Family, Community & Place

A Talk with Gary Paul Nabhan at ASU English

A talk with Gary Paul Nabhan, Arab-American writer and food and farming advocate. Nabhan spoke at a fundraising event to support opportunities for undergraduate English majors at Arizona State University. “Seeding the Future” is sponsored by ASU’s Department of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, to benefit students majoring in English by funding opportunities for research, presentations, and travel during their undergraduate experience at ASU. Nabhan is the author of “Where Our Food Comes From,” “Renewing America’s ...

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Americas Apple Traditions Renewed

Perhaps it was hard at first to know whether the “antique” in the phrase, “antique apple experts,” referred to the apples or to the experts. But when the Hall of Famers of the Heirloom Apple Kingdom gathered on March 19th at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum outside of Madison, it was clear that the so-called “old-timers” invited had much to say about the current status of and future prospects for old-timey apples. Between them, they had more than 350 years ...

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Where Our Food Comes From: Retracing Nikolay Vavilov’s Quest To End Famine

By: Janet Raloff
Published: Dec. 20th, 2008

Few people give thought to where the tomato, apple or walnuts in their salad came from. Or what grains gave rise to the wheat in their bread or barley in their beer. University of Arizona ethnobotanist Nabhan was intensely curious about these questions—and about the exploits of the man he credits with first traveling the world to find the genetic birthplace of the foods we depend upon.

Born in 1887, Nikolay Vavilov ...

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The 13 Most Dynamic Minds in Food Politics You Should Know

By: Vanessa Barrington
Published: ecosalon/November 6, 2008

If you’re reading this blog, you probably know that everything you put in your mouth has an impact on the environment. Because our global system is interconnected, your food choices also affect farmers and eaters across the globe. Eating is not just an individual act; it’s also a political act.

Here’s a who’s who of smart people in food politics and policy, along with some of their must-read books. One of ...

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Responding to Famine in the Horn of Africa: Learn from Past Mistakes

By: Gary Paul Nabhan
Published: The Huffington Post  / October 1, 2008

In mid-September, John Holmes of United Nations announced that the mounting famine in Ethiopia and other countries in the Horn of Africa may dwarf the severity of similar famines in the 1980s and 1990s. While humanitarian concern and speedy on-ground action are surely justified, we must ask why this famine is being predicted to be more devastating than others in the past, ...

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Apples of Our Eyes, Nose and Mouths

When the leaves of New England begin to glow with crimsons, purples and golds, many of us remember that it’s time for crimson, purple and gold apples to be picked, packed, sequestered in storage sheds, or processed into cider, butter, sauces or pies.

Apples exemplify that taste of the fall for many of us, but just what kind of apples we taste depends upon just where exactly we live, and how well we know our neighboring orchard-keepers.

Some eight hundred kinds of ...

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Slow Food Nation – Re-localizing Food

Watch Gary Paul Nabhan, author of Where Our Food Comes From: Retracing Nikolay Vavilov’s Quest to End Famine, at the recent Slow Food Nation celebration in San Francisco. Along with other panelists, Nabhan talked about the challenges re-localizing food, and the social and environmental impacts of a local and global approach to food.

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Of Moulds and Men

Recently appeared in Resurgence Magazine, by: Gary Paul Nabhan

Biodiversity is not just “out there” – in the rainforests, oceans and wetlands – it is here, on our plates.

I DID NOT know it by such lofty terms as food biodiversity back them, but as a child in a household of Lebanese immigrants to America, I viscerally knew that we had items in our backyard, cupboard, pantry and refrigerator that our neighbours did not. The yoghurt or lebna made by ...

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Did You Know?

  • Did you know that Gary’s essay from his Arab/American book is cover story of the July 2008 edition of the Journal of Arizona History? It includes two photos of Hadji Ali, the first Moslem Arab-American.
  • Did you know that Gary’s Wild Apples of Kazakhstan essay that was the cover story of the Spring 2008 Orion magazine is inspiring a film documentary in Kazakhstan?
  • Did you know that Gary’s botanical travels following explorer Nikolay Vavilov will be ...
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Saving Endangered Species One Mouthful at a Time

NPR – All Things Considered

Time: 6:18 minute audio
Date: May 11th, 2008
Publisher:
NPR

NPR talked to Gary about his new book, Renewing America’s Food Traditions: Saving and Savoring the Continent’s Most Endangered Foods. You can read the entire article, by going to this page.

