Wild foods, wild foods, wild foods.
Forage, forage, forage.
Harvest, harvest, harvest.
We’re rapidly approaching that time of the year when this mantra is weaving its way through my every thought.
Each year our family looks forward to the Copper River Watershed Project’s Wild Food Feast in the spring. This year it will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 21, at Pioneer Igloo.
It is an opportunity to use up the last of the previous season’s berries, or that one piece of king salmon that slid to the back of the freezer, or the moose steaks that you’ve been meaning to marinate since last month. For many of us, it’s the threshold of inspiration, the potluck that lights the fire in our foraging hearts.
If you’ve been out to Alaganik lately, then you have seen the gargantuan culvert being put in. Did you know that the Copper River Watershed Project spearheaded that culvert replacement project and secured funding for it?
As a board member, I’ve enjoyed learning about the CRWP’s focus on securing safe fish passage for wild salmon across the Copper River Delta and up into the basin. CRWP staff will be at the Wild Food Feast to answer any of your questions, try and finagle a membership out of you (because it’s a membership driven organization but don’t worry, they start at $10 annually), and award prizes for the crowd favorites’ best dishes in each category: swimming, growing, walking,and flying.
This is a cook-off with some tasty prizes! That new Alaska From Scratch cookbook by Maya Wilson will go home with the winner of Best in Show.
The winner of each category takes home a reusable CRWP Chico tote and a jar of Barnacle Kelp Salsa. If you haven’t eaten kelp salsa you are missing out. Growing up in Kodiak I learned to make bull kelp salsa, and every once in a while, a thoughtful friend will bring me back a fresh stipe from across the Sound.
If you don’t win, you can buy yourself a jar from the CRWP gift shop on First Street.
To celebrate our 20th anniversary we will be joined by our upriver board members and also serving pork roasts from the Van Wyhe Family Farm in Kenny Lake.
Join us for the wild food feast and bring your favorite wild food to share.
Erica Thompson Clark is the vice president of the Copper River Watershed Project.