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PLANTS Ashland Wis.Participants had the opportunity to re-discover the power of wild plants and their many uses for sustenance utilitarian purposes and medicine during a Preserving the Power of Plants Workshop. Held at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center in Ashland Wisconsin on June 9th 2015 participants were welcomed in a good way with an opening prayer by Jim St. Arnold giving thanks for the new day. Danielle Lake-Diver University of Minnesota master gardener provided a cultural perspective and proceeded with an introduction to ethnobotony. Ethno- botany is the study of the relationship between plants and humans. The morning session focused on sweet fern wintergreen milkweed ostrich fern and wild leeks. Numerous facts about plant parts planting and harvesting were relayed. One interesting piece of information discussed was the 1 in 20 rule. The 1 in 20 rule safeguards from overharvest because it provides that every plant that is pulled must be surrounded by 19 of the same type of plant. A plant grows best when surrounded by the same type of plant. Plants actually grow better in groups not straight rows.Also when harvesting plants you must make an offering to the plant for giving its life to you. Anishinaabeg are taught to lay asemaa tobacco down before taking anything from Mother Earth. Later the whole group proceeded to the outdoor amphitheater. Stacy Quade herbalist and owner of Energy Connections for Life led the seminar at the outdoor amphitheater. She went on to explain the various plants she has worked with and some she has even used as medicine. She focused on basswood leaves and mint leaves specifically. Basswood leaves can actually be eaten in salads. She wouldnt recommend eating a whole salad of basswood leaves only a few in a salad. Bass- wood leaves are also used to soothe headaches reduce smooth muscle spasms along the digestive tract and balance acid in your stomach. Then she went on to talk about mint leaves and the benefits the leaves contain which include boosting digestion and strengthening the liver. Next was a cooking demonstration by LaTisha Coffin GLIFWCANASEDS coordinatorandOwenMaroneyGLIFWCcommunitydietician.Theirpresentation titledgimiijiminaanourfoodincludedcookingwithtraditionalAnishinaabefoods using some of the plants discussed that day. Before they actually started making the food LaTisha gave background on the foods they were using and how they harvested them. She especially stressed the importance of learning from Elders about harvesting. The Elders also talked about the need to think of the next seven generations. Harvesters only take what is needed and also replant to make sure seven generations from now those resources ares still here. She also went on to explain the difference between traditional foods and cultural foods. Traditional foods are pre-colonial foods. Foods such as wild rice Preserving the Power of Plants Workshop shares old knowledge new to many By Darcie Powless GLIFWC Summer Intern Paul Hlina UW-Superior Lake Superior Research Institute botanist led a nature walk pointing out trees and plants and discussing their uses. photo by Darcie Powless berries corn and venison were harvested or acquired by trade between tribes. Cultural foods are post-colonial foods composed of non-traditional ingredients such as commods or frybread. The food prepared for the group to sample was a wild rice bannock made from wild rice flour topped with sunflower seed pesto. The second sample was a chilled wild rice and berry salad which consisted of wild rice raspberries blueberries blackberries and a tad of maple syrup. Later that afternoon participants were treated to a nature walk. One group was led by Paul Hlina UW-Superior Lake Superior Research Institute botanist and his colleagueMarkMcConnellco-ownerwithhiswifeMaryofGitiigaanmaaishkam a hobby farm and growing site for Preserving the Power of Plants. Another group was led by Danielle Lake-Diver and Mary McDonnell. Mary noted that the goal of Preserving the Power of Plants is to preserve plants and the knowledge of wild edibles so the knowledge is not lost. We try to connect with youth and use the knowledge from Elders she says. The four trees studied thoroughly were aspen birch willow and balsam fir. Interestingly the sap from an aspen tree or a willow tree can be rubbed on a babys gums when heshe is teething because the sap contains asprin. When the Ojibwe The great pumpkin and red sumacnutritious delicious Thelastofthemiinanblueberries are washed and headed to the freezer and the odeiminan strawberries were jelliedawhileago.Baakwaanansumac clustershaveturnedredandgardensare beginning to grow autumn hardy veg- etables like okosimaan squash. Lets take some time to look at one garden plant and one wild plant. The Anishinaabe people were not only great hunters fisher people and foragers but they also had gardens that include several varieties of squash. Ozaawikosimaan pumpkin Latin nameCucurbitapepoisatypeofsquash whose seeds were brought to the Great LakesRegionthroughtraderoutesabout 3000 years ago. There are many edible parts of the pumpkin plant the flowers fruit seeds andrind.Whenharvestingpumpkinsbe sure to collect before a hard freeze to prevent damage and while the pumpkin is orange with a hard rind. Pumpkins are low in calories carbohydrates and fat. They are also an excellent source of vitaminAwhichisgreatforeyesightand the immune system. Additionally they are a good source of potassium which is an electrolyte think Gatorade vitamin C which is good for skin elasticity and preventing cell damage and riboflavin which helps the body convert food to energy. As alluded to earlier pumpkin can be used in various ways. One creative and useful way is making pumpkin puree. Pumpkin puree can often be used in baked goods to replace oil or butter which are high in fat. One note adding pumpkin will generally produce a darker denser moister product. When using pumpkin purees to replace oil the ratio is 11 and forbutterreplacehalfwithpumpkin.For example if a recipe calls for one cup of butter use cup pump-kin puree and cup butter. For those who are looking for somethingtoharvestoutsidethegarden now is the time to start collecting sumac clusters also known as heads. A couple of notes As the harvester it is your responsibility to know where and what you can legally harvest to correctly identify the plant and the edible portion and to harvest responsibly. Check out www.glifwc.orgformoreinformationon harvestingregulationsandareasopento harvesting. ONLY pick red sumac clusters. There is a poisonous variety called poi- son sumac that can easily be avoided sincethepoisonsumacclustersarewhite and never turn red. Sumacisrelatedtocashewsand mangoessoitmaybeunsafeforpersons allergic to nuts or mangoes. Sumac generally grows in disturbed areas like the sides of roads. Look for sources of pollution before you harvest and try to avoid harvesting in polluted areas. Sumac fruits grow in red clusters that are made up of hard berries. Staghorn sumac Rhus Typhina will have fine hair or fuzz on the branches and berries while smooth sumac Rhus Glabra will not. Both have a lemon flavor and were used by Anishinaabe to make a lemonade flavored beverage. To try at home use fresh or dried clusters soak in cool water for as little as 30 minutes or up to two days strain clusters and berries from water add maple syrup and enjoy. If you would like to drink it hot it is better to heat the water after remov- ing the clusters as heating sumac can release tannins that can make the tea very bitter. Sumac berries can also be ground and used as a spice for meats and vegetables. Currently there is no nutritioninformationavailableonsumac through the USDA or Health Canada. Recipestousesumacandpumpkin can be found in the Mino Wiisinidaa Lets Eat Good Traditional Food for Healthy Living cookbook. Try the Sumac Berry Ade page 157 recipe for a refreshing summer treat or the Wild Rice Flour Bannock page 191 to try replacing oil with pumpkin puree. Happy Harvest By Owen Maroney Community Dietician Geneva Anderson Intern Staghorn sumac berries. photo re- printed from martinlabar3932976023 See Preserving page 23 PAGE 21 MAZINAIGANFALL 2015