Remedy is thriving as cannabis sales skyrocket during coronavirus pandemic

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

Twenty-one months ago, the Tulalip Tribes took a major risk by venturing into the cannabis industry and opening one of the very first recreational dispensaries operated in Indian Country. After a rocky start, including switching up multiple management styles and sputtering for its place in local consumer loyalty, Remedy has course corrected under Quil Ceda Village leadership and a new manager truly in tune with cannabis culture.

The timing couldn’t have come at a more opportune time either. With so many businesses still shutdown nationally because of the coronavirus pandemic, Remedy is thriving. Industry-wide cannabis sales continue to skyrocket as a result of society doing its best to cope with the uncertain times brought on by COVID-19 and the residual aftereffects of seemingly endless quarantines, isolation, and social distancing.

“As a store, we adapted quickly to meet the needs of our customers. Practically the same day the casinos were shut down under coronavirus restrictions we launched our online menu and ordering system,” explained Remedy manager and Tulalip tribal member, Jennifer Ashman-Bontempo. 

“People love our online system,” she continued. “You can scroll through our entire menu, view the variety of cannabis products we offer, and order based on your personal preferences. After a few short minutes, our staff fills the order and it’s ready for curbside pickup. With this system in place we’ve seen our average ticket price more than double, from an average sale of $30 to now $60-$70.”

Instituting a safe and effective sales system definitely helped Remedy reach new heights as a business. The fact that so many people are left without their usual forms of recreation and entertainment during COVID-19 crisis hasn’t hurt either. It’s become common place to see a line of individuals spaced out 6-feet apart, in accordance with CDC guidelines, wrapping around the store’s front entrance while patiently waiting to pick up their cannabis essentials. 

Remedy has benefited from a huge influx of new customers, too. The Tribe’s flagship cannabis store is averaging 500 customers a day with nearly 60% of them new or first-time patrons. Some customers look to relieve every day ailments associated with aches and pains, some search to simply elevate their mental state, while others hope to calm their nerves and diminish anxiety and tensions brought on by the new normal.

“We are becoming people’s favorite store,” boasted Jennifer about the routine compliments her and fellow staff hear on a daily basis. “The combination of our increasing reputation, COVID and online shopping continues to boost our sales. In fact, April 2020 was our best month ever. We had over $750,000 in total sales, with 4/20 being our #1 sales day on record.

“All of us here at Remedy are so grateful to be deemed essential employees and feel fortunate to come to work every day to a place we love,” added Jennifer while proudly wearing a ‘Plant Manager’ t-shirt. “I have the best staff the Tribe could have hired. Everyone loves what they do and are passionate about our products.”

Remedy has 29 total employees, of which 7 are Tulalip tribal members. Most of the budtenders are self-dubbed “pot nerds”. They take much pride in staying up to date with the latest trends and products in an ever-changing cannabis industry. 

Tribal member Carmen Miller has worked at Remedy since the very beginning and worked his way up the ranks to become a Buyer. He’s in a pressure-filled position to influence sales, ensure the store is keeping up with or exceeding the completion, and most importantly keeping his finger on the pulse of the consumers. 

“From high-THC flower to CBD capsules, from concentrates to an assortment of edibles, we literally have close to everything available in the industry at our store,” said Carmen. “What most people don’t understand is cannabis really is an ever-changing industry. In Washington alone, there are 70 different vendors who each specialize in different products and intake methods.

“From strictly flower to hydroponics to edibles, there are so many types of strains, flavors, and potency levels that can hit the market and become the next best thing,” continued Carmen. “Whatever’s the newest or most popular thing in cannabis, that’s what the people want to try. The newest product we just got in is a super discrete method of intaking cannabis through a micro-dosing inhaler. They have no visual smoke or any smell, so it’s perfect and easy to use for those wanting to maintain their privacy.”

The Tulalip Tribes’ long-term vision with cannabis is bold. Tribal leaders see the promise of cannabis outside of recreational retail, including therapeutic applications of CBDs for the relief of seizures and PTSD, as well as promising research into the possibility of treating many of the health conditions that most affect Native communities, including addiction and diabetes.

