around the school grounds for groups of students from different grade levels. Although they all knew how to identify a chokecherry plant from the presence of ripe cherries, few of them could identify it based on the leaf orContinue reading “Chokecherry flowers”

2018 SBC Mobridge Standing Rock Seed Exchange

After the success of our first Standing Rock Seed Exchange in Fort Yates, ND, in Spring of 2018, we started hearing that people on the south side of the reservation wanted a seed exchange, too. So, the first Mobridge Seed Exchange was born. We met on a Saturday afternoon at the Sitting Bull College MobridgeContinue reading “2018 SBC Mobridge Standing Rock Seed Exchange”

Pȟaŋǧí — Sunchoke/Jerusalem Artichoke

Pȟaŋǧí. Helianthus tuberosus. Sunchoke or Jerusalem Artichoke in English. It is a cousin to the sunflower. It is not remotely related to an artichoke, and does not look or taste anything like one, so I’m not sure how it got its English name. But its Lakota name, Pȟaŋǧí, has since lent itself to many otherContinue reading “Pȟaŋǧí — Sunchoke/Jerusalem Artichoke”

Wáǧačhaŋ Čhíŋkpa Pȟežúta Káǧa — Making Medicine from Cottonwood Buds

Wáǧačhaŋ. Populus deltoides. Cottonwood. This is a very culturally important tree for the Lakota and many other Indigenous cultures. It has more uses than I will get into in this post. Today I will focus on the medicinal uses of the buds, or čhíŋkpa. (“Čhíŋkpa” specifically refers to a bud on a tree; “čhamní” isContinue reading “Wáǧačhaŋ Čhíŋkpa Pȟežúta Káǧa — Making Medicine from Cottonwood Buds”

Wáǧačhaŋ Wanáȟča Yúta — Eating Cottonwood Flowers

Wáǧačhaŋ wanáȟča kiŋ yáta oyákihi he? Can you eat cottonwood flowers? I’ve been working with cottonwood buds to make medicinal salves, but when I walked by our neighborhood trees and noticed that the buds had burst open to reveal these red flowers (technically called catkins, not flowers), I wondered if they were edible. I triedContinue reading “Wáǧačhaŋ Wanáȟča Yúta — Eating Cottonwood Flowers”

Siberian Elm

Siberian Elm. Ulmus Pumila. The State of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources classifies it as an invasive species, noting that “[t]he tree can invade and dominate disturbed prairies in just a few years.” (see link for more info.) This fast growing, hard to eradicate tree is a real problem here, growing up under homes andContinue reading “Siberian Elm”

Čhaŋpȟáhu číkʼala (baby chokecherry plants)

I found these baby chokecherry plants poking their heads up today on my walk. I had tossed some chokecherry seeds in that area earlier this year. I don’t know if they germinated, or if these came from another source, but either way, I was glad to see them.