COOK/EAT/SHARE

By Jennifer Nu 

This year, the popular Southeast Alaska food blog formerly known as Plant Guru has an exciting fresh new look. Forest Fresh Alaska is the new name of a blog run by couple Mary and Lucas Goddard who live in Sitka. Having lived and traveled around the world, the couple combine global culinary inspiration with rich local ingredients of their Southeast Alaska homeland. The blog features mouthwatering downloadable recipes starring indigenous plants, seafood, and wild game. 

A chef by training, Lucas is just as comfortable cooking in a fancy restaurant as he is cooking in an emergency camp kitchen or around a campfire with friends. “Growing up in southeast, there are all these little snacks you take for granted.” Smoked salmon. King crab legs. Chicken of the woods. 

Mary’s love of plants and local food has led her on a lifelong journey to learn as much as she can about the bounty of the land and ocean. Though she grew up in Alaska picking berries and collecting seaweeds, she began expanding her knowledge of edible forest greens or sea greens as an adult. Though the blog has a new name, there is a section called ‘Oldies but Goodies’ where Plant Guru recipes can be found. New recipes are gluten free. 

The Goddard’s young son Ryker has recently challenged Lucas and Mary to learn even more so that they can share what they learn with him, especially fungi. “Our blog is about sharing what we love and it pushes me to learn more,” said Mary. 

“More and more there is talk about food security- and if people knew about how much food is in the forest around their house, it would alleviate a lot of stress,” comments Lucas. 

For the local food challengers and others who desire to strengthen the local food system in Southeast Alaska, Mary offers advice. “Don’t be afraid to start. There will always be someone who knows more than you, and there’s always someone who knows less than you. Don’t feel guilty about everything being local, foraged, hunted…just start where you can. Whether that’s picking berries or supporting a small garden, or buying from someone who’s selling local food.” Lucas adds one last thing: “Have fun with it.” 

Check it out at https://www.forestfreshalaska.com/ and follow the blog on Facebook and Instagram. 

Mary, Lucas, and son Ryker