Image: Gary Nabhan and the RAFT project
To document, preserve, and celebrate the incredible diversity of America's edible plants, animals, and food traditions, seven of the most prominent food, agriculture, education and conservation organizations in the United States came together under Slow Food USA in 2005 to launch RAFT, the country's first eco-gastronomic conservation project.
- RAFT: Renewing America's Food Traditions
Gardeners can help preserve the horticultural and cultural treasures of heirloom foods by growing some of them in their own gardens. Choosing open-pollinated varieties of fruits and vegetables over hybrids (eg: "F1" and such) and harvesting your own seed is economical, sustainable, and lets you select those which perform best in your garden year after year. And planting native fruits such as pawpaw, persimmon, and plum also provide food (if you're willing to share), shelter and habitat for native species of birds and other critters.
But I really wish I had the room for some Navajo-Churro sheep. They're so beautiful!