January 16, 2018
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation will begin dispersing its limited supply of heirloom seeds Feb. 1 to tribal citizens who are interested in growing traditional Cherokee crops.
In 2017, the Cherokee Nation distributed 3,784 packages of seeds to tribal citizens.
“The Cherokee people have a long history of harvesting seeds and passing them down, and this seed bank program keeps that tradition alive with new generations of Cherokees,” said Pat Gwin, Cherokee Nation senior director of Cherokee Nation Environmental Resources. “These heirloom seeds are varieties that the Cherokee people harvested long before European contact. Planting and sustaining them is a great way to make a cultural connection to our history.”
Cherokee Nation citizens are limited to two varieties of seeds, and each applicant must submit a copy of his or her Cherokee Nation tribal citizenship card, proof of age and address.
This year’s available heirloom seeds include Cherokee White Eagle corn, Cherokee Long Greasy beans, Georgia Candy Roaster squash, Buffalo gourds and native plants such as Buttonbush, Possum Grape and Sunchoke.
Citizens can submit order requests by visiting https://secure.cherokee.org/seedbank. Create an account and follow the instructions to see a complete list of available seeds and to place and track orders.