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  1. 1. Vermilionaire: VERMILIONAIRE is also the title of a Among the many long-term conse- recording by the Lost Bayou Ramblers, a quences from the oil spill will be a pervasive Cajun band from Louisiana whose title track disruption of some of the most unique is a traditional song about going down to the farming, fishing, hunting and culinary bayou to fish, hunt, trap and never die of communities left on the planet—not only hunger. As oil pours beneath the surface of in the Gulf Coast states of the U.S., but the water in the Gulf of Mexico and makes also in Mexico and Cuba as well. These its way to the coast, the families that have communities deserve what we might call lived in close connection to the Gulf’s unique “environmental and food justice,” since our habitat continue to be threatened by both government agencies have been both slow man-made and natural pressures. and inefficient in protecting their basic All along the coast, from the Florida human needs. Keys to the mouth of the Rio Grande on Many former Gulf Coast residents who the Texas-Mexico border, folks like the farmed or gardened have literally left jars of Vermilionaires have been forced from their family’s heirloom vegetable seeds in their homelands as their jobs have been sheds and cupboards to rot or slowly die, lost, their lands flooded or contaminated breaking a chain of agricultural transmis- and their properties ruined. Among them, sion of seeds and knowledge that began we find some of the most marginalized centuries ago. Some of the remaining peoples in the United States: long-term gardeners and farmers also happen to be residents such as the Houma, Cajun, Creole, part-time fishermen, oyster harvesters, Seminole, Miccosukee, African, Cuban, gator hunters or shrimpers, and they now “Cracker,” Choctaw and Creek, as well as see other perils looming on their horizon immigrants from Sicilian, Vietnamese, as fishing areas are closed and important Cambodian, Central American and Mexican spawning grounds are in danger of being ethnic enclaves. choked off by the approaching oil. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Working the land and water, these Gulf of Mexico has already been called the people—with their minds, eyes, hands worst man-made disaster in the history of and backs—have fed much of America for the United States. But even that label does centuries. The overwhelming majority of not capture all the dimensions of this tragedy. shrimp harvested in the U.S. come from Since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in August the Gulf of Mexico and its adjacent estu- and September of 2005, to the present aries and rivers. Well over 120 fish species by attempts to mop up oil covering an area are commercially harvested along the greater than the size of Connecticut, some Gulf Coast—from drum, flounder and Gary Paul Nabhan of the rural, food-producing counties of the sheepshead, to countless populations of Leigh Belanger Louisiana’s Gulf Coast have lost half of their crawfish, crabs, oysters and clams—each former residents. They have felt forced to with a distinctive flavor. Over seventy per- Regina Fitzsimmons leave the state in search of better, safer cent of all ducks and geese that migrate opportunities elsewhere. Due to these disas- through the heartlands of North America ters, human lives—as well their traditional depend upon stopover sanctuaries in the relationships with their plant and animal coastal wetlands of the Gulf. Many of neighbors—have changed forever. America’s most unique foods—from Our concern here is twofold: First and crawfish jambalaya, Creole cream cheese foremost, to avoid the loss of livelihoods and Gumbo filé, to Apalachicola oysters, for the culturally diverse food producers Pineywoods beef and Tabasco peppers— who live near the Gulf of Mexico, who are are rooted in Gulf Coast traditions. already feeling their access to fish, shellfish One key way that you can help the and waterfowl limited by the spill. Second, people and ecosystems of the Gulf Coast to stop the loss of the many wild species recover from yet another catastrophe, is by and domesticated food varieties upon actively purchasing and promoting their food which the remaining inhabitants of the products during this time of uncertainty. Gulf Coast nutritionally, economically and Fishermen will not be selling oil-contami- ecologically depend. nated or otherwise threatened species. To BIGSTOCK
  2. 2. the contrary, they desperately need income and Cajun cuisines are being put at further UNESCO City of Gastronomy, because from the remaining foods that they are able risk by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, its intangible culinary heritage is now in to safely harvest. Poppy Tooker’s rallying even though many of them had not yet urgent need of safeguarding. So let’s vote cry of “Eat It To Save It” for neglected (but fully recovered from the effects of Hurri- with our mouths, bellies and pocketbooks not necessarily federally protected) foods, canes Katrina and Rita. for the speedy recovery of the food-produc- has perhaps never been more fitting. If we Aside from investing your buying power ing cultures dependent on the health of the want a diversity of healthy foods on our as a consumer in the market recovery of Gulf of Mexico, for their culinary traditions tables, we need to support the food produc- fishing and farming in the Gulf Coast, we are clearly an irreplaceable compone nt of ers who have been tenacious in providing encourage you to give what donations you our World Heritage. The Vermilionaires are them, or they will turn to other sources of can to some of the organizations listed below. in danger income to make ends meet. Farmers will We also urge you to support a new initiative of losing cull the rare varieties out of their orchards we are proposing to designate New Orleans a their riches. BIGSTOCK • Crescent City Farmers Market (http://www.crescentcityfarmersmarket.org), White Boot Brigade (http://www.whitebootbrigade.org/) and Adopt-a-Mirliton Project (http://www.crescentcityfarmersmarket.org/index.php?page=adopt-a-mirliton) • Cultural Resource Institute of Acadiana (http://www.criala.org) • Southern Foodways Alliance (http://www.southernfoodways.com) • Catch Shares in Gulf of Mexico/Texas Program of Environmental Defense (http://www.edf.org) • Save Our Wetlands (http://www.saveourwetlands.org) • Southern Seed Legacy (http://www.uga.edu/ebl/ssl/) • Pineywoods Cattle Registry and Breeders Association (http://www.pcrba.org) To download the PDF of this booklet online and for further information about the RAFT alliance, visit http://www.raftalliance.org. For further information about the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural initiative, visit the UNESCO Gastronomy page: http://portal.unesco.org/culture/en/ev.php-URL_ID=36930&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html or fields if there is no market for them; Gary Paul Nabhan is RAFT founder and co-founder of Flavors Without Borders. fishermen will set sail for the most mar- He has been honored for his work in the collaborative conservation of food diversity with the Vavilov Medal and a MacArthur Genius Award. A prolific author, his books and blogs can be ketable catch elsewhere if no one values the found at http://www.garynabhan.com. He raises hell and orchard crops in