Past Projects: RAFT Alliance

Comprised of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, Center for Sustainable Environments, Chefs Collaborative, Cultural Conservancy, Native Seeds/SEARCH, Slow Food USA, and Seed Savers Exchange, the coalition launched its national campaign with the release of the book, Renewing American’s Food Traditions: Bringing cultural and culinary mainstays from the past into the new millennium. The book highlights stories of twenty authentic American foods – profiles of ten endangered and ten recovering foods – and includes the first Redlist of America’s Endangered Foods.

The RAFT Red list includes approximately 40 heirloom crops maintained in the NS/S Seedbank that were once common within Native American communities in the southwestern US or northwestern Mexico. Botanically speaking, not all are native to the New World, having been brought instead by early Spanish explorers and missionaries as well as recent immigrants. They were, however, all adopted by native cultures and became culturally important as foods, within ceremonies, and part of local languages.

As a partner in the RAFT initiative, NS/S is growing out many of the 40 listed crops in order to supply sufficient quantities for cooking and tasting events and distribution to growers and producers. Between 2005 and 2006, we grew one-half of the list, including O’odham Pink bean, Taos Red bean, Hopi Red and Pima Grey limas, Four Corners runner bean, Tohono O’odham cowpea, Santa Domingo melon, yellow-meated watermelon, O’odham chiltepin, Chimayo and Cochiti chiles, O’odham peas, Hopi Red Dye amaranth, Zuni tomatillo, Taos Blue corn, Early Baart and Sonoran White wheats, and Hopi and Tarahumara sunflowers.

For more information on RAFT, please visit the RAFT website.

NS/S holdings on the RAFT Redlist


  • Hopi Red Dye amaranth
  • Amarillo del Norte bean
  • Bolita bean
  • Four Corner’s Gold bean
  • O’odham Pink Bean
  • Rio Zape bean
  • Taos Red bean
  • Hopi Red lima bean
  • Pima Grey lima bean
  • Aztec White runner bean
  • Four Corners runner bean
  • Brown tepary bean
  • White tepary bean
  • Tohono O’odham cowpea
  • Zuni tomatillo
  • Casaba melon (Santa Domingo, Cochiti)
  • O’odham Ke:li Ba:so melon
  • I’itoi Shallot
  • New Mexico pea
  • O’odham pea
  • Chiltepin (O’odham)
  • Chimayo chile
  • Cochiti chile
  • Black Amber sorghum
  • Big Cheese squash
  • Navajo Blue hubbard
  • Peñasco Cheese squash
  • Hopi-Havasupai, Hopi Dye sunflowers
  • Tarahumara White sunflower
  • Yellow-Meated watermelon (Hopi, O'odham)
  • Chapalote corn
  • Kokoma corn
  • Mexican June corn
  • Taos Blue corn
  • Tohono O’odham 60-day corn
  • Sonoran Panic grass
  • Early Baart wheat
  • Sonoran White wheat

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