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”

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”

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”

Anishinaabe-style Čheyáka in Cree territory

Anishinaabe-style Čheyáka in Cree territory…what? This tri-national title sounds confusing: two indigenous nations, and a plant name from a third. Let me explain. Čheyáka? I always think of čheyáka as its Lakota name. I have to think a little longer to remember its scientific name…Mentha arvensis. And even longer to recall its common English name.Continue reading “Anishinaabe-style Čheyáka in Cree territory”

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!

A Gift of Violets

A coffee filter with a violet plant inside: a gift from a neighbor and friend from the Standing Rock Seed Exchange, who has a fantastic garden in another one of the North Dakota communities on the reservation. These lovely little native plants pop up everywhere in the garden, and are sometimes considered weeds, so aContinue reading “A Gift of Violets”

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”