Patagonia, Arizona. knowledge and skill they invest in coaxing the most delicious foods from the waters Regina Fitzsimmons is a recent graduate from the University of Arizona with a they know best. degree in Nonfiction Writing and a minor in Crop Production from the agricultural college. The following list of edible species and Formerly a Slow Food USA intern, she now works with the RAFT alliance and Sabores Sin varieties at risk in the Gulf Coast foodshed Fronteras in Tucson, Arizona. She cooks and gardens and blogs about successes and flops at includes both those potentially affected by http://reginarae.com. the spill on a massive scale (“oil-damaged”), and those that were already of conservation Leigh Belanger is the Program Director for Chefs Collaborative where she directs concern before the April 10, 2010 Macon- educational initiatives aimed at making sustainability second nature for every chef in the U.S. dow blow-out, 40 miles southeast of the Leigh is currently heading a RAFT initiative that brings chefs and local growers together to Louisiana coast. Our list of foods at risk produce and feature heirloom vegetables adapted to their region. She writes about food and restaurants for the Boston Globe, Edible Boston and other publications. She is pursuing a includes 241 distinctly-named stocks, Masters Degree in Food Studies from Boston University, and is working on a book, Boston varieties, species and subspecies found in Homegrown, about chefs and local foods in the Boston area. the Gulf, and its bayous and surrounding fields, forests, pastures and orchards. Of those 241 place-based foods, experts RAFT and its partners neither condone nor endorse consumption of federal or state protected anticipate that access to at least 138 will be species and highly-depleted stocks. We encourage consumers to support the recovery of directly affected by the oil spill. In other these species or stocks so that future generations can enjoy sustainable harvests once words, more than half of the distinctive recovery is ensured. We also actively support community and/or tribal food sovereignty, foods associated with world-famous Creole and encourage others to do so as well. 3
  3. 3. What Will We Cook? What Will We Eat? GARY NABHAN STAR BLACK Sara Roahen Sara Roahen is a writer and oral historian whose work celebrates the deep connections between food, memory and place. Active in the Southern Foodways Alliance, she is author of Gumbo Tales: Finding My Place at the New Orleans Table. She is based in New Orleans. YES, THERE IS PETTINESS and a bit of I know more cooks than professional faraway meals. Moreover, I wonder what potential gluttony when we lament the gus- fishermen, so when I’m lying awake putting will happen to Charlie’s Seafood, the tatory losses resulting from the Deepwater faces to our losses, I see many of the oral beloved, casual seafood restaurant that Horizon oil spill. Eleven workers didn’t history subjects who have shared their Frank resurrected in his own suburban survive the explosion; many fishermen have gumbo stories with me and the Southern neighborhood last year and where, at least likely lost their livelihoods, as well as the Foodways Alliance (the organization for pre-spill, the okra gumbo brimmed with livelihoods they intended to pass on to their which I collect their histories). local shrimp and oysters. progeny. Untold numbers of plants and I see Frank Brigtsen, a passionate recre- I see Celestine “Tina” Dunbar, who is animals—not just single lives, but possibly ational fisherman and the chef-proprietor still trying to re-open her restaurant, entire species—are now in danger and at Brigtsen’s Restaurant in Uptown New Dunbar’s Creole Kitchen, which flooded dying. And yet, in a world of relativity, an Orleans. He grew up in the city eating his badly after the levee breaches of 2005. She urban New Orleanian like me can’t help mama’s Creole gumbo, a dish she cooked- serves her own version of Creole gumbo but also worry for the boiled crabs, speckled up with a “deep dark brown roux, smoked every Friday in the cafeteria for Loyola trout amandine, char-grilled oysters and, sausage, shrimp, oysters, crabs and some- University’s law school, where she’s made especially, seafood gumbo. I fear for the times even chicken.” I wonder whether a living in the meantime. Along with two recipes, for the dishes and for the unchecked Frank will ever taste his childhood again, different sausages and chicken, Celestine’s joy that hovers over every inch of the Gulf or whether his mama’s gumbo recipe will gumbo contains dried and fresh shrimp. Coast as its citizens prepare and eat them. be archived on his mind’s palate like other Each bowl has a crab exoskeleton center- BIGSTOCK 4
  4. 4. GARY NABHAN Foods at Risk in the Gulf Coast Foodshed piece, its flavor having melded into the broth while it cooked. During Lent, Tina T = Threatened removes the meat, adds oysters and serves For wild species, federally listed as threatened or vulnerable—few (11-20) sites, small range, a straight seafood gumbo that her Catholic or rapid declines noted in the NatureServe database; for domesticated food varieties, availability known only through 4-6 farmers’ markets, CSAs, seed catalogs, tree nurseries, regulars include in their penances. Her botanical gardens, community festivals and museums. father taught her how to make gumbo when E = Endangered she was six years old. “This is a gumbo city,” For wild species, federally listed as endangered or critically imperiled—few (1-10) sites, small she told me. range, rapid declines in NatureServe database; for domesticated food varieties, availability I see Jim Gossen, a native of Acadiana known only through 1-3 farmers’ markets, CSAs, seed catalogs, tree nurseries, botanical gardens, community festivals and museums. (a.k.a. Cajun country), who runs a whole- sale seafood business in Houston and makes OD = Oil Damaged a hefty seafood gumbo of oysters, crab and Known or reliably predicted damage from Deepwater Horizon oil spill, likely to affect survival, reproduction, migration, food quality or abundance in marketplace. shrimp to feed his gigantic family every Christmas Eve. Jim also has a camp—a * = on the Ark of Taste, Slow Food USA’s catalog of endangered foods Like the other foods on this list, Ark of Taste foods are at-risk and place-based. Additionally, refuge on stilts—on Grand Isle, Louisiana, they have (1) deep historical and/or cultural roots and a tradition of use in the locale/region, where he seems to maintain brotherly asso- (2) unique/superior flavor, appearance or texture and (3) market potential. Anyone can ciations with all the commercial fishermen, nominate a food to the Ark of Taste. Nominations are vetted by a committee of Slow Food USA members. Go to http://www.slowfoodusa.org for more information. and where I once stood in his kitchen eating what felt like gallons of a cool shrimp ceviche-like dish. He had bought the shrimp NAME • THREATENED (T) ENDANGERED (E) OIL DAMAGED (OD) • GULF STATES straight off the docks that morning. Crude FISH & SHELLFISH oil began to hit the shores of Grand Isle a few days ago. You can watch it from the Fish Great barracuda OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO living room of Jim’s camp. Guangache barracuda OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO I see myself last Christmas: My in-laws Black sea bass OD AL, FL were