Queen’s Chronicles: Frum de Ga’dun ta de Table: De Gullah/Geechee Sho Able!
by Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation
The world has come to appreciate my statement which is also the slogan of the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition-“Hunnuh mus tek cyare de root fa heal de tree.” However, people do not necessarily realize how literal this statement can be for me. So, it is a blessing when I am led to meet those that realize the energy that comes into the soul from touching the soil and from putting those things that are rooted in the earth into the pot with love. One such person that is continuing this aspect of our Gullah/Geechee traditions is Chef Benjamin Dennis of Charleston, SC in the Gullah/Geechee Nation.
Chef Benjamin Dennis is a native Gullah/Geechee chef from Charleston, SC. He continues the traditional Gullah/Geechee foodways from harvesting to preparation. Disya da good eatin fa tru ya!
We were able to launch “Gullah/Geechee National Appreciation Week” with an outstanding “Gullah/Geechee pop up dinner” done by Chef Dennis at “Butcher & Bee” on King Street in Charleston, SC.
It was a perfect top off to what had been an interesting an hectic evening with the Charleston RiverDogs baseball team for Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Night. Baseball and good food are as Gullah/Geechee as sweet potato pie! 🙂
It was outstanding learning of how Chef Dennis went out to Joseph Fields Farm to obtain the items for the dinner that we would not even be able to finish because there was so much served and all that was served was so good! It is not often that you get to know from whence the food that you consume came and in some cases nowadays, folks do not want to know! However, in the Gullah/Geechee Nation, “fresh” means we can recognize the truck that we bought it from the back of or recognize the tractor plowing the field that it was picked from!
Brother Cleveland has been the foreman at Joseph Fields Farm for many years and is still keeping the rows straight!
These are the fields from which much of the food being truck farmed to other areas throughout the United States comes. However, within the state of South Carolina, it has gotten to the point where only 10% of the food eaten in the state is grown in the state. So, “Grow Food Carolina” is working to change that process which will allow us to have not only a sustainable economy, but one that is based in our agricultural traditions. This will lead to continued healthy living as the naturally grown foods are a part of our daily consumption and as Gullah/Geechee farmers return to being an active part of the distribution chain of these foods to the markets including the supermarkets and local restaurants.
The Gullah/Geechee Nation International Music & Movement Festival™ staff started off the 2012 event with a special reception at “Grow Food Carolina.”
The energy of the food that is grown in a peaceful atmosphere and harvested with love and care, goes into the pot and into those consuming the meals. There is no doubt that the steady consumption of a diet infused with love is healing and healthy. So, we give thanks for the hands that are being blessed to continue the planting, harvesting, and cooking traditions in the Gullah/Geechee Nation. Ef hunnuh da studee bout disya an tink sey hunnuh ain able, den hunnuh hafa cum ta de Gullah/Geechee Nayshun fa nyam cuz mi peeople kin tek um frum de ga’dun ta de table! Disya anointed peepol sho nuff able!