Wild edibles in Alaska: Seek and ye shall find

Alaska Wild Berries
Alaska wild berries from the Innoko National Wildlife Refuge. (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, WikiMedia Commons)

Buckets at the ready, Alaska berry pickers are making their way into the mountains and valleys to forage for the ruby and sapphire jewels that make August so special. Yum!

But foraging is  more than berries, and this time of year is perfect for identifying patches of valuable edibles and marking them for harvest in spring. By now, there’s also mushrooms to consider.

Do you pick? Have questions about how to dry and store, or further prepare your finds? And given the populist nature of this activity (one book I read claimed we all have that latent hunter/gatherer spirit in us, we just need to find it), listeners may have favorite spots, recipes, or even mistakes they’d be happy to share. How do you enjoy wild edibles?

Listen now:

HOST: Kathleen McCoy


  • Laurie Constantino, food writer and foraging expert
  • Christine Yi, longtime Alaska forager originally from Korea
  • Julie Riley, Cooperative Extension Service with a berry report
  • Kate Mohatt, U.S. Forest Service, Girdwood office, with a mushroom report




  • Discovering Wild Plants: Alaska, Western Canada, Northwest, Janice Schofield, 1989
  • Alaska Wild Plants: A Guide to Alaska’s Edible Harvest, Janice Schofield, 1993
  • Alaska’s Wilderness Medicines, Health Plants of the Far North, Eleanor Viereck, 1987
  • The Forager’s Harvest, Samuel Thayer, 2006
  • Wild Edible and Poisonous Plants of Alaska, Cooperative Extension Service, revised 1981
  • Stalking the Wild Asparagus, Euell Gibbons. 1962
  • Eating Wildly, Foraging for life, love and the perfect meal, Ava Chin, 2014


  • Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752  (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
  • Send email to hometown@alaskapublic.org before, during or after the live broadcast (e-mails may be read on air)
  • Post your comment or question below (comments may be read on air)

LIVE BROADCAST: Wednesday, August 13, 2014. 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. (Alaska time)

REPEAT BROADCAST: Wednesday, August 13, 2014. 9:00 – 10:00 p.m. (Alaska time)

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