here to celebrate, but with a four- Rock sea bass OD LA, TX, MEXICO month-old baby, a house under construction Gafftopsail catfish OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, MEXICO and a husband working overnights in Baton Hardhead catfish T, OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, MEXICO Rouge, I decided that our usual Christmas Cobia/Ling cod OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, MEXICO feast wouldn’t fit the mood. A celebration Cusk-eel/Bearded brotula OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO was nevertheless in order and I figured that Dolphinfish/Dorado/Mahi mahi T, OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO if the festivities involved only one course, Pompano dolphinfish OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO my husband might actually have time to Black drum OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO enjoy it with us. Granier/Golden croaker OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO When there’s room for just one festive Gulf kingfish/King croaker OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO dish on the table in New Orleans, the choice Redfish/Red drum T, OD FL, LA, TX is clear (and especially so if grandparents Southern kingfish OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO are around to entertain the baby while you American eel/Conger eel OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO stir your roux). As Frank Brigtsen put it, a Broad flounder OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO gumbo is a special event, a “social event,” a Fluke flounder OD TX coming-together. A gumbo is style and sub- Gulf flounder OD AL, FL, MS, LA, TX, CUBA, MEXICO stance, form and function, sustenance for Southern flounder/Doormat OD AL, FL, MS, LA, MEXICO the body and for the spirit. Into mine went Alligator gar/Garfish OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO two pounds of shrimp, two pints of shucked Black driftfish/Barrel grouper OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO oysters and a whole mess of crab. There’s Black grouper T, OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO never enough crab. Oh, but that’s just a Comb grouper OD FL, TX, CUBA, MEXICO figure of speech, of course; down here Gag grouper T, OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO we’ve always had plenty of crab… Goliath grouper E, OD FL, CUBA, MEXICO Marbled grouper/Slopehead OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Louisianans will continue to cook. We Misty grouper OD FL, LA, MS, CUBA, MEXICO will continue to eat. We might even con- Nassau grouper/Cherna criolla OD FL, CUBA, MEXICO tinue to enjoy cooking and eating from the Red grouper OD AL, FL, CUBA, MEXICO Gulf. Still, the question looms: Will we ever Snowy grouper OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO again have enough crab—or oysters, or Warsaw grouper T, OD NC, SC, GA, FL, AL shrimp—for all of our seafood gumbos? I Yellowedge grouper OD LA, TX, MEXICO Yellowfin grouper OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Yellowmouth grouper/Caborita OD FL, CUBA, MEXICO 5
  5. 5. The Happiest Place in New Orleans SHAWN ESCOFFERY Richard McCarthy Richard McCarthy’s work embodies the phrase, “think globally; act locally.” After growing up in New Orleans and earning his master’s degree at the London School of Economics, he co-founded the Crescent City Farmers Market in 1995. As executive director, he led the organization from a single, weekly farmers market to Market Umbrella, an internationally recognized mentor for several markets, community-building and sustainable economic development. He remains based in New Orleans. WHEN HURRICANES KATRINA and who began to question our traditions— “The happiest place in New Orleans.” Rita slammed into the U.S. Gulf Coast and who even questioned whether red beans Capturing the voices of farmers, fishers and caused widespread collapse of our infra- and rice should be served again, whether shoppers speaking for themselves in their structure, we were reminded rather violently St. Joseph’s altars should be constructed, own accents, we broadcasted radio adver- of the fragility of our lives, our livelihoods, whether mirlitons should be planted on tisements that welcomed people to come our ecosystem and our foodshed. New Orleans back fences and whether home … to the Market. The hurricanes destroyed our homes fishing families should harvest brown Five years later, and in the face of a very and so we moved into neighboring commu- shrimp in coastal waters. different type of disaster—BP Deepwater nities like exiles. And yet, the disaster also From our outdoor market—our “office Horizon’s industrial spew of oil upon the brought us together: In our makeshift of homeland serenity”—we gave refuge and Gulf Coast—much of our region’s food tra- homes, we rekindled elements of the Cres- economic stability to farming families. For ditions remain intact, if not stronger than cent City Farmers Market and in so doing, some, we simply gave a place to market the before. Maybe our earlier flirt with (cultural) we pieced-together the community I had organic satsumas they harvested in once- death makes us treasure gumbo des herbes worked and grown with over the previous flooded lands below the city. For others— more during Lent, Creole tomatoes in June decade. Deputizing a team of farmers, fishers like the men with guns who patrolled our and backyard shrimp boils in the late spring. and shoppers, we sent them out into the broken city—we gave them fresh food that But we can’t help but notice the fragility field to survey what remained of our dis- they could get only at our Market. We pro- of the very same coastal waters that kept persed community. Their findings informed claimed our markets a “FEMA-free zone,” the number of commercial fishers low philanthropic and public policy decisions but we couldn’t turn these men away. prior to the oil spill. Some fishing families as well as our own: when, where and with Despite our tears and anger, we remembered embraced the hurricane-inflicted chaos by whom to restart our Farmers Market. that markets, like dinner tables, help to joining forces as members of the White Ten weeks after Katrina, we restarted define the taste of place. Boot Brigade, a traveling shrimpers road the Market. It was a Tuesday, two days Soon we began to see the market as a show hell-bent on promoting sustainable before Thanksgiving in 2005. This event hub for community restoration. Working harvests, cultural preservation and business marked more than a return of commerce with a team of communications experts, innovation. Twice, we marched into new amidst a sea of chaos. It served as a symbol we launched a multifaceted marketing markets—in Manhattan and San Fran- of defiance against the chorus of voices campaign proclaiming the Market to be cisco—leaning heavily upon the appetite MARKETUMBRELLA.ORG 6
