"The Indigenous Forager Reconnecting Native Americans With Their Roots"

"Twila Cassadore hopes teaching Western Apache traditional foodways can aid mental, emotional and spiritual health".

"BYLAS, Arizona, on the San Carlos Apache Reservation - n a warm day in April, Twila Cassadore piloted her pickup truck toward the mountains on the San Carlos Apache Reservation in Arizona to scout for wild edible plants. A wet winter and spring rains had transformed the desert into a sea of color: green creosote bushes topped with small yellow flowers, white mariposa lilies, purple lupines and poppies in full bloom.

Cassadore and I drove up a rough dirt road that used to be an old cattle trail, passing through various ecosystems, moving from Sonoran desert to grasslands and piñon-juniper woodlands. In each area, Cassadore would stop to gather desert chia seeds, cacti flowers and thistles.

Cassadore stopped her truck beside a three-leafed sumac bush brimming with fruit. “If you suck on them, they taste like sour lemonade,” she said, removing the fuzzy, white unripened berries from the bush. Cassadore will make a slushy when they are ripe by blending the berries with wood sorrel and ice. “Better for you than Kool-Aid,” she said."

Samuel Gilbert reports for the Guardian with photographs by Gabriela Campos June 3, 2023.

Source: Guardian, 06/05/2023