Balancing traditional values with the realities of the 21st century means embracing a changing culture that views marijuana and cannabinoids as natural medicines, especially when compared to prescription pharmaceuticals. Pharmaceuticals with countless side-effects and man-made chemicals that receive FDA approval, only to come out later those same chemicals cause a litany of damaging health concerns with possible fatal consequences.

Longtime cannabis connoisseur and Budtender supervisor for Remedy, Juan Martinez has had lots of experience assisting customers who are looking to alleviate a variety of common ailments, from headaches and insomnia to much more life threatening forms of cancer.

“Migraines and cluster headaches are the most common illness our customers want help with, followed by insomnia, those who have trouble sleeping, and pains associated with arthritis,” shared Juan. “There’s even a regular we look forward to seeing every few weeks. He’s an 80-year-old with lung cancer and comes to us for his cannabis treatment plan. According to him, high-dose cannabis intake helps offset his chemo and makes his quality of life much better. Customer stories like this is why I love my job; being able to sell the best products and changing people’s lives for the better.”

There’s a mountain of anecdotal evidence to suggest soothing THC/CBD oils, tinctures, and Indica-based flower can offer tremendous health benefits as an alternative treatments for common physical and neurological disorders. Tulalip’s partnership with the brightest minds at Stanford University resulted in a one-of-kind medical cannabis research project with the ultimate goal being to cure opioid-based addiction. Preliminary results have been encouraging. 

So whether it’s to find a Remedy for a pre-existing medical condition or simply to find rest and relaxation through the COVID crisis, the knowledgeable staff of Tulalip’s own dispensary is here to guide novice and experts cannabis users alike through their wide-range of convenient products. 

Remedy’s current hours of operation are Monday – Saturday, 9:00am – 9:00pm and Sundays 10:00am – 8:00pm. Products can be viewed and orders placed online at menu.remedytulalip.com Tulalip tribal members receive a 30% discount every Thursday. 

National Museum of the American Indian highlights

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

In the heart of Washington D.C. is the world’s largest museum complex, known as the Smithsonian Institution. Among the many museums, libraries and research centers that make up this diverse information paradise is the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). 

According to the museum’s website, NMAI cares for one of the world’s most expansive collections of Native artifacts, including culturally significant objects, photographs, treaties, and media covering the entire Western Hemisphere. From its indigenous landscaping to its wide-ranging exhibitions, everything is designed in collaboration with tribes and tribal communities, giving visitors from around the world the sense and spirit of Native America.

“I feel a profound and increasing gratitude to the founders of this museum,” said museum director Kevin Gover (Pawnee). “We are here as a result of the farsighted and tireless efforts of Native culture warriors who demanded that the nation respect and celebrate the contributions that Native people have made to this country and to the world.”

Huichol miniature violin and bow, 2000
Jalisco or Nayarit State, Mexico
Wood, glass beads, beeswax, vegetal fiber and nylon monofilament.

Beadwork

The earliest beads were made from shell, stone, bone, ivory, and seeds. By 1492, Venetian factories were producing glass beads that early explorers and traders carried all over the world. Native people saw brightly colored glass beads as prized possessions and eagerly traded for them. Large “pony beads” are found on Great Plains clothing before the 1850s. The tiniest beads, called “seed beads,” become popular after about 1855.

Beads could be worn as necklaces, stitched to clothing, or woven into strips. They often replaced earlier decorative materials such as porcupine quills or painted designs. Since women learned beadwork from their elders, clothing and other items often matched distinctive traditional tribal styles.

Color preferences, influenced by the symbolic meanings ascribed to certain colors, varied regionally. In the western Arctic, for example, blue beads were thought to have great cultural importance.

Today, beadwork continues to delight us, with both women and men creating traditional clothing and regalia as well as innovations such as beaded neckties, baseball caps, and high-top sneakers. All are worn by both Native people and non-Native admirers of this unique American creation.

Cradleboard, 1995-2001
Ardena M. Whiteshield (Cheyenne), 1939-2001
Wood, glass beads, hide, metal tacks and cotton cloth.