  6. 6. NAME • THREATENED (T) ENDANGERED (E) OIL DAMAGED (OD) • GULF STATES Fish continued Red hind OD FL, CUBA, MEXICO Rock hind OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Speckled hind T, OD AL, FL, CUBA, MEXICO Pigfish/Orange grunt OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX White/Key West grunt OD FL, CUBA, MEXICO African pompano OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Florida pompano T, OD AL, FL, CUBA Permit/Round pompano OD FL, CUBA Almaco jack OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Bluntnose jack OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO MARKETUMBRELLA.ORG Greater amberjack OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Lesser amberjack OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Rainbow runner/Spanish jack OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Yellow jack OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Cero mackerel OD AL, FL, CUBA Spanish mackerel OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Blue marlin T, OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO White marlin E, OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Sailfish/Spindlebeak billfish OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO for our fishers’ unique, sweet water crus- Mountain mullet OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, MEXICO taceans. We rekindled support for our Striped mullet/Lisa OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO fishers with help from important allies in White mullet OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Slow Food, Share Our Strength, Williams- Jolthead porgy OD AL, FL, LA, MS Sonoma and the farmers’ market world. Knobbed/Key West porgy OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA Fishers hand-delivered their product to Spinycheek scorpionfish OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO chefs and together, they learned how to Red porgy/Sea bream OD AL, FL, LA, MS, CUBA, MEXICO adapt these unusually tasting and textured Graysby/Sea bass OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO seafood to new palettes. This campaign Sand seatrout OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO brought fishers hundreds of miles away— Silver seatrout OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO geographically and emotionally—from Alabama shad T, OD AL, FL, GA, LA, MS their devastated homes, boats and commu- Atlantic sharpnose shark OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO nities. As a result, fishing families became Blacktip shark T, OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO boutique shippers and niche market inno- Bignose shark OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO vators. But others—be it dairies, oyster Bonnethead/Hammerhead shark OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO operations or soft shell crabbers—have yet Bull shark OD AL, FL, LA, MO, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Dusky shark T, OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO to find the resources to restart. Great hammerhead shark OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO In this last half-decade of turmoil, we Large-tooth sawfish/Carpenter shark T TX, CUBA, MEXICO have lost many dear friends, happily made Lemon shark T, OD FL new ones and through it all, we have mar- Longfin mako shark OD FL, CUBA veled at the intense waves of new passion Sand tiger shark T, OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO for local foods expressed by nameless home Scalloped hammerhead shark T, OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO cooks and famous restaurant chefs. As Shortfin mako shark OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO uncertainty continues to wreak havoc upon Silky shark OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO our fragile food system, we celebrate poke Smalltooth sawfish/Carpenter shark E, OD FL, CUBA, MEXICO salat, wild ramps and the wild Bell River Spinner shark T, OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO crawfish. You can find and celebrate them, Spiny dogfish shark E, OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO too, three days per week, year-round, rain or Thresher shark OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO shine at the Crescent City Farmers Market. Tiger shark T, OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Blackfin snapper OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO The Crescent City Farmers Market will Creole fish/Rose snapper OD LA, TX, MEXICO celebrate its fifteenth anniversary in Cubera snapper T, OD FL, TX, CUBA, MEXICO October 2010. It is the flagship project of Dog snapper OD AL, FL, LA, MS, CUBA http://www.marketumbrella.org. Grey/Black/Mangrove snapper OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Hogfish/Hog snapper OD AL, FL, CUBA For more details about the restarting of the Lane snapper OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Crescent City Farmers Market, profiles of Mahoghany snapper OD FL, CUBA innovative fishers and the White Boot Brigade, Mutton snapper OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO visit the organization’s YouTube channel: Queen snapper OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO http://youtube.com/marketumbrella. I Red snapper OD AL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Schoolmaster/Barred snapper OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Silk snapper OD AL, FL, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Vermillion snapper T, OD TX, LA, MS, AL, FL 7
  7. 7. NAME • THREATENED (T) ENDANGERED (E) OIL DAMAGED (OD) • GULF STATES Fish continued Yellowtail snapper OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Spadefish OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Alabama sturgeon E AL, MS Atlantic sturgeon T AL, LA, MS, FL Gulf sturgeon T AL, FL, LA, MS, TX Pallid sturgeon E MT, ND, SD, MN, IA, IL, MO, AR, MS Swordfish OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Anchor tilefish OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Blackline tilefish OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Blueline tilefish OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Goldfaced tilefish OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Grey triggerfish OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Queen triggerfish OD FL, TX, CUBA, MEXICO “GET IT NOW because it won’t last long.” Albacore tuna OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO When it comes to Louisiana seafood, that’s Atlantic bonito OD AL, FL, MS, LA, TX, CUBA, MEXICO the bottom line many seem to assume from Bigeye tuna OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO the recent Gulf of Mexico oil spill. How- Escolar/White tuna OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO ever, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Little tunny OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO In the wake of the oil spill, more than Skipjack tuna OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO seventy percent of Louisiana’s waters have Wahoo OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO remained open to seafood harvesting. Any Oilfish OD AL, FL, MS, CUBA, MEXICO closures made at this point are solely Shellfish precautionary. While offshore waters do Black clam OD TX, MEXICO produce large quantities of seafood, inland Helmet clam/Almeja casco OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO lakes produce a fair share as well. As long Rooster clam/Almeja gallo OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO as the leaking oil is stopped, most of these Southern quahog/Hard clam OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO inland waters will never be affected. What’s