Green & Red Harvest

It is salmon fishing season – to have healthy food from the ocean and rivers. The first greens I usually pick are fireweed soots.

I went for a drive to Seward several weeks ago to see about snagging salmon and gathered interesting eatable wild greens.

Seaweed

I saw these sea weeds the first night and had to try a taste of one. It was little crunchy and had a nutty taste – the greens that herring fish lay eggs to spawn.

Drift wood to gather
Evening drive Seward HW
Willow

Willow was once frozen and covered with snow and snow slowly melted bringing life to green. Before Seward trip I drove up to Fairbanks to gather wild rhubarb and willow leaves.

Wild Strawberries blooming

These wild strawberries were blooming about the same time as our Salmon berries, if these warm days keep coming.

Trail to somewhere

Trails may lead you or you may lead off the trails and not by a shadow of doubt. Off trail is good to find your way thru the brushes like in the old days when a Yupiaq girl became a woman, she had to walk thru thick bushes 🍃. Among the trees on the Parks Highway I picked little bit of fiddle heads to fry.

Wild Rhubarb

I love to pick the wild rhubarbs every year to share with friends and family for dessert after a hearty meal.

Beans wild greens organic vegetables
Beach greens in Seward
People snagging red salmon
Salmon head eggs wild greens soup & pickled fireweed
Sewing break

I am teaching a Yupiaq Women’s ciivalek piluguq making class to 10 students thru the generous support from The CIRI Foundation (TCF), the Alaska State Council on the Arts and the Alaska Native Heritage Center (ANHC) thru a program called Alaska Native Artist Leaders: ARTShop 2021! Quyana for your support to be able to share what I’ve learned in making piluguq. We started our classes online and in person while working and during this busy harvesting summer season. It’s been exciting to take part in this program for myself and the participants. (Stay tune for more information)

Wild Alaskan Greens

The above picture is a mix of picked Alaskan greens; sea weed, sea lavage, willow leaves and beach greens.

Fish Rack

First week of June I hung a seed tag on this fish rack after the ceremony at the old Alaska Native hospital, when the ground was blessed by the First Indigenous People of this area, Dena’ina. There were some stories of heartache and healing spoken on this area. Now new growth will begin from planting of new seeds. Quyana my friend for invite 🍃.

Tuingunrituq🌸❤️😃

Author: Nasek'taq

Merna Wharton “Nasek’taq” is Yup'ik from Akiacuaq (Akiachak) lives in Anchorage Alaska. Merna is an Alaska Native artist, poet, traditional and contemporary seamstress, carver, gatherer of greens and berries, and loves the outdoors of Alaska! Merna enjoys finding art in natural elements and shares her experiences through her website, nasektaq.com. Merna crafts to preserve her culture and art and shares her worldview from a remote village Yup’ik girl’s perspective with a glimpse of life in Alaska in her writing and poems. More information about her art can be found at https://www.rasmuson.org/49writers/artist-profile/merna-wharton/.