A Field Guide to North America’s Wild Crops

When I was a child in New Jersey, summer meant berry picking. As the wild raspberries ripened, the emerald woods around our house became spotted with bright bursts of deep purple. We would plunge through the brambles to collect enough juicy, tangy-sweet berries to make a pie. We didn’t realize that the local black raspberries were…

Go Beyond the Grocery Store With These Seven Innovative Spice Companies

IN 2016, SANA JAVERI KADRI found herself at a crossroads. After moving from her hometown of Mumbai to California, she wanted to learn more about the historical forces shaping her own identity and experience as a queer woman of color in the United States. A food photographer, Javeri Kadri turned to culinary history to better understand…

The Italian Immigrants Who Grew Fig Trees in Unlikely Places

THEY BROUGHT THEM IN SUITCASES and in trunks, tucked into the corners of boats and, later, on airplanes. Seeds that became rapini, cardoons, artichokes, cucuzza squash. Cuttings from knobby grape vines that flourished into backyard arbors. And, above all, bits of stick that grew into fig trees. Starting in the late 1800s, when Italian immigrants poured…

Celebrate the Farm Workers Behind Your Favorite Thanksgiving Sides

AS WE SIT DOWN TO enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, whether around a table or with loved ones online, most of us won’t pause to wonder where those favorite family dishes come from. Yet each stalk of celery in your stuffing, each roasted turnip in grandma’s dutch oven, and every apple in your uncle’s famous pie connects us to the…

Cracking the Case of South India’s Missing Vegetables

AKASH MURALIDHARAN’S QUEST TO FIND forgotten South Indian vegetables began when he cleaned out his bedroom. It was January 2020, and he had just returned to his home city of Chennai after finishing his master’s degree in Food Design and Innovation in Milan. Like many students returning home after graduation, Muralidharan found that his childhood bedroom…

400 Years After Its First Apple Farm, Boston Remains an Urban Orchard

JOHN BUNKER NORMALLY SEARCHES FOR heirloom apple trees in the fields and forests of rural Maine, but on a trip to Boston, he stumbled upon one in an unexpected place: an ice-cream-parlor parking lot. An expert on American heirloom apples, particularly those of Maine, Bunker has been investigating, preserving, and growing nearly forgotten apple cultivars since…

How to Plant a Home Garden and ‘Free the Seed’

Of all the wonders in this wide world, there is none quite like the seed. With time, sun, and a little luck, a brown speck that fits on your fingernail can grow into a vast sequoia. Last year’s spit picnic seeds can become this year’s watermelon patch. And flecks from a few potato flowers can feed…