Native Glass

In the early 1960s, innovations in glass furnaces brought glass-blowing out of the industrial settings and into individuals studios and workshops, as well as Native art schools. Since then, dozens of Native artists have created works in blown, cast, etched, fused, and electroplated glass, stretching the boundaries of Native Art.

How Raven stole the Sun, 2003
Emil Her Many Horses (Oglala Lakota)
The sun figures prominently in Native American ceremonies, creation stories, and art. This sculpture is based on the Tlingit story, “How Raven stole the Sun.” In the story, Raven releases the sun and the moon from boxes held by a chief. This gives light to the people and created day and night.
Yup’ik Mask, ca. 1905
Wood, feathers, paint and cotton string.
Kuskokwim River, Alaska
Yup’ik people used masks as prayers to ask for what they needed, including good weather and plenty of animals to hunt. This mask was intended to heal someone who was sick.
Allies in War, Partners in Peace, 2004
Edward E. Hlavka (Oneida Nation)
This bronze statue honors the alliance between the Oneida Indian Nation and the United States during the American Revolution. General George Washington stands alongside the Oneida diplomat Oskanondonha and Polly Cooper, an Oneida woman who came to the aid of Washington’s starving troops at Valley Forge in 1777-78.

sc̓ədᶻx̌ Nettle berry popsicles

By SNAP-Ed Program Coordinator, AnneCherise Jensen 

Looking for a healthy, fun and creative way to try Nettles this summer? Check out this Nettle Berry Popsicle recipe. It’s the perfect healthy summer snack for kids!  As warmer weather approaches, this is a great way to turn any herbal tea into a crisp, refreshing treat for your friends and family. Since Nettles are in abundance this time of year, this is a great activity for not only in the kitchen, but outside as well. So grab your basket, gloves, and scissors and check your local woods for a nearby Nettle Patch! We have some wild crafted popsicles to make.

Foraging Nettles 

Stinging Nettle, or sc̓ədᶻx̌, has been used as a traditional Coast Salish medicinal plant for thousands of years. This highly valued plant is often found in streambeds, forests and disturbed areas with rich wet soil, usually facing the sun. Stinging Nettles, can be found from the coast to the mountains, and are found in abundance on the lush Tulalip soils. Stinging Nettle, scientifically named Urtica diotica, is a perennial herb with opposite deep green leaves with serrated edges and tiny greenish flowers. The stems are square, and plants grow 3-7 feet tall annually. 

Harvesting season runs March – June each spring. Once the Nettle plant begins to seed in the warmer summer months, the leaves can only be used for drying purposes. If consumed raw past this point, nettles can be toxic to the liver and kidneys. When harvesting Nettles, be sure to wear thick gloves as they will sting you! The stalk and underside of leaves are covered with stinging hairs that rise from a gland containing formic acid. Avoid harvesting in areas that are nearby pollutants, roads, pesticides and other chemicals. Cut off only the first 6 inches in the top of the plant. We do this to protect the plant and make sure it grows back the following year.  Once you have your basket filled, the nettles can then be processed by blanching, drying or simply steaming them. Any of these methods will inhibit the formic acid glands (stingers) from stinging you. In this recipe, we will be using dehydrated nettles to make a sweet Nettle tea.  

Dehydrating Nettles 

When dehydrating Nettles, we want to use only the leaves of the plant. The stems are generally not used for food purposes, but can be used for making nets or are effective in compost. There are a few ways to dehydrate herbs; air-dry, dehydrate or an oven-dried method. All methods work effectively, but vary on resources and preference. I personally like to air-dry my herbs, but it can take up to a week. Either way, whatever way you choose, be sure to rinse your foraged herbs in a colander before drying. This also allows any bugs to escape that may be hiding in your basket.  P.S. don’t forget to wear gloves – this is the prickliest process of all.

Dehydrator/Oven Method: Using heat is the quickest way to dry herbs. The dehydrator method requires a heat of 120-140 degrees F for about 12 hours in your average dehydrator. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can also use an oven. Place herb leaves on a cookie sheet one inch deep or less. Put herbs in an open oven on low heat, less than 180 degrees F, for 2-4 hours. To see if the herbs are dry, check if leaves crumble easily. Oven-dried herbs will cook a little, removing some of the potency and flavor.

