Beach Asparagus Day a Success!

Pickled beach asparagus is sure to get your stomach rumbling! (Photo: Ian Johnson)

Harvesting beach asparagus for the Traditional Food Fair was a huge success! We’d love to have you at our next event, harvesting Fireweed next Wednesday, July 24th at 9am at the mouth of Game Creek!

Last Friday, July 12th, HIA Environmental, HNFP, a TRAYLS member and other volunteers dedicated their morning to harvest beach asparagus for Hoonah’s second Traditional Food Fair. Due to the fluctuation of the tides, we woke up at the crack of dawn and set out to Burnt Point to collect a minimum of 15 gallons.

Heading out to find the cleanest, biggest beach asparagus patches
There was a seemingly endless amount of beach asparagus 

Beach asparagus blanketed the shore, so much so that you couldn’t walk anywhere without stepping on it! It was so abundant that we far surpassed our goal of 15 gallons, and still hardly made a dent in it. With just 10 volunteers, a total of 27 gallons was harvested in only two hours!

HNFP’s Derrick Barton and the Forest Service’s Adelaide Johnson working hard (Photo: Ian Johnson)
Filtering out grass and snails (Photo: Ian Johnson)

The rest of the day was spent following the same routine: clean, pickle, jar, repeat. After working relentlessly, we produced 72 pints of pickled beach asparagus for this year’s Traditional Food Fair.

Ian Johnson and Adelaide Johnson stuffing handfuls of beach asparagus into jars
Vinegar, water, and pickling spice is all you need to make a pickling juice (Photo: Ian Johnson)
Lots of pickled beach asparagus as a result!

And that wasn’t even all of it! There was a lot of beach asparagus leftover that was sent home with volunteers and donated 1.5 gallons to the Senior Center.

We had a lot of leftover beach asparagus for volunteers!

Thank you to everyone who helped harvest and jar beach asparagus! With your help the community can enjoy pickled beach asparagus at the Traditional Food Fair this September.

Thank you to our helpers: Sam Sheakley, Sean Williams, Ricky Contreras, Izaac Jacobsen, Derrick Barton, Jeromy Grant, Arianna Lapke, Adelaide Johnson, Ian Johnson, and Michael Cheslock (Photo: Ian Johnson).

Do you want to be more involved in the community, or learn about harvesting and preserving traditional subsistence resources? Join us next Wednesday, July 24th at 9am at the mouth of Game Creek to harvest Fireweed! Afterwards we’ll make Fireweed jelly, and even Spruce Tip syrup! What better way to spend your day than reconnecting with nature, learning how to process different natural resources, and giving back to the community?

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