Atlantic queen conch E FL, CUBA, MEXICO more, even if traces of oil make it into these Calico scallop T, OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO areas, there is still hope. Eastern Gulf bay scallop/ Shrimp, as you may know, are a truly Pine Island Sound bay scallop T AL, FL renewable resource. A new crop hatches Eastern Gulf bay scallop/ each year. Harvesting openings revolve Chandeleur Islands or around their growth stages to ensure that Delta bay scallop E LA the crops can survive. At the time of the oil Eastern Gulf bay scallop/ spill, most of the inland waters—including Tampa bay scallop T FL Lake Pontchartrain—were not open to Western Gulf bay scallop/ shrimp harvesting because the shrimp were Laguna Madre bay scallop T TX, MEXICO not mature enough. As long as the larvae Blue crab OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, MEXICO Apalachicola oyster OD FL in the marshes can continue their life cycle, Galveston Bay oyster T, OD TX the shrimp stock is solid. Louisiana oyster OD LA The “gloom and doom” that much of the Brown shrimp OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO media has emphasized since the spill is perhaps Mississippi River freshwater shrimp T IL, IN, OH, LA, MO, MS more dangerous to the seafood industry than Pink shrimp OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO the oil spill itself. Society at large needs to know now, more than ever, that Louisiana WILD FOODS seafood is safe and available. Sure, some Wild Plants fishermen have chosen to work with the American chestnut X chinquapin* E AL, GA oilrigs and some fear that even temporary Chickasaw plum, selected varieties T AL, GA, LA, MS, TN closures may put them out of business, but Fragrant prickly apple cactus E FL the majority is still working hard to supply Miccosukee gooseberry E FL Okeechobee gourd E FL, MEXICO the market. Okeechobee pond apple T FL Like with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Price’s potato-bean/Groundnut/ those whom are able to harvest will. Their Traveler’s delight T AL, MS favorite and traditional harvesting locations Purple passionflower/ may not be as accessible, but there is still Maypop selected varieties T AL, GA, LA, MS plenty seafood to be caught and fishermen Scrub plum E FL still need to provide for their families. This is where all of you readers can help. Wild Fowl American coot/Mudhen OD AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO American woodcock OD AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, TX 8
  8. 8. Surviving the Spill CHRISTINA GERICA CHRISTINA GERICA CHRISTINA GERICA Christina Gerica To claim that the oil spill is more At the end of the day, yes, we all need devastating than the hurricanes is com- to keep close eyes on the effects of the oil pletely ludicrous. While seafood was spill. The spill needs to be contained and readily available in the wake of the cleaned up. All of the oil that has already 2005 hurricanes, the industry was in leaked into the Gulf needs to be dealt with shambles. Many of us fishing families properly. But Louisiana seafood is not going lost everything—boats and homes, you anywhere. Commercial fishermen are, for Christina Gerica is involved in food marketing and name it. Buying docks were destroyed the most part, a very resilient kind—we’re preserving the heritage and livelihood of commercial and, in some cases, could not be used to handling whatever Mother Nature fishermen, while pursuing a writing career. She has rebuilt. Even those who were fortunate throws our way. The Gulf Coast community worked with her family's business, Pete and Clara's Seafood, at the Crescent City Farmers Market for enough to be spared direct damage of seafood harvesters will weather yet the last ten years and her dad's organization, Lake from the storms still felt its repercus- another storm, so long as everyone does Pontchartrain Fishermen's Association, nearly all of sions. Restaurants closed and tourism their part from harvesting to processing, her life. After the hurricane blew her house apart, became nearly non-existent. from marketing to purchasing. I she and her family found themselves perched in a tree in nearly twelve feet of water for seven hours. Since the storm, she and her family have continued to work with local markets and have fought to restore and preserve the fishing industry. PABLEAUX JOHNSON 9
  9. 9. Eat It To Remember It Poppy Tooker Poppy Tooker, a chef, food folklorist and storyteller, is founder of Slow Food New Orleans, former chair of Slow Food's Ark of Taste Committee and host of Louisiana Eats which broadcasts weekly on the National Public Radio affiliate, WWNO 89.9 FM. In her cooking classes, and as author of the award-winning Crescent City Farmers Market Cookbook, she has intro- duced tens of thousands of eaters to the uniqueness of Gulf Coast cuisines. Her battle cry “Eat It To Save It” has now been heard around the world. MY EARLIEST MEMORIES of eating Then the real fun began: We’d fillet the boiled seafood date back to my high trout and stuff the fish frames into crab chair. My grandfather always sat next to traps that we’d throw out into the bay with me, perfectly cracking crab claws before floats. In a couple of hours we’d have placing them on my tray alongside succu- dozens of crabs to boil. We’d sit on the lent, peeled boiled shrimp. porch of the camp, picking and eating and By the age of seven, I was spending throwing the “bayou degradable” shells summers on Grand Isle with my best back into the water. friend, Susan. The Steiner’s camp was situ- With trout, crab and shrimp at my ated just across Highway One from the disposal, I could combine the three for one beach and their fishing boat was always of the best stuffed-trout dinners imaginable. moored in the harbor. We trout fished in We’d grill redfish, scales on, skin-side Camanada Bay in the morning and gigged down on the fire in a way we called “on for flounder with lanterns on the beach at the half shell.” night. The shrimp boats bought fuel and PHOTOS FOR THIS ESSAY ARE BY POPPY TOOKER ice and sold their catch at the dock on the far end of the island—a five-minute drive from the camp. Huge bins of just-caught shrimp were iced in layers and available for sale for a song. Twenty-five years ago I began going to the Keegan’s camp in Bay Ronquille at Four Bayou Pass with my husband, Nicky. Situ- ated on its own island, complete with cistern and generator, the fishing there never quit. Originally, in the late 1940s, the house was built to shelter an oysterman and his family, who ran an oyster fishing business from the island. At that time, the house was Somehow, the camp survived Hurricane surrounded by oyster beds. Even in the Katrina with just some roofing and wall mid-1980s when I started staying at the repair. It was the only functioning camp camp, at low tide, you could still see the remaining in Four Bayou Pass after Hurri- oysters everywhere, spitting as they dined cane Rita followed Katrina. The erosion of from the fertile waters. the marshland was startling. The camp is Casting a net from the dock, you could situated on piers and after the storms, so catch live shrimp and bait a double line little of the island remained that water with two shrimp at a time! In May you flowed under the camp at high or low could catch speckled trout two at a time tide—but the fishing only got better. We with live shrimp bait until you reached could actually hook fish from the second your limit or just wore out. floor balcony, just outside the kitchen door. 10