Air-Dry Method: Gather 5-10 branches together and tie with string or a rubber band. The smaller the bundle, the easier and faster they will dry. Put the bundle of herbs, stem-side up and hang them by the stem in a warm, well-ventilated room. You can do this by using string and clothespins, amongst other things. Your herbs may be dried and ready to store in as little as one week. This is personally my favorite method, as it preserves the potency and flavor of the herbs. 

Nutritive Properties 

Nettles are known to be one of the most nutrient dense plants on the Earth and are considered a super food in many cultures throughout the world. They contain a wide range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help maintain the body’s function and mobility. Nettles also contain a high amount of amino acids that are highly valuable chemicals used in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industries. Nettles contain extremely high amounts of Vitamin C, vitamin A, Vitamin D, iron, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium (29 times more than spinach), magnesium, silica, trace minerals and protein (more than beans). No wonder they are called a superfood!  If you aren’t already consuming nettles, you should be. (Krohn) 

Medicinal Uses 

Traditionally, Nettles have been used both internally and externally for a wide variety of uses. Nettles have been revered worldwide throughout the ages for food, fiber, and medicine. Many people say Nettles help to alleviate allergies as they contain antihistamine qualities that may be effective for acute allergic reactions. Other well-known uses of Nettles that are still being studied include; the strengthening of teeth, bones and hair, insulin resistance in Type 2 Diabetes, prostate health, blood detoxifier, increased hemoglobin for overall energy, reduced pain, menstrual cramp aid, and asthma. (Foret) 

Other Uses

This plant is so versatile, it’s even been used to make natural dye with shades ranging from yellow to deep green. The nettle fibers/stem makes strong cordage and was used for making rope, fishing line and nets.  Rosemary or horsetail with nettle are made into tea and used as a hair rinse to make the hair glossy and stimulate growth. “Sting yourself on purpose… really? Yes, it is true. People have stung themselves with nettle to ease pain. This is officially called urtication and its roots go deep into history on several continents. 

Both in the Pacific Northwest and in Europe, people have stung themselves to cure arthritic joints and to stay awake and alert during battle or hunting. Traditional knowledge is now validated by scientific research. Compounds including histamine, acetylcholine and formic acid are injected into tissue causing an awakening of cellular responses, lymph flow, and nerve and capillary stimulation”. (Krohn) 

As you can see, Nettles are a highly prized and sacred plant that can help keep you and your family healthy. Now that you’ve learned a little more about Nettles, it’s time to put your foraging skills to the test. Here is the summertime recipe you and your family will love. 

If you are a Tulalip tribal member, and don’t have access to nettles but would like some, please contact AnneCherise Jensen and she will supply you with the dehydrated nettle tea.

Nettle Berry Popsicles 

Ingredients

  • 4 cups purified water
  • ¼ cup Nettle Tea (Dried Nettle Leaves) 
  • ½ cup Fresh or Frozen Berries 
  • 2 -3 Tablespoons Honey or Cane Sugar  

Directions

  • Infuse dried nettle leaves in boiling water. Let steep on low heat for about an hour. The longer you allow the Nettle leaves to infuse, the more nutrients the tea will absorb.
  •  Add 2-3 Tbsp of honey or cane sugar to the lukewarm nettle tea. Mix well. 
  • Add the ½ cup of desired fresh or frozen berries to the nettle tea. Stir for a few minutes and allow the berries infuse in the water for about 5-10 minutes. 
  • Pour nettle tea mixture into a Popsicle mold. These can be found online or at Walmart, price ranging from $10- $25. If you don’t have a Popsicle mold, you can also use a small plastic cup and Popsicle sticks.
  • Freeze for 2-3 hours, until firmly frozen. 
  • ENJOY! 

**This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP.  This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Sources: 

http://wildfoodsandmedicines.com/nettle-restorative-food-purifying-medicine-guardian/ / Research provided Elise by Krohn 

The Alchemy of Herbs, Rosalee De La Foret, pg 189 – 194

 

Enrollment and Trust Information

Enrollment/Trust

  • Tribal ID Requests – forms can be emailed, or mailed. If needed ASAP, we can schedule a pickup time.
  • Address changes email with name, tribal ID number, DOB or write out and take a picture and attach the form.

