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‘Extinct Squash’ Grown From 800-Year-Old Heirloom Seeds

'Extinct Squash' Grown From 800-Year-Old Heirloom Seeds

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A species of squash believed to be extinct has been grown from 800-year-old seeds found at an archeological dig.

A group of students in Winnipeg, Canada, proved that heirloom seeds can be viable even if they have been buried for centuries. They had a feast in September to celebrate the discovery.

“There was an archeological dig on First Nations (Native) land in Wisconsin and they found a clay vessel about the size of a tennis ball, and in that vessel they found seeds,” Brian Etkin, the coordinator of the Garden of Learning, told APTN News.

Etkin helped a group of First Nations students grow the squash from the seeds and then eat some of it.

The seeds are those of what was dubbed “Gete-okosomin,” a variety of squash no one had seen or eaten for centuries. Archeologists found the seeds during a dig on the Menominee Reservation near Green Bay, Wisconsin, in 2008, The Chicago Tribune reported.

The Best Source For Long-Lasting Heirloom Seeds Is Right Here …

“They found a clay ball, (used) for storing seed,” Susan Menzel of Chicago’s American Indian Center told The Tribune. “It was carbon-dated to 850 years ago.”

‘Really Cool Old Squash’

The seeds were given to Winona LaDuke, an advocate of heritage seeds and food independence for Native people. LaDuke has been trying to supply the seeds to Native groups throughout the United States and Canada.

Gete-okosomin translates to “really cool old squash,” The Tribune reported. The planting results have been very impressive, according to gardeners.

“I planted four seeds,” Menzel said of squash she planted on Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe reservation near Hayward, Wisconsin, in 2013. “By July the vines were more than 25 feet long. … By the time we were done we had two dozen (squash). The largest was 3 feet long, 18 pounds.”

Emergency Seed Bank Provides THOUSANDS Of Pounds Of Food

Food independence and local food are important issues to Native Americans because of their history. During the 19th century the United States government was able to end Native American resistance on the frontier by destroying their food supplies. This forced the tribes onto reservations, where many of them were dependent on government handouts for food.

The successful cultivation of Gete-okosomin proves that heritage seeds are a viable food source that can survive centuries.

Those interested in long-term food storage and survival should learn a lesson from our Native American forefathers.

What is your reaction to this story? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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  1. So where can we get some of these seeds? I would love to grow them.

  2. Where can I get some of these seeds?!

  3. When will these be available for purchase? Something like this would be a great addition to my permaculture plot project

  4. I am native American and registered with a tribe in south carolina. I am very proud of my ancestors and the amazing things that they were able to do. I hope and pray that one day these will be available to anyone but in the mean time please keep them spreading out across our nation with the story of how our ancestors kept them viable for so long. It is always amazing to hear new stories like this. And when the seeds do become available I would love to be informed so that I may grow some.

  5. christopher J hershey

    I would like to know how to get some seed and try to grow them I’m michigan

  6. Is there a site where I may buy some seeds? I live in central Florida and would love to grow some for my personal use. Thank you. Betty

  7. Hello there,

    this is amazing! Thanks you guys :)
    I would just LOVE to have some of your seeds. How can I get some?

  8. I’m getting conflicting reports about the purveyance of the seed. Do you have any documentation of the dig and to whom and where the pot was carbon dated? You really should check out the alternative story of where the Gete-okosomin seed came from.

  9. I would love to purchase some of these seeds.

  10. I’d really like to purchase some seeds.

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