When harvesting sweetgrass, you thank the plant by offering tobacco, or even a bit of your hair. You cut it at the base, just below where the stalks turn purple. You only take what you need, and leave the rest for others. This is how you honor and respect the plant, ensuring its sustainability for years to come.
That is what Mick Rose, community garden volunteer at the Native American Youth and Family Center, tells the Native community members at NAYA’s recent U-Pick event.
“This whole thing,” says Rose, as they gesture to the garden, “is about learning and sharing with each other.”
Every Monday and Saturday in September, Native people and the public were invited to pick their own fresh greens, herbs and veggies. NAYA’s “market garden” provided everything from kale, lettuce, arugula and collard greens to basil, dill and parsley, as well as zucchini, cucumbers, tomatillos, beans,