Enrollment for New Members 

The Enrollment Committee meets once before the next Board meeting. All documents must be submitted by June 1 for the June 3 meeting. 

  • Email Rosie for an application, and if you have any questions.

Trust Distribution 

The form is on the website: https://www.tulaliptribes-nsn.gov/Dept/Enrollment

* For your first-time distribution, you must complete a financial class. The class is available online at https://www.tulaliptribes-nsn.gov/Dept/Enrollment Scroll down to Youth with Accounts and click on Financial Class.

* Direct Deposit is the ONLY option to receive your funds, and we need proof of a bank account for all requests.

  • * NEW DRAW FOR COVID19 EXPENSES –We now have a draw available up to $10,0000 on accounts if you are already getting distributions. This is a one-time distribution until Dec 31, 2020. You must have already received at least one distribution of the four; you must have a high school diploma/GED or be over 22. This will not take place or disrupt your yearly release.
  • Investment Trust – On May 1, the Board returned the minor’s trust back to balanced portfolios as they were before March. If you were already conservative it will stay that way. If you want to keep conservative YOU MUST FILL OUT THE INVESTMENT FORM. You will have until June 30. The next time you can update it will be February 2021. Request and Investment Education form is being mailed out and will also be on the website, https://www.tulaliptribes-nsn.gov/Dept/Enrollment 

Rosie’s notary is expired. Please ensure any paperwork that requires a notary is complete before submitting it. Rosie is the only one in the office. Please be patient. It may take a little longer than usual. 

Please stay safe and healthy!

Rosalie Topaum, Enrollment Director

Rtopaum@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov 

360-716-4298 or 360-716-4300

Tulalip’s big imprint on Seattle’s newest tiny house village

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

Spirit Village, a recently constructed and opened tiny house village in the heart of Seattle’s Central District neighborhood, is named after the Christ Spirit Church who generously donated land on which the village is built. If you weren’t told this fact, it would be easy to assume the name stems from the strong Coast Salish spirit imprinted throughout the tiny housing development intended for Native Americans and African Americans who are underserved and over-represented in the homeless population.

Of the 24 tiny homes in the village, 13 were handcrafted on the Tulalip Reservation by the aspiring construction trainees of our own TERO Vocational Training Center (TVTC). According to TVTC instructor Mark Newland, these were the best tiny homes built to date and his students took much pride and ownership in crafting the best possible product for their future residents.

After being built completely from scratch by Native TVTC students, Tulalip artist Ty Juvinel then bestowed on each front door an animal spirit rendered in stunning Salish formline. Those vibrant animal prints have become a signature design used to distinguish tiny homes created at Tulalip from all others.   

“We are so thankful for our partnership with the Tulalip Tribes,” said Brad Gerber, special projects manager for the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI). “It was absolute perfect timing, too, for these houses to come to Seattle where they will serve the immediate needs of the homeless community.

“We’re not advocating that this is a substitute for permanent housing,” continued Brad while on-site at Spirit Village. “However, it is a substitute for living off grid in a tent or in a door way. Other than this program, the city has yet to find really meaningful solutions for addressing this problem at scale. This program allows residents to regain their autonomy, they have their own private space with a lock and door, and the ability to come and go as they please knowing their belongings are safe.”

The village capacity is equipped to house up to 32 residents. This includes individuals, couples, and parents with children who will now have a semblance of stability to build from, but also access to a communal kitchen with proper cooking necessities, a hygiene building with restrooms and showers, and an on-site laundry facility. 

Sprit Village’s opening is an opportunity to move more unsheltered people off of the street and into a safe space, where they can practice social distancing and access basic hygiene, as the coronavirus leaves much of the state shut down. Resident referrals to the village will be coordinated by Seattle’s navigation team, in collaboration with the Chief Seattle Club and Seattle Indian Health Center.

