Wild Harvest

Smoke HouseConsidering that we are surrounded by a thriving wilderness ecosystem, foraging is an essential part of permaculture design here. Cordova is home to the Copper River fishing fleet, some say the best salmon in the world, and we spend a week every summer filleting, freezing, smoking and jarring at least 20 of them. I also put up any wild game I can manage to lay hands on (by hunt, trade or otherwise), averaging about 75-100 lbs/year, though we could easily eat up 2 or 3 times that much if I could get it.

I might be a mediocre hunter, but I am an excellent forager. I am a bonafide wild plant geek and know every edible that grows around here and what to do with it. I collect plants for both food and medicine and make very good use of the local berries and mushrooms.

My foraging time has been cut severely short during our kiddos’ littlest years– wild foods have gone from ‘staple’ to ‘incidental’– but with the youngest now three I am hoping to get back to full speed soon.

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