 

 

 

 

 

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Earth Day

You could feel that spring had come to the Berkshires after a long and gray winter. Wherever we went around Great Barrington, farmers and gardeners were hoeing the ground, planting seeds, adjusting water lines, patching up chicken coops, or moving livestock between pastures. By noon on Saturday, many of us congregated at the Route 7 Grill near Great Barrington, to sample and discuss the foods and brews unique to the Berkshires, and ponder what they meant to our society as ...

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Weekday – The Diversity of Seeds

The Diversity of Seeds

Time: 54:01 minute audio
Date: January 8th, 2008
Publisher:
KUOW – 94.9 FM

Steve Scher talked to Gary Nabhan in January (KUOW) about the Diversity of Seeds, and you can listen to it at KUOW or below. Gary joins the program about 31 minutes into the clip. Listen to the entire show. It is very educational!

 

 

 

 

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Taking Stock of Successes with Local Foods

It was a wild way to break in the New Year, sharing local game and fish with hunters who donated their venison, pronghorn antelope backstrap and javelina “pork roasts” to their friends at the Cattle Baron in Flagstaff, Arizona. As we were sitting waiting for the first meat to come out of the roasting pit, I began to daydream about whether such an event would have even been “on my screen” some twenty years ago, as the local foods movement was ...

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Arabic in the Saddle

By Gary Paul Nabhan

Half a world away from where they originated, Arabic terms for horses, horsemen, and the tack that links them have found a new home in the desert Southwest of the United States. These terms came from Arabic into Spanish, and then into American English when the Spanish and the “Anglo” traditions met.

In the early eighth century, a Muslim army of Arabs and North African Berbers conquered much of the Iberian Peninsula. In its south, a region ...

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Localvore Hero

Talking maple syrup with a Southwest grow-it guru

by: Suzanne Podhaizer (08/08/07)

Gary Paul Nabhan has hunted wild peccaries, pit-roasted cactus flowers, and won a MacArthur “genius” fellowship. This past weekend, he was the keynote speaker at the 12th Annual Vermont Fresh Network Forum. The theme of the gathering was “Eat It to Save It” and focused on bringing back indigenous foods, such as heirloom veggies and heritage animal breeds that are becoming extinct. ...

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Long Before the First Thanksgiving

By: Gary Paul Nabhan, RAFT founder

Gary Paul Nabhan is a MacArthur Fellow, cofounder of Native Seeds/SEARCH, and author of numerous books and articles on ethnobotany, nutrition, and plant conservation.

Try to recall the most remarkable lunch you’ve ever had in a grade school. Mine was remarkable not only because of the food that was served, but also because of the people—both young and old—with whom I ate. It was the people’s cultural traditions and their link with their distinctive ...

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The Beginning and the End of the Colorado River: Protecting the Sources, Ensuring Its Courses

Dedicated to Anita Alvarez de Williams, Nuestra Señora de la Delta

During the drought year of 2002, front-page headlines in Arizona’s largest newspaper declared “Colorado River Not Doing Job.” It was one of several notices making the national and regional headlines that year that referred to the worst drought to hit the bulk of the Colorado River basin in a century or more. In reading the Arizona Republic article that morning, I presumed that the journalists responsible for it understood ...

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Forget Organic. Eat Local.

The best food you can eat may be in your own backyard. Here is one man’s quest for the perfect apple.

By: John Cloud

Not long ago I had an apple problem. Wavering in the produce section of a Manhattan grocery store, I was unable to decide between an organic apple and a nonorganic apple (which was labeled conventional, since that sounds better than “sprayed with pesticides that might kill you”). It shouldn’t have been a tough choice–who wants to eat pesticide ...

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Twelve Lessons on Water Conservation from Traditional Farmers of the Colorado Plateau

The cultivation and irrigation of crops adapted to an arid climate began on the Colorado Plateau more than four thousand years ago, as we know from desiccated corncobs found near Zuni, Black Mesa, and Canyon de Chelly. An unbroken chain of some 160 generations has been engaged in rain-fed and runoff-supplemented production of food, fiber, and dyes with seeds and water-conserving practices adapted to the peculiar soils and microclimates of this region. Many environmental conditions and agricultural technologies have changed, ...

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