By SARAH MCCLELLAN-WELCH
EBCI COOPERATIVE EXTENSION
The Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT) Alliance has just released a booklet entitled “Place-based Food of Appalachia: from Rarity to Community Restoration and Market Recovery”. The booklet discusses the rich heritage of mountain foods including old-timey, Appalachian varieties of apples, beans, muscadine grapes, sweet potatoes, corn, pawpaws, greens and other foods.
In the lead article, Jim Veteto, points out, “The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians are descendents of the original agriculturists of the region and are still maintaining a high diversity of Cherokee heirloom food crops.”
Kevin Welch, Big Cove resident and Center for Cherokee Plants Coordinator, has a featured article on wild greens. Welch is thankful for the food traditions shared by his mother, Geraldine Walkingstick. In his article he says, “My mother, Geraldine, thinks that the best way to learn how to collect and prepare wild greens is to have someone teach you, hands-on, the way her mother did, and that’s how she teaches her family”.
The publication is meant to document, celebrate and inspire discussions that will lead to residents safeguarding and restoring the traditional foods of our region. It can be viewed on line at < http://jeweloftheblueridge.com/Images/AppalachiaPlace-BasedFoods.pdf>.
Copies will be available in the EBCI Cooperative Extension Office in May. Contact Kevin Welch for more information at 828-554-6928.