Alternative Ways to Access Sweetgrass
Over the years, the Basketmaking Community has worked with various beachfront communities to get permission to enter their property and harvest native sweetgrass growing along the ocean. Communities such as Kiawah, LSSI, and Dewees Island have periodically hosted the basketmakers. The advantages were simply to access, once again, ancestral sweetgrass habitats. The disadvantages are that some of these locations are distant and expensive trips or just plain inconvenient. Once there, locating sweetgrass and harvesting within a limited period of time can be stressful and arduous. In some locations, basketmakers only have access to “commercial sweetgrass” growing in cultivation and not the natural sweetgrass growing on the beachfront. Harvesting strictly commercial sweetgrass has disappointed the basketmakers since quality can be inferior to sweetgrass growing in the natural habitat. In some cases, basketmakers have had to donate a basket to the community as part of the agreement to enter the property.