After the Harvest: Processing, Drying, Storing, & Caring for your Medicines (part 1)

We’re in the height of summer here in the northern hemisphere. Many medicine makers (including me) are heading out to harvest in the evenings after a full day of work/school/childcare. We race against sunset to gather our precious plant medicines while they are in season, and bring home baskets or bags full of beautiful medicine.Continue reading “After the Harvest: Processing, Drying, Storing, & Caring for your Medicines (part 1)”

All About Yarrow: Cold Remedy, Wound Medicine, and More

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about Yarrow lately, so I decided it was time for a more comprehensive Yarrow post. It’s a very important medicine, and in many regions, right now is the time to harvest it. First, a little background. This plant has many names: Ȟaŋté Čhaŋȟlóǧaŋ Tȟaópi pȟežúta Achillea millefolium YarrowContinue reading “All About Yarrow: Cold Remedy, Wound Medicine, and More”

Indigenous Community Garden: Opaskwayak Cree Nation

This post is a virtual tour of the community garden at Opaskwayak Cree Nation in northern Manitoba. While these pictures are almost two years old (this post has been sitting in my “Drafts” for awhile), the ideas of food sovereignty and community gardening are especially important today, so I decided to dig it up andContinue reading “Indigenous Community Garden: Opaskwayak Cree Nation”

July Squash Takeover

July is the month of the Squash Takeover! (This is another 2018 post that’s been sitting in my “Drafts” folder.) In June, my squash plants seemed to be spaced out too thinly. I’d planted several bumpy green Hubbards (Curcubita maxima) from Linda Black Elk, as well as a couple Lakota squash.* But there was aContinue reading “July Squash Takeover”

Waȟnáȟnaheča – Wild cucumber

Waȟnáȟnaheča — wild cucumbers! Some years, you can hardly find one in the woods or on the prairies, and other years, they seem to be growing everywhere. Their leaf shape and vining habit resemble domesticated cucumbers (kuŋkúŋ, or Cucumis sativus), which are native to India, but they are not closely related. Here are some waȟnáȟnahečaContinue reading “Waȟnáȟnaheča – Wild cucumber”

Thíŋpsiŋla Sú: Prairie Turnip Seed

When I was harvesting Thíŋpsiŋla / Thíŋpsiŋna / Prairie turnip / Pediomelum esculentum last year, this adorable little seed fell out in my hand: It fell out of the fuzzy flowerhead, and resembles a very small bean. When people dig thíŋpsiŋla, we pay special attention to what we do with the green, non-edible part ofContinue reading “Thíŋpsiŋla Sú: Prairie Turnip Seed”

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”

Ten Foot Tall Sunflowers in South Dakota

You can’t tell, but my friend’s two-story house is hidden behind this forest of sunflowers. Sunflower varieties cross quite easily. While the type she grows are not a species with a particular name, they are likely a cross between our local indigenous sunflowers and some cultivated varieties. The seeds are too small to be worthContinue reading “Ten Foot Tall Sunflowers in South Dakota”

Midsummer Corn

Some of my Mandan Bride corn in early July. (If you’re unfamiliar with Mandan Bride corn, this link will take you to another grower’s account of it.) Corn flowers are up and fertilizing the ears, maybe ~45 days after planting: and here is one of the first ears developing!