  10. 10. NAME • THREATENED (T) ENDANGERED (E) OIL DAMAGED (OD) • GULF STATES Wild Fowl continued Black-crowned night heron/Quawk T, OD AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Blue-winged teal OD AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Black rail T, OD AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, TX Mangrove clapper rail OD FL Sora rail T, OD AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, TX Virginia rail OD AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, TX Common snipe OD AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, TX Greater scaup OD AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Northern bobwhite quail T TX Wild Game Louisiana black bear T LA, MS, TX Key Vaca raccoon T, OD FL Key West raccoon T, OD FL Wild Reptiles American alligator E FL, CUBA, MEXICO American crocodile E FL, NC, SC, AL, MS, GA, TX, OK (Atlantic) Green sea turtle T NY, NJ, DE, MD, AL, FL, GA, MS, LA, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Diamond-backed terrapin T, OD AL, FL, LA, MS, TX Hawksbill sea turtle E AL, FL, MS, LA, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle E AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO Each spring after the hurricanes Leatherback sea turtle E AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO ripped up the barrier island, we’d take Loggerhead sea turtle T AL, FL, LA, MS, TX, CUBA, MEXICO five-minute boat rides over to the rookery DOMESTICATED ANIMALS where brown pelicans, snowy egrets and Heritage Livestock Breeds pinkish roseate spoon bills laid their eggs Florida cracker cattle* E FL and hatched their young. On “Bird Island,” Pineywoods cattle* E AL, GA, MS as we called it, the birds nested close Guinea pig E FL, GA, MS together at the water’s edge, almost like Red wattle hog* E TX, LA Manhattan Island for waterfowl. Gulf Coast sheep E FL, GA, LA, TX But the oil rupture in April 2010 St. Croix sheep T VI, WA, OR, CA brought death—first to the eleven men who didn’t survive the rig explosion. The Heritage Poultry Breeds oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico, dump- Cubalaya chicken T FL, CUBA ing untold barrels of “sweet Louisiana Cotton patch goose* E AR, MS, LA crude,” that killed all marine life in its Royal palm turkey T FL path. As it moved inland to the marshland, DOMESTICATED FOOD CROPS the marsh itself died. On “Bird Island,” Heritage Fruit & Nuts the unhatched eggs were coated with oil. Cauley apple E MS, LA Mother pelicans swam exhaustively trying Centennial pecan E LA, MS to clean the oil from their feathers until Hawkworth apple E AL they were too tired and weak to get back Texas star banana E TX to their nests. Raccoons, nutria and many Duncan grapefruit E FL, CA other critters became oil-coated and Hamlin orange E FL expired. Coastal erosion will inevitably Key lime/West Indies lime T FL accelerate when the dead marsh grasses Marsh seedless grapefruit T FL wash away, and carry with it bits of land Ponderosa lemon T FL from which the grass was once attached. Abbeville jujube E LA When I was a little girl, my great-grand- Fitzgerald jujube E GA mother would ask me to finish my meal by Sherwood jujube T LA, MS saying “Poppy, eat it to save it.” For the last Louisiana pecher peach X LA decade, that request has resonated as a battle Louisiana white peach X LA cry in my food preservation and recovery Golden boy pear E FL work. But since the disaster, every time I’ve Flatwoods plum E NC, SC, FL, GA, MS, LA been able to purchase and eat fresh, Gulf North Carolina seedling pomegranate E NC, SC, GA, AL, MS, LA seafood I’ve wondered, is this “Eat It To Berries Remember It?” I Gulfcoast highbush blueberry E FL, GA Liberty grape E FL T.O. Warren’s opaca hawthorne E FL 11
  11. 11. Oysters a la Apalachicola RAVEN WATERS Janisse Ray Janisse Ray is a poet, essayist and conservation activist who grew up around Baxley, Georgia, not far from the Gulf Coast. Her first book, Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, won an American Book Award and she has authored two other books of literary nonfiction. She spends much of her time defending and restoring the longleaf pine ecosystem to its rightful place in America. She is co-editor of UnspOILed: Writers Speak for Florida’s Coast, out this summer, from the Red Hills Writers Project. I CANNOT STOP THINKING ABOUT pan—an iron skillet—and in it we are THE OYSTERS. searing scallops, flounder, grouper, shrimp, My first taste of them came when I was shark, blue crab and oyster. For millennia twenty, fresh away from the insularity and the smoky pan has overflowed—this estu- isolation of rural, southern Georgia. I left ary was one of the most productive in the BIGSTOCK to study in the Panhandle of Florida. At the northern hemisphere. time, I had no idea what a “raw bar” was Apalachicola Bay is the mother lode of or what “on the half-shell” meant. oysters. For thousands of years the bivalve Soon after my move, I found myself in has sated people along the Gulf of Mexico. one of these raw joints, with friends who The staggering evidence of that yield can were ordering these creatures with a swash- be found in swales of head-high Native buckling zealotry. Did I like oysters? they middens constructed solely of bone-white PABLEAUX JOHNSON asked. I admitted that I did not know if I shells. We buy them by the burlap bag and did or didn’t. roast them, standing around autumn fires, The first taste had marshes in it. It had oyster knives in hand. the sun, coquina, fiddler crabs. I remember Although only five percent of the bay the very moment: the precursory tang of bottom is embedded with the architecture lemon, the memory-rich familiarity of horse- of the bivalve, four to six million pounds of radish sauce and finally, the earthy, fleshy, meat are harvested there each year, a tenth volcanic madcap of wild oyster itself, fol- of all oysters consumed in the U.S. Sixty lowed by a salty and gritty aftertaste of sea. to eight-five percent of the residents of The Gulf of Mexico was the territory Franklin County, Florida make their living in which I came of age. There, I first saw from the seafood industry. plovers nesting on beach-sand. I saw a To survive, oysters need fresh water. freshwater spring bubbling from the salty Drought and dams (brought to national depths of the Gulf. I experienced wildfire. attention by the Water Wars of Florida, I made my first bird list and added Oyster- Georgia and Alabama) have starved the catcher to it. I retrieved my first scallop. system of fresh water and the nutrients it I had colossal good fortune that I carries. Hurricanes have taken their toll, arrived in Florida and became the woman through siltation and contamination. that I am, underneath the Panhandle sun, What will happen to the oysters in the in its shallow, estuarine refuges, in its aftermath of British Petroleum’s Deepwater voluptuous bounty. How glad I am that Horizon oil spill, in the toxicity of the oils the first raw oyster I tasted was a wild one and record amounts of dispersants? While from Apalachicola. oysters are filter feeders, designed to handle Apalachicola Bay is legendary. It is the pollution, they certainly cannot defend recipient of river waters that begin in the against pollution of this magnitude. Georgia mountains, where erosions have In late May, scientists discovered a sec- deposited ivory-white sand along the ond plume of invisible hydrocarbons in the famous beaches of the Gulf, hauling sea- Gulf, twenty-two miles long and six miles ward the detritus and nutrients necessary wide, made of oil particles broken apart by for richness. dispersants. It was moving inland. The land is not called the Panhandle for How will oysters, which have provided so naught. Whatever the handle, the Bay is the many feasts for so many centuries, survive? I 12
