Descendants of slaves brought over from West Africa as far back as the 17th century, the Gullah Geechee culture remains up and down the coasts of North and South Carolina, through Georgia and into North Florida.  On Sapelo Island, a barrier island about an hour south of Savannah, only about 30 Gullah Geechee remain, but they are working to preserve their heritage by way of utilizing heirloom seeds and heritage crops.  Through a partnership with the University of Georgia, the Geechee are harvesting and selling native red pea and sugarcane, with plans to include garlic, peppers, and sour oranges this year.  In addition they will release a cookbook featuring authentic Geechee ingredients and recipes.  It’s a way to honor and preserve the culture of a people with hundreds of years of history on Georgia’s coast.

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