For a while, Purple Ribbon Sugarcane thrived on Sapelo Island, off the Georgia coast. Then, disease nearly wiped it out altogether in North America, but it’s been brought back, thanks to a team of farmers, geneticists, and historians. We revisited a conversation with three of the people who have worked on this project: Georgia Coastal Gourmet Farms owner Jerome Dixon, David Shields of the University of South Carolina, and the late Cornelia Bailey of the Sapelo Island Cultural and Revitalization Society.


This month, the restaurant Husk Savannah opened its doors. On the menu, you can order dishes prepared with the Purple Ribbon Sugarcane. We talked with chef Tyler Williams about how he’s using the sugarcane to keep Gullah history and culture alive.