Aspiring and experienced foragers, wildcrafters, and adventurous cooks are in for a treat! Janice Schofield, Author of “Discovering Wild Plants: Alaska, Western Canada, the Northwest” and “Alaska’s Wild Plants: A guide to Alaska’s Edible Harvest” will be presenting a workshop at Kenny Lake June 16, 17, and 18th. We last hosted Janice for a weekend in 2013, and it was an incredible experience for all the participants. Janice lived in the Homer, Alaska area for many years, and now resides in New Zealand. Her deep knowledge and respect for natural plants and holistic living are inspiring.
On Friday night, Janice will give an illustrated lecture for all participants, at Kenny Lake Community Hall, which will also be open to the public for a small fee. Janice will present a unique perspective in regards to changes in the ecology of plant communities and the situation with invasive plants. Are these plants just enemies? Are there more thoughtful ways to respond? What do they have to teach?
The weekend workshop will be a hands-on exploration of useful wild plants native to Interior Alaska. As well as classroom time, there will be field trips to different habitats for identifying and collecting plants, and afternoons in the kitchen learning preparation techniques for medicinal and culinary uses.
Janelle Eklund summarized the 2013 experience: “Plants like fireweed, plantain, and yarrow were there for the picking. With our bags and baskets full we headed back to the hall to make our concoctions and recipes….lotions, salves, herbal oils, teas, pesto, chips, sauerkraut, salsa, crackers, lasagna, and wild herb patties.”
This year’s workshop will also include the little known tradition of making oxymels, vinegar and honey based herbal concoctions which extract the active components from herbs, and make them more palatable.
There will be a $200 fee for the weekend workshop, which will be limited to 20 participants. The fee includes handouts, ingredients, and facility use. Spaces can be reserved with a $50 deposit. There is a registration form on the WISE website, www.wise-edu.org/wild-plants-workshop.html
Photo Left- A green drink created by 2013 workshop participants Janelle Eklund Photo
Photo Right- Janice Schofield, center, wears leather gloves while harvesting Devil’s Club. Yes, it does grow in a secret corner of the Copper River Watershed. Janelle Eklund Photo
Who We Are
WISEfriends are several writers connected with Wrangell Institute for Science and Environment, a nonprofit organization located in Alaska's Copper River Valley. Most of these articles originally appeared in our local newspaper, the Copper River Record.