Help Curate This Vast Trove of Kitchen-Table Remedies

HÉCTOR CALDERÓN WAS 19 IN 1965, when he was hired to help compile what would later become the Archive of Healing. He had entered the University of California Los Angeles hoping to become an accountant. That all changed when he started working for Professor Wayland Hand, the Director of UCLA’s Center for the Study of Comparative…

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…

Keep Your Quarantine Garden Growing With These 8 Unique Seed Companies

WHEN THE REALITY OF THE pandemic hit, nearly a year ago, something unexpected happened: Americans began gardening. Alarmed by a possible breakdown in food supply chains, and inspired by wartime Victory Gardens and lockdown boredom, people across the country who never grew food before developed green thumbs. For many pandemic gardeners—including me—the experience was a revelation….

Wellness in a World On Fire: Therapy Tackles Climate Change

he boy spoke of a crocodile. It was the size of a continent, crawling all over the earth. “It had to keep eating and eating. It would never stop, but would never have eaten enough,” he said. “And you could smell its dying flesh as it still ate.” The 10-year-old was speaking to Caroline Hickman,…

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…

These 7 Companies Ship Unique Seeds for Your Quarantine Garden

IN 1944, AT THE HEIGHT of World War II, 20 million home gardeners across the United States dug deep to support the war effort. As the country poured the bulk of its resources into the conflict, Americans grew Victory Gardens to bolster the domestic food supply. Nearly a century later, Jes Walton is trying to bring…

The Chef Bringing Native American Flavors to Communities in Quarantine

WHAT’S IN YOUR KITCHEN PANTRY? If you answered quinoa, green beans, or potatoes, you have, perhaps unbeknownst to you, been eating Native American heritage. “They might not know they have indigenous foods in their cupboard: might be canned corn, canned beans, squash,” says Brian Yazzie, a Twin Cities-based chef and food activist from the Navajo Nation,…

How to Feed a Megacity Like the Aztecs

WHEN CONQUISTADOR HERNÁN CORTÉS REACHED Tenochtitlan in 1519, he beheld a floating city. The temples and palaces of the Aztec capital gleamed white from an island in the middle of a vast lake, all spread under a searing blue sky. With an estimated population of 200,000, roughly the size of contemporary Paris, the city overflowed with people. Around…