Acorn Nation

Stretching along the Pacific coast of northern Baja California and most of Alta Cali­fornia, Acorn Nation embraces the mountains, valleys, and coastal plains that share a Mediterranean climate. From prehistoric through early historic times, most of its peoples hunted, fished, and gathered plants, although many also tended perennial food plants through the use of fire, pruning, and digging-stick cultivation. Clam beds were also tended. The acorns of numerous species of oaks provided staple foodstuffs to many cultural communities, who used ingeniously designed baskets to leach them in streams.

Early Spanish settlers introduced orchard fruits, annual crops, and livestock from the Medi­terranean climates of the Old World. From the time of the California Gold Rush onward, numerous immigrant groups added to the culinary diversity of the region. Although more species are endangered in California by intense urban and agricultural development than in any other state on the mainland, few of these (other than fish) were historically used as food. Nevertheless, at least sixty-two foods are threatened or endangered in Acorn Nation and the waters adjacent to it.

– excerpted from Renewing America’s Food Traditions, edited by Gary Nabhan, with the permission of Chelsea Green Publishing (

Disappearing Foods

* American/Klamath Plum
* Cow Cod
* Crawford, Baby Peach
* Gravenstein (Sonoma) Apples
* Mariposa Plum
* Mexicola Avocado
* Meyer Lemon
* Sacramento River Chinook Salmon
* Tomales Bay Clam
* Walking Stick Kale
* See Full List

Tips to preserve heritage and heirloom foods:

* Become a seed saver through the Seed Saver Exchange (
* Purchase heirloom produce and heritage livestock breeds (American Livestock Breeds Conservancy,
* If you think a food is endangered, nominate it to the Slow Ark of Taste,
* Support community agriculture, farmers' markets and local food groups.
* Attend events that celebrate local foods.
Read more about Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT).

Disappearing Foods (Full List)
Alicante Bouschet Grape
American/Klamath Plum
Atwood Navel Orange
B. S. Fox Pear
Bidwell Casaba Melon
Black Abalone
Bronx Seedless Grape
Burbank Plum
California Grunion
Campbell Valencia Orange
Charbono Grape
Colonel Wilder Pear
Concord, California Grape
Cow Cod
Crane Melon
Crawford, Baby Peach
Delta Smelt
Dry Farmed Almond
Elephant Heart Plum
Engelmann's Acorn
Giant Sea Bass
Gravenstein (Sonoma) Apples
Green Sea Turtle
Inca Plum
Jepson's Onion
Kelsey Plum
Laroda Plum
Leatherback Sea Turtle
Mariposa Plum
Mexicola Avocado
Meyer Lemon
Mission Grape
Mission Olive
Muir Peach
Munz's Onion
Muscat of Alexandria Grape
Napa Gamay/Valdaguie Grape
Newhall Navel Orange
(Northern) California Black Walnut, Hinds or Claro Walnut
Northern California Coho Salmon
Nova Apple
Ojai Pixie Tangerine
Olinda Valencia Orange
Olive Ridley Sea Turtle
Pacific Black Cod
Pacific Bluestem No. 47 Hard White Spring Wheat
Pacific Rockfish
Padre Plum
Passey's Onion
Pinto Abalone
Red Abalone
Redlands No. 4 Jujube
Sacramento River Chinook Salmon
Sacramento-San Joaquin Steelhead
San Clemente Goats
Santa Cruz Sheep
Santa Rosa Plum
Shiro Plum
Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep
Silver Logan Peach
Southern California Steelhead
Strawberry Free Peach
Tokay Seedless Grape
Tomales Bay Clam
Walking Stick Kale
Washington Navel Orange, Parent/ Old Linr
White Abalone

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