We are excited for the growing season. So far, we've had a good amount of rain and the sun is heating things up. Flowers are blooming and that means fruit for those folks who like to pick Wild Plums, Choke Cherries or Tinpsila.
I've seen some posts of folks who are on the hunt for Tinpsila, this ancient plant has sustained indigenous people for centuries and continues to thrive all across the Great Plains.
Sage is another very important botanical, it is the cleansing plant that prepares you for your most inter-personal spiritual needs. This year should bring another great crop.
Sweetgrass, once prevalent to our area, is still available in areas around the northern regions of North America. We purchase our sweetgrass from the same Cree family, at least four decades worth of business, and they have seen a lot of changes to their crops. As the climate changes so does the grass, it reflects the stress of drought, without the proper amount of rain and sunshine it struggles to mature enough to be harvested. Each year we also bring in sweetgrass starters for folks who would like to grow their own. With a little care and a watchful eye, this plant will thrive in a pot or your yard.
We were lucky this winter, some of the local Lakota wild crafters were able to harvest Red Willow. Red Willow can only be harvested in the winter so the conditions are harsh, and for us the inner bark is what is needed and that is a very labor intensive chore to remove and process. Thank you to the people who help provide another important botanical.
There are many more plants and each one fulfills a need, both physical and spiritual. Remember to be a good wild crafter, never pull your plants but cut instead so the roots remain in the ground. Always offer something to the earth, each culture or family teaches a different offering and it never hurts to appreciate and thank the land that provides. Last, be aware of the environments needs, over harvesting causes damage that can take years to heal.
Have a great summer and happy growing and harvesting.