Rice farmers make room for migrating birds and other wildlife
California grows a lot of rice, second only to the Mississippi Delta. But like a lot of agricultural development, rice cultivation took away a lot of habitat for native wildlife, including key resting spots for migrating birds along the Pacific Flyway. In this episode, I follow up on stories I heard about some strange bedfellows working to reverse that, to make rice farming part of the solution to the wildlife habitat problem.
Mitla Cafe: So much more than tacos
The Mitla Cafe in San Bernardino is proof that sometimes a restaurant is more than just a restaurant. It’s the first stop in this new podcast: California Foodways. I’m Lisa Morehouse, and I’ll be travelling county by county, reporting on people and places at the intersection of food and culture and history and economy. Places like the Mitla Cafe.
From politicians and celebrities to homesick Californians who make it their first stop when they return from their travels, Mitla Cafe has been a favorite spot for Cal-Mex food lovers since it opened in 1937. Through four generations of family ownership, the San Bernardino institution remains a key gathering point for civic and religious leaders to discuss the issues of the day. This down-home taco joint inspired the beginnings of the Taco Bell chain restaurant empire. but it also played a role in political change: desegregation that reverberated across the country.
Season one trailer
California Foodways producer Lisa Morehouse spends a lot of time in her car. She’s on a kind of mission: to travel to every county in the state, finding stories about food, agriculture, and — most importantly — the people that make both possible.
California’s story can’t be separated from food. Food industries here generate $100 billion annually, our farms feed the nation, and kitchens set international culinary trends. But the real story is how people, work, and land connect to food – in the richest, most diverse, most complex state in the country.
Listen to the trailer for season one. The first episode landed June 26 — with new episodes every two weeks. Subscribe now!