“For some, this place can literally be the difference between life and death,” explained Deanna James-Lopez. She serves as weekend manager for Chief Seattle Club and project manager for Spirit Village. “Instead of being marginalized and forced to spend many cold nights outdoors, these tiny homes provide a space to be warm indoors and a feeling of belonging in this world. This safe space is healing to a community that has definitely dealt with their fair share of trauma.”

In partnership with the City of Seattle, faith communities, and building trade organizations throughout the State of Washington, including Tulalip’s TVTC program, the Low Income Housing Institute is one of the largest providers of tiny house village shelters in the nation. They ensure that people’s experience in homelessness is as safe, dignified, and brief as possible.

“We applaud the significant contribution of the Tulalip Tribes TERO Program. The students have built over 10% of all the tiny houses in Seattle,” said Sharon Lee, LIHI Executive Director. 

The 96- to 120-square foot tiny houses offer tremendous benefits over tents, as they are safe, insulated, weatherproof, and lockable. Additionally, each tiny house has electricity, overhead light, a portable heating unit, and windows. 

LIHI operates 12 tiny house villages in Seattle, Olympia, and Tacoma sheltering over 1,000 homeless individuals each year. Villages offer a safe and dignified place for those living outside. Each village includes on-site case management staff to help residents obtain housing, employment, and other social services.

  “The partnership with LIHI has not only allowed us to build tiny houses for the homeless, but has helped us navigate lives and futures,” remarked Summer Hammons, Tulalip TERO Director. “Our students have been honored and grateful to contribute to helping those in need.”

Tribal Council swears in new leadership

Teri Gobin, Marie Zackuse, Hazen Shopbell.

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

Back in mid-March, coronavirus concerns prevented Tulalip from holding its annual general council meeting. However, fast forward nearly two months and the reservation-wide stay-home orders, social isolating, and self-quarantining gave many progressive citizens plenty to think about in terms of the future direction of the tribe and the immediate needs of the people. As a stunning result, being at home with plenty of opportunity to cast an absentee ballot led to an unprecedented rate of voter engagement and ballots casts for this year’s Board of Directors election. 

The election results were broadcast on Tulalip TV and streamed live on Tulalip News Facebook as Elections Committee members hand counted ballot after ballot. Starting just after dawn, at 6:00am on May 12, the strenuous process took nearly 11 hours to complete. With hundreds of tribal members viewing in and the excitement mounting, the top three vote getters were announced at 5:00pm by Rosie Topaum. 

Chairwoman Teri Gobin retained her position with a staggering 685 votes, longtime leader Marie Zackuse made her return to the board after just a one year absence with 295 votes, and in a nail biter, Hazen Shopbell edged out incumbent Les Parks with 289 votes to 283.

The latest rendition of Tulalip’s Tribal Council was sworn in on the morning of Wednesday, May 13 by Vice-Chair Glen Gobin.

“We are facing some of the hardest times in decision making for our tribe,” explained Glen. “Possibly going back to something of a life style that we grew up in, where there weren’t a lot of things the tribe could provide for us other than community support. We must continue to move forward caring for one other and find ways to work together. This means having our young people stepping up to learn and grow to ensure our future as a nearly 5,000 member tribe.”

A prime example of the youth rising to meet the demands of leadership is now newly elected and first time Board Member, Hazen Shopbell. He steps into his position as the youngest active member of tribal council. 

“It was pretty intense watching the election race yesterday with so many deserving candidates,” admitted Hazen. “I’d like to thank all the people who supported me and got me to this point. Politics can be nasty, but we have to come together to support one another as a tribe. I’m humbled to be in this position and look forward to serving my tribe.”

Marie Zackuse served on the Board of Directors from April 1990 to April 2019, earning the distinction of longest serving female in Tulalip history. After a brief 12-month layoff, she brings her extensive knowledge and love for her people back to the forefront. 

“I’d like to thank all the tribal members and community who brought be back to the Board. I give all the glory to the Creator,” stated Marie. “I’m dedicated to serving my people and helping each and every one of them. We’ve got to protect our community to carry on together. Words that I carry on from the past are from Big Shot, he always reminded us to stay together and love one another. This is what we need to do in this time.”

