Tag Archives: Sagittaria latifolia

Sam Thayer and Mississippi wapato

As I mentioned in my post about harvesting wapato in my garden a couple of days ago, I attended the Midwest Wild Harvest Festival in Wisconsin in September 2019 to do the keynote and a couple of talks and was lucky enough to be able to attend Sam Thayer’s Wetland Plant Hike along the Mississippi during which the highlight was the demonstration of wapato harvest. There had been record flooding that spring on the Mississipi and water levels were still high which meant that the places where Sam normally harvested were too deep. However, he did find a small patch to demonstrate harvesting techniques. As Sam mentions, this is how Canada geese do it! Did I mention that I rate Sam’s 3 books above all other books on wild edibles! His book The Forager’s Harvest has 16 pages on wapato! See the videos and pictures below:

Freezing Wapato and Chinese Arrowhead harvest

When I attended the Midwest Wild Harvest Festival in Wisconsin in September 2019, I was lucky to be able to attend Sam Thayer’s Wetland Plant Hike along the Mississippi during which the highlight was the demonstration of wapato harvest. Look out for the video I took that day in a post in the next few days. Earlier this week found me harvesting my own wapato, grown in large tubs in the garden….an altogether more invigorating experience, the gardener’s equivalent to winter fjord bathing, as the water temperature was only about 1C (and the following day the water was frozen); I had planned to try locating the tubers by feet the next day, but (fortunately) the thick ice made that difficult (OK, I’m a wimp as I could have broken through the ice with a pick axe ;))
I’m growing both North American wapato (Sagittaria latifolia; picture) and Chinese arrowhead tubers (Sagittaria trifolia) which were originally shop bought.