The Gift of Local Fare March brings new shoots of seaweed to Alaska’s southern coast, providing fresh nutrition at a lean time of year for wild foods. “Seaweeds are very nutritious,” says Vivian Faith Prescott, a lifelong Wrangell resident and author of My Father’s Smokehouse, a book on traditional Alaskan foods. “And they’re easy to gather.” Prescott says seaweeds have been a reliable staple for as long as people have lived on Alaska’s coast. She says spring is the best time to gather them. “Like some other plants, seaweeds can get stiff and lose their flavor later in summer,” she says. Prescott collects several seaweeds, including ribbon seaweed (Palmaria mollis, called k’áach’ in Lingit) and popweed (Fucus gardneri, called tayeidí in Lingit). But she says many species are edible and recommends Common Edible Seaweeds in the Gulf of Alaska by Dr. Dolly Garza as a resource. Prescott’s favorite vessel for…