After completing her first 3-year term, Chairwoman Teri Gobin’s extraordinary support by the people was clearly evident in the 685 times her names was read aloud.

“I was shocked and so surprised at how well I was supported in this election. I’d like to thank everyone who supported me and gave me the opportunity to follow in my father’s footsteps,” said an impassioned Teri. “I know my dad is smiling down on me today. 

“It’s been my pleasure to serve these past three years,” continued Teri. “I’ve learned so much while fighting every day for our sovereignty, treaty rights and future generations. I’m so proud to be here representing our people and will continue to move us ahead in a positive way, while keeping an integrity, passion and respect for everybody.”

The safety and health of the community remains an utmost concern. Until we’ve reached a point where it is deemed socially responsible to hold a general council, the Board of Directors officer positions will remain the same. Teri is Chairwoman, Glen is Vice-Chair, Treasurer is Misty Napeahi, and is Mel Sheldon is Acting Secretary.

Harvesting dandelions for a nutritious spring time tea

By SNAP-Ed Program Coordinator, AnneCherise Jensen 

Dandelion plants are often regarded as a common weed or annoyance in one’s yard. They are also known for making special wishes when blowing off their whimsical dried petals in the summertime.  Believe it or not, dandelions are also one of the oldest nutritive and medicinal plants in the world. Dandelion, or the scientific name Taraxacum officianle, first originated in Europe and were brought to the Americas in the early 1600’s.

Though this plant is often overlooked, dandelions contain a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. If harvested properly, dandelions can be used for a wide variety of health and wellness purposes. The best part about it, is that it’s FREE! 

One of the most amazing properties about dandelions is the fact all parts of the plant can be used. The flowers are edible, having a semi sweet yet bitter taste. The leaves are also edible, and can be thrown into salads, smoothies and soups. The roots are also frequently used.  Often they are dehydrated and used into a tea, vegetable broth or a tincture. Roasted dandelion roots can also be used as a coffee substitute, tasting very similar to regular coffee beans. 

Foraging Tips 

Harvest in areas that are chemical and pesticide free. When consuming a wild edible, you want to make sure its organic properties are free from any harmful compounds. 

Avoid harvesting by popular trails or parks. Don’t forage in areas where dogs and other animals frequently visit. You don’t want to consume any plants that may have been urinated or defecated on by an animal.

Be sure to bring a basket, pair of gloves, hand shovel and scissors. Bring your phone to take some pictures and share your experience to friends and family online as well. 

Only harvest what you will use and never take more than you need.

Health Benefits 

Dandelions are a great source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The leaves and root contain high amounts of Vitamins A, C, K and B Vitamins, as well as many minerals including magnesium, zinc, potassium, iron and calcium. Dandelions have a long history of use for problems of the liver, gallbladder, and bile ducts. 

Today, Dandelion is a dietary supplement used as a blood “tonic,” as a diuretic, for minor digestive problems, and other purposes. Other recorded, but not well studied, uses of dandelion include blood sugar and hormone regulation.

During this time of quarantine, now is the perfect opportunity to try something new. The following recipe is a great way to incorporate dandelions into your diet. Try this at home with your family, use up some of those dandelions that are close to your home, and enjoy a refreshing spring time beverage.

Recipe: Dandelion + Honey + Lemon Iced Tea  

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups fresh or dried dandelion flowers 
  • 2-3 Tablespoons honey 
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (4 lemons) 
  • 1 quart purified water 

Directions: 

  • Harvest approximately 2-3 cups of wild dandelion flowers. Place in a strainer and rinse well with cool water. Remove all dirt debris from the plant. 
  • Boil 1 quart of water. Then pour into a pitcher and add the honey. 
  • Let cool for a few minutes, then add 1 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice. 
  • Add the clean wild dandelion flowers, mix well. Water should be warm so natural infusion can occur. You may also add in a few lemon slices here for extra zest and appeal. 
  • Place in the refrigerator and let chill for 2-3 hours, until cold. You can strain the dandelion flowers, or you can pour them into your cup. 
  • Enjoy! Use within 36-hours for best taste.

**This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP.  This institution is an equal opportunity provider.