  12. 12. Reclaiming Louisiana's Coastal Treasures LOUIS MICHOT Louis Michot LUCIOUS FONTENOT THE RURAL POPULATIONS of Louisiana’s While we are continuing efforts to seek Gulf Coast are some of the most diverse out the keepers of these imperiled food and unique in the country, yet their self- resources, the crude oil leaking into the reliant lifestyle is more endangered than Gulf of Mexico is likely to make this time- ever before. Our mission at the Cultural sensitive task even more difficult. The oil Louis Michot is the celebrated fiddler and lead singer Research Institute of Acadiana (CRIA) is spill directly affects these communities by of the Grammy-nominated Lost Bayou Ramblers, a to save the seeds and knowledge of our severely impacting their ability to continue roots Cajun band with a kick. He is also deeply many cultures. This pursuit has been to farm or garden on coastal lands and involved in rescuing the seeds and folklore of Cajun culture through the Cultural Research Institute of made ever more urgent by the displace- make a living off of the once sustainable, Acadiana (CRIA). Louis lives in Prairie des Femmes ment of many community members after but now endangered, seafood industry. with his wife Ashlee and son Julien, and can often be the hurricanes of 2005, which forced Some small-scale, coastal farmers sur- heard on the air at KRVS Radio Acadie in Lafayette, LA. families to leave behind generations of vived the hurricane flooding, but they food traditions and seeds. While the Gulf returned home to find a damaged harvest Coast once offered a bountiful harvest of of produce, waterlogged seeds and shrimp, oysters, fish and game, now com- “salinized” soils that would make future munities of Cajuns, Native Americans and grow-outs even tougher. After suffering so many other persistent peoples have been much loss from hurricanes Katrina and forced to search further inland for a stable Rita, their perseverance is a testament to home and livelihood. their ability to recover from disasters. But To offer an example, the Pointe-aux- now these resilient farmers are up against Chiens Indians of the larger Houma tribe a new catastrophe—one that is not only play a critical role in preserving the Cajun man-made, but also of a scale never French language by speaking and sharing before experienced in our fragile, wetland it with younger generations. Some of the ecosystem. elder tribal members solely speak this lyri- Preserving Gulf Coast food traditions cal tongue and in so doing, keep alive the is now of unparalleled importance. The names of many species in the flora and agricultural and fishing practices and LOUIS MICHOT fauna of coastal Louisiana that were inher- accompanying recipes of these communi- ited from historic native languages. ties are the glue that bonds Louisiana's hunting craft, to medicinal uses of local Just as Cajun French has become an indigenous cultures to its land and waters. plants, to farming techniques. endangered language, traditional seeds of Fishing and farming have been the lifelines The current situation is such that no one food plants of the Gulf Coast face a similar for generations in Acadiana. Our commu- knows if or for how long the remaining fate. This region carries an abundance of nities have always been rich in spirit and members of these communities will be able seed varieties that have been passed down rich in song—so much so that both are to survive before they, too, are forced to for hundreds of years within the Gulf celebrated and honored locally and inter- relocate to inland regions and make do Coast community. Many of these seedstocks nationally. These communities harbor with what arable land is still available. The are extremely difficult, if not impossible, homegrown experts on sustainable land use urgency that accompanies the environmen- to obtain by means other than direct who are transmitters of local knowledge tal cleanup from the Deepwater Horizon oil exchange with a local community such as and traditions that have amassed over hun- spill needs to go beyond the endangered the Casse-Banane de Bresil or the Zydeco dreds and thousands of years—traditions plants and animals; if the Gulf Coast is to Barré-Violet. While CRIA has succeeded now in danger of being lost in a matter of come out of this disaster with the seeds and in obtaining quantities of some of these decades. Volumes of undocumented knowledge to continue our cultural and varieties to preserve in our Acadiana Seed knowledge are now in danger of slipping sustainable legacy, we need to immediately Bank, many more have yet to be collected. through our hands—from fishing and protect our role as cultural stewards. I 13
  13. 13. Beyond the Beaches: Oil, Mirlitons and Community Bonds JENNIFER ZDON Lance Hill Lance Hill, Ph.D. is a historian and Executive Director of the Southern Institute for Education and Research at Tulane University, where he has been engaged in social and interracial justice work for decades. He is also a crop conserva- tionist, a food folklorist and volunteer director of the Adopt-a-Mirliton Project (http://www.crescentcityfarmersmarket.org/index.php?page=adopt-a-mirliton), which is co-sponsored with Market Umbrella. MISS VIVIAN SELLS MIRLITONS on the disease and native pests. There was a time generosity. While a person might have to honor system at a vegetable stand on High- when every fisherman on the bayou had a guard their solitary watermelon from night way 308 in Cut-Off, Louisiana. The Horizon mirliton vine that grew over sheds and forays by neighbors, a single mirliton vine oil spill may soon render that practice a bushes and high into treetops. The alluvial can produce hundreds of fruit—all in a faded memory. But I am getting ahead of soil of the bayous and the sub-tropical period of a few weeks. Soon comes the myself. First, what in the world is a mirliton? climate of South Louisiana provided a knock on the door and there stands a neigh- Known as “chayote” in most of the perfect home for mirlitons. Shrimp and bor with whom you have never exchanged a western hemisphere and Sechium edule to mirlitons seemed destined for an eternal word. They offer you a big bag of mirlitons. botanists, the pear-shaped, green squash is a union in Louisiana cuisine, with classic Mirlitons make friends out of strangers. staple in Louisiana cuisine. It has the unique dishes like stuffed mirlitons, shrimp stew But something was lost in mirliton distinction of being the only perennial and mirliton casserole. growing in recent years. Imported mirlitons vegetable grown in the United States. The The mirliton became a backyard staple became available in stores year-round and prolific squash with its French name proba- in New Orleans. Not long ago there was soon the backyard mirliton began to fall by bly made its way to Louisiana from Haiti someone on nearly