Cleaning Buffalo Berries

Harvesting maštíŋča phuté (Buffalo berries, Soap berries, or Shepherdia argentea) is messy business. Due to the thorns on the shrubs, and the difficulty of picking them, the traditional harvesting method on the prairies is to lay a dropcloth underneath the plant, and (gently) beat a branch to shake loose any ripe berries. As you canContinue reading “Cleaning Buffalo Berries”

Corn Harvest in Porcupine, ND

This is a belated post. Last year the fall, I visited my friend Linda S.’s garden in Porcupine, ND, to help with the corn harvest. She grows her own corn blend, selecting for what grows best on her land. I’m not sure what all the parents of this corn line are, but at least oneContinue reading “Corn Harvest in Porcupine, ND”

Tincture Making: Curlycup Gumweed / Pteíčhiyuȟa

I wanted to share a few pictures of my Curlycup Gumweed / Pteíčhiyuȟa tincture. It’s a very simple recipe, but has helped me tremendously with breathing problems during the winter months. So I wanted to share this for others who might also want to try making this medicine. Generally, tincturing with alcohol is a wayContinue reading “Tincture Making: Curlycup Gumweed / Pteíčhiyuȟa”

Elderberry (Čháŋ phuté hú) Harvest

Elderberries are one of my favorite medicinal berries. They are one of the only antiviral medicines that are effective in shortening the length of flu viruses, as well as the severity. Elderberry syrup is also an excellent cough medicine, and can help to nip a cold or other winter illness in the bud. And thisContinue reading “Elderberry (Čháŋ phuté hú) Harvest”

Wagmú waȟčá waŋ

Looking back, posting a pic from September: A late-season squash blossom. I had bought some Mexico-grown kabocha squash in early spring and thrown the seeds out onto the compost pile. A few of them grew into squash vines, but the compost pile doesn’t get great sun, so I transplanted them into the garden. Here isContinue reading “Wagmú waȟčá waŋ”

Uŋskúyeča Úta: Burr Oak Acorns

September is acorn season in the Dakotas. And our local indigenous variety, uskúyeča (Burr Oak) has acorns that are prized for their low tannic acid content. Unlike other varieties that require hours or days of soaking in water to leach out the acids and make them edible, these acorns can be eaten with minimal leaching.Continue reading “Uŋskúyeča Úta: Burr Oak Acorns”

Núŋǧe Yazáŋ Pȟežúta

Seen on Rattlesnake Butte, on the SD side of the reservation. Linda Black Elk told me that it is called Núŋǧe Yazáŋ Pȟežúta, or Earache Medicine. She said that people dry it and apply a poultice of the leaves for an earache. I am not sure what the English or Latin names are, and IContinue reading “Núŋǧe Yazáŋ Pȟežúta”

Two of the three sisters at harvest time

Mandan Bride Corn, with Hidatsa Shield Figure beans climbing on it at harvest time. Getting the beans to climb the cornstalks is often a goal of people who plant a Three Sisters garden. You have to get the timing of the planting just right (among other factors) for that to work — and I usuallyContinue reading “Two of the three sisters at harvest time”

Milkweed Seed Pods

Milkweed Seedpods A common sight here in the fall: milkweed pods, dried out and bursting open. The little seeds inside prepare to take flight, their silky parachutes opening so they ride the wind to their new homes. There are many species of milkweed. North Dakota alone is home to 10 of them. This one, CommonContinue reading “Milkweed Seed Pods”

Nettle and Milkweed Cordage

Cordage/yarn created out of nettle stems and milkweed stems last summer. These are the work of Jana, the incredibly talented artist, spinner, and weaver behind Ffeltabertawe. (I will add a link if I can find one.) She came to the reservation during the #NoDAPL  pipeline resistance movement, and stayed to do some amazing things withContinue reading “Nettle and Milkweed Cordage”