Winner, 2021 SPJ Sigma Delta Chi Food & Restaurant Journalism Award
‘In caretaking each other, we know that we can provide and have what we need, and that’s how we live abundantly’
The Eastern Woodlands Rematriation Collective nourishes abundance in Indigenous communities throughout New England By Jocelyn Ruggiero Globe correspondent, October 12, 2021 CENTERVILLE — Hidden from view at the base of a steep wood and brick stairway, Rachael Devaney’s family cottage sits on the shore of Long Pond, mid-Cape. This water is home to many creatures: muskrat, opossum, ducks, snapping turtles, frogs, minnows, and freshwater clams, while osprey, eagles, and seagulls populate the sky above. There’s a saltwater exchange on the shore opposite the cottage — the pond is less than two miles from the Atlantic Ocean — and, in Eastern Woodlands culture, a waterway that flows between fresh and salt is a place of regeneration and cleansing. Read Full Article.
STATES OF FARMING: Another in a series of occasional stories looking at BIPOC farmers in New England. By Jocelyn Ruggiero Globe correspondent, August 3, 2021 PROVIDENCE — It’s a sticky 91 degrees on a late Friday afternoon in July, and although the chalk-decorated A-frame sign announces “Pop-Up Market,” the sidewalk outside the Urban Greens Food Co-Op in the West End feels more like a block party. A DJ moves in rhythm as he blasts Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin.” Pedestrians pause as women in colorful African fabrics lift produce from vehicles parked curbside and pile it high in orderly rows of wicker baskets on three long plastic folding tables covered in floral vinyl tablecloths, under which hangs a banner that reads “AARI Bami Farm,” the African Alliance of Rhode Island. The eldest of the women, 63-year-old Garmi Mawolo, wears a blue and yellow head wrap. She settles into a plastic folding chair and waits for customers. Read Full Article
Forty years after coming to the United States as a refugee from Cambodia, her produce business thrives
WESTFORD — It was 3 a.m. when 13-year-old Phalla Nol snuck out of her family’s bamboo and thatch shelter at the Mak Mun refugee camp, or “Old Camp,” on the Cambodian border with Thailand. After she and some of the boys from the camp slipped past the guards and into Thailand, they walked along the road in the dark. They knew there were hostile Vietnamese, Khmer Rouge, and thieves all around. They hid when necessary, taking whatever path they could until they reached their destination: a small market filled with stalls. As she moved from vendor to vendor, Nol bought cookies, cupcakes, and candy. Once she was safely back at Old Camp, however, she didn’t eat her spoils. Instead, she sold them at a higher price to other kids at the camp, using the profit on her next clandestine trip to buy food for her family and invest in more sweets to further her venture. This, Nol explains, was how she knew how to sell produce 30 years later. Phalla Nol always had an eye for business.