every block who had a the wayside. Occasionally someone would after the 1804 Slave Revolt that resulted in mirliton vine on the back fence. For a cul- attempt to plant an imported mirliton, but the migration of approximately five thou- ture that prizes revelry, the mirliton is the they soon discovered that these hybrids sand free people of color to Louisiana. perfect vegetable: it needs no weeding, no were not adapted to our climate. Mirliton has many pronunciations, but the pruning and if you sit under the vine long Then Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit. French-inflected pronunciation tends to be enough, a mirliton will eventually drop out Mirlitons don’t like wind and water—salt “mel-lee-tawn.” of the tree into your lap. water in particular. Forty-eight hours under Over the decades, growers developed The mirliton proves the theory that salt water and the vine is dead. Overnight, Louisiana varieties that were resistant to abundance is the midwife of altruism and the few locally grown mirlitons seemed to disappear. To remedy this problem, the Adopt-A-Mirliton project that I work with traveled throughout Louisiana to discover traditional varieties. We found several, mainly in the rural countryside. These seed-mirlitons were distributed by the hundreds to growers committed to sharing their crop and reviving the tradition of backyard mirliton growing. People were going to get to know their neighbors again. But a new catastrophe has arrived at our doorstep: the Gulf Coast oil spill. In the great scheme of things, the mirliton is a minor victim of this manmade disaster. There has been loss of human life, damage to aquatic species, depletion of the wetlands and dam- age to the seafood-related businesses. But the impact on the mirliton demonstrates the complex relationships between technology, food, culture and community: The dearth of LANCE HILL
  14. 14. NAME • THREATENED (T) ENDANGERED (E) OIL DAMAGED (OD) • GULF STATES Berries continued Western mayhaw hawthorne E TX Daybreak strawberry* E LA Headliner strawberry* E LA Klondike strawberry* E LA Tangi strawberry* E LA Grains Hasting’s prolific corn X MS, LA Honey drip sorghum E TX, LA, GA, SC Orange top sorghum E IA LANCE HILL Texas long sweet sorghum E TX, LA Vegetable Crops shrimp will help put the mirliton out of BEAN business. The loss of coastal land will reduce Big frosty bean E MS the available land for commercial growers. CHAYOTE The decline of the bayou life, where fishing Traditional Louisiana mirliton E LA, MS and mirliton-growing went hand-in-hand, CHICORY will diminish as well. Neighbors will Magdeburg (Louisiana) coffee T LA become strangers again. COLLARD ••• Florida collard X FL I found the mirliton farm of Vivian Arce- Georgia blue stem collard E GA neaux Danos in Cut-Off, Louisiana, about Georgia green collard E GA thirty miles south of New Orleans. Miss Georgia long standing collard X GA, LA, MS Vivian is the eighty-two-year-old matriarch COWPEA of a Cajun family that annually grows thou- Blue goose cowpea/Gray crowder E GA sands of mirlitons. She generously donated Brown crowder E MS fifty of her seed mirlitons to our project. Calico crowder E VA Clay/Wonderful cowpea E GA, VA We give the varieties names and her family Mississippi brown crowder T MS agreed to name one variety “Papa Sylvest,” Pigott family heirloom cowpea T LA in honor of Miss Vivian’s father who started Purple hull pink eye cowpea* E GA, NC, SC the vines sixty years ago. Rouge et noir crowder* E LA Miss Vivian told me that when the crop Running conch cowpea* E AL comes in every fall, she places the mirlitons Suzanne cream cowpea T GA in baskets by the side of the road in a little Whippoorwill T GA, AR, LA, MS vegetable stand with a sign that reads MUSTARD “Mirlitons $3 a dozen.” No one works at Louisiana green velvet T LA, MS the stand; instead, she leaves an “honor box” OKRA where the customers can put their payment. Benoist blunt T MS Sometimes the customers have the money, Louisiana red T LA, MS sometimes they don’t. They take the mirli- ONION tons just the same and sometimes, in the Louisiana shallot T LA, MS middle of winter, Miss Vivian will find a few PEANUT dollar bills left by someone making good on Pre-Civil War T LA, MS their word. There are no strangers on PEPPER Highway 308 in Cut-Off, Louisiana. Datil pepper T FL, CUBA One day I was visiting with the men of Louisiana Arledge hot pepper T LA her family and a few of their neighbors. I Rooster spur pepper T LA asked if anyone had ever taken money Short yellow tabasco E LA from the box. That got a big laugh. “Man, Tabasco? T LA no way that gonna happen,” said one of her PUMPKIN/SQUASH neighbors with a twinkle in his eye. “They Choctaw sweet potato squash* E AL, GA, TN might steal from the church box, but they Creole butternut squash E LA Georgia roaster squash E GA won’t steal mirliton money.” Paydon heirloom acorn squash E LA, IL Amen. Perhaps someday we will learn Seminole pumpkin E FL to treat the earth with the same trust and (Tennessee) Sweet potato cushaw* E TN, LA, AR, MS honor—taking from it only in proportion SWEET POTATO AND YAM to what we give back. We have a lot to Southern delight sweet potato E LA, MS, ON learn from mirlitons. I Southern queen yam/ White triumph sweet potato T TN, MS, LA 15
  15. 15. BIGSTOCK SATELLITE IMAGE ON MAP PROVIDED BY NASA EARTH OBSERVATORY MAP PROVIDED BY DREAMSTIME Acknowledgements This publication and the workshops that preceded it were made possible by continuing RAFT support from the Cedar Tree Foundation, Ceres Foundation, Chelsea Green Publishing, Lilian Goldman Charitable Trust Renewing America’s Food Traditions is an alliance of food, farming, and the Haury Fund. It was compiled and edited by conservation and culinary advocates who have joined together to ensure that the diverse foods and traditions unique to North America Gary Nabhan and Regina Fitzsimmons with the Flavors reach our tables by means that make our families and communities Without Borders/Sabores Sin Fronteras Foodways healthier and our food system more diverse: ecologically, culturally Alliance, based at the University of Arizona Southwest and structurally. We focus on clusters of foods at risk that we feel Center. Joan Carstensen Design designed and formatted we have a capacity to recover, using models of discovery, recovery it for downloading of websites: and sustainability that may inspire others to do similar work. Go to http://www.raftalliance.org http://www.raftalliance.org for more information about the alliance’s http://www.garynabhan.com current initiatives. Arizona Lithographers did the printing. We thank the Founding RAFT partners: American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, 25 farmers, fishermen, chefs, food historians, folklorists Chefs Collaborative, Cultural Conservancy, Native Seeds/SEARCH, and conservation biologists who joined us at an Oxford, Seed Savers Exchange and Slow Food USA. RAFT Founder/Facilitator: Mississippi workshop in fall 2006 about Gulf Coast Dr. Gary Paul Nabhan. foods, which was organized by Makale Faber-Cullen, with generous collaboration from John T. Edge and his staff at the Southern Foodways Alliance. Photos included are from Pableaux Johnson, Gary Nabhan, Poppy Tooker, Lance Hill, Louis Michot, Christina Gerica, Star Black, Shawn Escoffery, Jennifer Zdon, Raven Waters and Lucious Fontenot. Front Cover: Shrimp Gumbo, BIGSTOCK