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August 6, 2017 10:58 am  #1

Indigenous, heritage squash seeds found and shared

Interesting find!

There’s an ancient variety of squash that was largely forgotten about. But it’s been rediscovered.  Tribes around the Great Lakes region are sharing the seeds of this squash with each other and with small farmers.Last year, the farm was given seeds of a mystery squash. They didn’t know what to expect when they planted it.“I definitely didn’t have a firm idea of what kind of squash it was going to grow or even what the plant was going to look like necessarily – it was just a fantastic surprise!” she says.

The seeds grew into massive bright orange squashes: more than two feet long.The seeds of this squash were passed through a couple of pairs of hands before they got to the farm.I made some calls and traced them back to Paul DeMain.He’s of Ojibwe descent and a member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, and he’s the editor of News from Indian Country.“The squash and the seeds that are going around now have provoked quite a bit of excitement in the native community because it is an indigenous seed,” he says.DeMain says his seeds originally came from the Miami tribe in Indiana. They’re thought to be from a line that’s somewhere between 1,000 to 2,000 years old.

And he says there’s at least one other story circulating about these seeds (he says it’s possible several stories have morphed together over time):“A finding during a construction project somewhere in Wisconsin in which a clay vessel was unearthed, and there were seeds in it that were regrown, and allegedly these seeds were dated about 850-900 years ago,” he says.

Some say the story of the clay vessel is an urban myth.But regardless, DeMain says people are excited to have these seeds back in circulation, and they’ve been sharing the seeds with each other over the past couple of years.

A government which robs Peter to
pay Paul can always depend on
the support of Paul.
-- George Bernard Shaw

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