Youth in the Juneau community had the opportunity to spend five days at the SAGA Eagle Valley Center and Amalga Harbor at the 4-H Sustainable Harvest Camp. The camp provided hands-on lessons on how to safely and sustainable harvest, process and eat wild and cultivated Alaskan products. Wild harvest included fish, berries, bulbs and botanicals. Cultivated harvest included Tlingit potatoes, rhubarb and berries. Kids learned to prepare, smoke and can the harvested goods as well. Plus, participants learned and shared skills in fishing, navigation, wilderness survival, firearms safety, marksmanship, leadership, kayaking and more.
While this year’s camp is sadly over, students should keep an eye out for the 2013 camp, while the rest of us should try not to be jealous. For more information on the program, contact Darren Snyder at the local 4-H Cooperative Extension service at 796-6281 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Southeast Alaska offers an abundance of wild and easily cultivated edibles. Some Alaska Natives still practice subsistence living, harvesting, fishing and hunting. There are a plethora of resources available to youth and people of all ages on the cooperative extension website — http://www.uaf.edu/ces/districts/juneau/ — with information on picking berries, growing potatoes and more.