Saving asparagus seeds, and starting baby asparagus plants

I may be suffering from a pathological compulsion to save and start seeds. Yes, I know it’ll be at least several years from the time of initially planting asparagus seeds, until a person can reasonably expect to harvest any. Yes, I’m a renter without a permanent home and permanent patch of soil where I canContinue reading “Saving asparagus seeds, and starting baby asparagus plants”

Uŋžíŋžiŋtka Hú

Fall and winter are  Uŋžíŋžiŋtka harvesting season! Starting in early fall, uŋžíŋžiŋtka kiŋ (rose hips) turn dark red, and start standing out from the green foliage all over the prairies. Uŋžíŋžiŋtka got its name, in part, from its habit of standing straight up on the prairies, so the red hips really pop out when theyContinue reading “Uŋžíŋžiŋtka Hú”

Čhaŋšáša Wanáȟča kiŋ

Čhaŋšáša, an  important plant medicine (Cornus sericea), grows all across North America. In the spring, it produces clusters of lovely four-petaled flowers.   Spring comes at widely different times in different territories, but this is an April čhaŋšáša flower from central California. In other, colder territories (like Standing Rock), the plant wouldn’t even be producingContinue reading “Čhaŋšáša Wanáȟča kiŋ”

Eating Local in the Lean Months: Winter Squash

Seven months after harvest, it’s still fresh and ready to eat: Local winter squash. This is one of my own: it was purchased at the co-op in Bismarck. I don’t know the name of this variety, but it’s beautiful, stayed fresh for over 7 months, and tasted great, too! I’ve heard people say that ifContinue reading “Eating Local in the Lean Months: Winter Squash”

Seed Stories: Corn Rematriation

When we started the Standing Rock Seed Exchanges we had last year, we made it our custom to open each one with a prayer. I’m glad we did, because that opens the space for some truly extraordinary things to occur. The Standing Rock Seed Exchanges we had last year resulted in many people forming relationshipsContinue reading “Seed Stories: Corn Rematriation”

Buckbrush in Bloom

Here’s an early-summer picture of a Buckbrush bush in bloom. When I take people out onto the prairie, they frequently ask about this plant. It’s common for people to mistake the greenish-white berries for some kind of late-season blueberry or juneberry. Some notice the somewhat similar leaf shape and texture of Buckbrush and Juneberry bushes,Continue reading “Buckbrush in Bloom”

Ȟaŋté Ačháȟšlaya – Ice-covered Juniper

Photo taken in Shoshone-Bannock territory, at Massacre Rocks State Park in Idaho. Covered in ice and snow after an early-spring storm in mid-March 2019. There are so many juniper (ȟaŋté) species in North America, and I have yet to learn them all. This one is a little bit thicker, bluer, and more resinous than theContinue reading “Ȟaŋté Ačháȟšlaya – Ice-covered Juniper”

Wamákȟaškaŋ: Finding Food in Winter

A coworker of mine in another city, who grew up in the tropics, reacted with shock when I sent her a picture of a bison standing in deep snow, digging to get to the grasses below for a meal. “Don’t they hibernate during the cold months?” she asked. I won’t get into the biology ofContinue reading “Wamákȟaškaŋ: Finding Food in Winter”