Pȟežíȟota kiŋ Hinápȟa: Spring sage, and Sage Tea

A shot from last spring: The first spring shoots of Pȟežíȟota (ceremonial sage, Artemisia ludoviciana) emerging in on the prairies of Standing Rock in late April 2018. Working with this plant over the years, I have noticed that there are certain times of the year that are better to pick it for certain uses. TheContinue reading “Pȟežíȟota kiŋ Hinápȟa: Spring sage, and Sage Tea”

Early spring Cattail Fluff

It’s early spring, and the new green shoots of this year’s cattails are just getting started underwater, and aren’t yet visible. But the remains of last autumn’s cattail crop still stand, poking out of the cold water. Weathered by the winter, the cattails turn to fluff in my hands. You can only get the fluffContinue reading “Early spring Cattail Fluff”

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”

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”

Eating Your Weeds

It’s the time of year where every seed that has blown into the garden bed is popping up, as well as any weeds that I failed to eradicate last year. I’m working on learning the difference between those that have some medicinal/nutritional value and are worth keeping, and those that should be pulled before theyContinue reading “Eating Your Weeds”

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”

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.

Sugarbush: Maple Syrup Season

Disclaimer: I have no idea how to do this. Despite years of being around sugarbush, having a mom who makes great maple syrup, and going on outings like this one  over the years, I have never done this myself, from start to finish. I’ve only had the privilege to be a guest of other peopleContinue reading “Sugarbush: Maple Syrup Season”