Many Thanksgivings

Share this post

How has Thanksgiving evolved for you? Is it Norman Rockwell traditional, political, locavore, or perhaps a blend? Whatever your approach, the Wampanoag native people have touched all of our menus. The Wampanoag, or People of the First Light, are credited with welcoming the Mayflower Pilgrims. When the Pilgrims’ crops of barley and peas failed, the Wampanoag showed them how to plant the Three Sisters—corn, beans, and squash—by first fertilizing the soil, then staggering the three types of seeds into a thriving companionship harvest. Not only did this triumvirate save the lives of the Mayflower Pilgrims (the descendants of whom are estimated to be in the tens of millions—as many as 10 percent of the current U.S. population), it also became the core of our national diet.

The indigenous peoples showed newcomers many of the gifts that Mother Earth’s North American soil could grow. From the Pilgrims’ first landing to the westward expansion, our cuisine has been enriched by corn, squash, beans, sweet potatoes, cranberries, blueberries, wild rice, pecans, persimmons, strawberries, chilies, and maple syrup, just to name a few. Organizations like Slow Food, Seed Savers, and the numerous farmers who grow heritage crops (some of which you can learn about through The FruitGuys) have been working at keeping this history alive and edible.

The Wampanoag celebrated many thanksgivings throughout the year, including a midwinter ceremony, a maple dance, a planting feast, a strawberry festival, a green corn celebration, and a harvest festival. At each festival, as with many other native nations, there was always an expression of gratitude. By paying attention to the food we eat—where it comes from, how it was grown, and how it ends up on our table—we can say, with them: Taubot neanawayean ohke: “Thank you for Mother Earth.”

Heidi Lewis writes about farms, bees, and fruit from her home in Sonoma County, CA. She's been with The FruitGuys since they were FruitKids.

Learn more about food history!

 

Subscribe to the WEEKLY BITE

* indicates required

 

Recent Food articles:

How to make latkes and applesauce
December 6, 2018
The food history of Thanksgiving
November 22, 2018
Winter and summer oranges
August 23, 2018
How to make vegetarian sushi at home
August 7, 2018
Sink your teeth into summer stone fruit
July 10, 2018
Four ways to ensure you’re making good chocolate choices
June 19, 2018
Have 10 pounds of strawberries? Here's what to do!
June 1, 2018
U-pick farms let you harvest your own dinner
May 25, 2018
4 ways to enjoy avocados more sustainably
March 9, 2018
Make-ahead lunches you can eat all week
March 1, 2018

More recent articles:

Tips on maintaining productivity with an open floor plan
December 4, 2018
Seasonal sunchoke recipe
November 29, 2018
How to cultivate inclusion in your diverse workplace
November 27, 2018
A 30-day plank challenge can build core strength and camaraderie at the office
November 20, 2018
Simple persimmon salad recipe
November 15, 2018
How to practice healthy holiday eating at the office
November 13, 2018
Easy ratatouille recipe
November 8, 2018
How to have fun while respecting professional boundaries
November 6, 2018
Sowing the seeds of entrepreneurship
October 31, 2018
Holiday fruit donations for those in need
October 29, 2018

About Us

Our online magazine offers a taste of workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. It features recipes for easy, delicious work meals and tips on quick office workouts. It's also an opportunity to learn about our GoodWorks program, which helps those in need in our communities and supports small, sustainable farms.