How Beavers Use Wild Plants

Beavers use not only rocks and mud to make their dams, but sticks, bark, leaves, grass, and other plant matter. These dams, canals, and more beaver activities architect the neighborhood, benefiting everyone from frogs to songbirds. This makes beavers an exceptionally “keystone species”. This second feature in our Wild Allies Series will wrap up with […]

Common milkweed – Asclepias syriaca

In Chippewa, ini’niwunj meaning “man like” Milkweeds folk names are somewhat all over the place, as there are tons of varieties, and many probably don’t refer mainly to A. syriaca. Silkweed is one of the more descriptive names that certainly applies. Edible Uses Common milkweed is a versatile edible plant. To me, it tastes green […]

Eastern white cedar – Thuja occidentalis

In Anishinaabemowin, eastern white cedar is sometimes called Giizhik, and also gi’jikan’dug meaning cedar like, as it’s not a “true cedar”. One of the alternative names for Eastern white cedar is swamp cedar as it likes to grow in damp woods. Another name is Tree of Life, which the white-tailed deer and a multitude of […]

Dandelion Wine Recipe

Here’s a dandelion wine recipe inspired by Euell Gibbons and Ray Bradbury. You can also make red clover wine by this recipe, simply substituting red clover flowers for dandelions flowers. You will need: a pristine, sanitized crock, a pot, and cheesecloth 1 gallon fresh flowers 1 gallon boiling water patience ginger root (optional) juice of […]

White birch – Betula papyrifera

In Chippewa, Wi’gwass’tig. White Birch is sometimes called Paper Birch or Canoe Birch after two of its many utilizations. Are you curious How the Birch Tree Got It’s Burns? Click that link for the Ojibwe legend. Then the caption on the photo to the left will make sense. Edible Uses The twigs and leaves make […]