CN Seed Bank seeds sprout at Tulsa-area schools

BY LENZY KREHBIEL-BURTON
Special Correspondent
08/02/2016 08:30 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
A McAuliffe Elementary School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, shows off a cucumber from a garden the students helped tend this summer. Parts of that garden were seeds from the Cherokee Nation’s Seed Bank program. COURTESY
Main Cherokee Phoenix
A girl at McAuliffe Elementary School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, holds tomatoes she and other students help grow at the school’s garden this summer. Some sees from the Cherokee Nation’s Seed Bank program were also grown in the garden. COURTESY
TULSA, Okla. – It’s not even 9 a.m. and a thermometer outside Rosa Parks Elementary School already reads 89 degrees. Next to the parking lot shared by the school and an adjacent early childhood center, a chain link fence surrounds a host of colorful flower boxes, each containing a small garden for a class, an individual student or, in some cases, a family.

As the mercury rises, a student grabs a hose and starts watering the plants. Mixed in among the carrots, peas, strawberries, watermelons, tomatoes and cucumbers are Georgia Candy Roaster squash and tall, slightly wind-blown stalks of heirloom corn from the Cherokee Nation’s Seed Bank.

The CN Seed Bank program preserves heirloom Cherokee corn, gourd, squash, beans and tobacco seeds to distribute each year to CN citizens. The program started 2005 so Cherokees could grow the same genetic crops as their ancestors.

The garden at Rosa Parks is coordinated by Global Gardens, a Tulsa nonprofit that works with four local schools to provide hands-on science education and garden-focused problem-solving opportunities.

CN citizen Ayschia Kuykendall is Global Gardens’ community outreach director. After participating in the Seed Bank program on her own time, she started requesting seeds on behalf of the Tulsa-based nonprofit three years ago.

“We’ve had something a little different (from the Seed Bank) each year,” she said. “The first year we just had Georgia Candy Roasters, and the kids loved them. We continue to save the seeds from previous years’ crops. We also grow lots of other plants to try to avoid cross-pollination.”

Along with Rosa Parks, Global Gardens has programs at Tulsa Public Schools’ Eugene Field Elementary, Union’s Sixth and Seventh Grade Center and McAuliffe Elementary School.

All four existing Global Gardens sites are at Title I schools, which means 40 percent or more of their students are from low-income families. Among the four sites, the nonprofit works with more than 2,100 Tulsans, including about 1,800 children.

Along with developmentally appropriate weekly classes about botany, gardening, nutrition and cooking, Global Gardens offers student programs after school and during summer break, plus support for community gardens at each site.

“A lot of what we do is studying cultures, too,” Kuykendall said. “We get the kids thinking about how food links us all. This (the corn and squash) is so relevant to the kids given where they live and go to school. It’s a very tangible reminder.”

Paulina Andujo, who will be starting at Union’s Sixth and Seventh Grade Center this fall, has participated in Global Gardens’ summer program at Rosa Parks for two years. Her strawberries and watermelons are sprouting in the shade of Cherokee heirloom seed corn.

“My favorite thing we’ve made so far are the smoothies,” she said.

For more information about the CN Seed Bank program, email seedbank@cherokee.org or call 918-453-5704. For more information about Global Gardens, visit www.global-gardens.org.
ᏣᎳᎩ

TULSA, ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ. - ᎥᏝᏃ ᎠᏏ 9 a.m. ᏱᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎥᎿᎾᎢ ᏙᏱᏗᏜ ᎤᏗᏞᎬᎢ ᎠᏎᎯᎭ ᏄᏍᏛᎢ ᎥᎿ Rosa Parks Elementary ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ ᎦᏳᎳ 89 ᎢᏳᏗᏞᎩ ᎠᏎᎯᎭ. ᎥᎿᏃ ᎤᎵᏗᏢᎢ ᏙᏆᎴᎷ ᏧᏂᏗᎢ ᎤᏙᏢᎭ ᏧᏅᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᏃ ᎠᏅᏗᏍᎪᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏗᏗᏢᎢ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᎩᎳ ᎠᎾᎴᏂᏍᎩ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ ᎤᏙᏢᎭ, ᎥᎿᏃ ᎧᏁᏌᎢ ᏕᏥᏯ ᏧᏂᏥᎸᏍᎩ ᏓᏲᏓ ᏓᏐᏯ, ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᏧᏤᏟᏓᎭ ᎧᏁᏌᎢ ᏕᏥᎥᎢ ᏧᏍᏗᎢ ᏚᏂᏫᏒᎾ, ᎠᏏᏴᏫᎭ ᏗᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᏱᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏳᏓᎵᎭᎢ ᎠᏂᏏᏓᏁᎸᎢ ᎢᎨᏐᎢ.

ᎤᏗᏞᎬᏃ ᎠᏎᎯᎲᎢ ᎠᎵᏒᎳᏗᏍᎬᎢ, ᏗᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᎹ ᏓᏍᏚᏟᏍᎪᎢ ᎠᏫᏒᏅᎢ. ᎥᎿᏃ ᏓᎶᏂᎨ ᎠᏂᎳᏗᏍᎩ, ᎤᎾᏢᏓᎵ,ᎠᏂ,ᎬᎩᏍᏗ,ᎤᏅᎫᎯᏍᏗᏍᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎦᎦᎹ ᏓᏫᏒᎢ ᎾᏍᏊ ᎤᎾᏤᏥᏗ ᏓᏫᏌ ᎠᎴ ᎢᎾ ᎢᏗᎦᏘ, ᏎᎷ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᏂᎦᏔ ᏚᏂᏍᏆᏂᎪᏛᎢ ᏂᏙᏓᏳᏓᎴᏅᎢ.

ᎾᏍᎩᏃ CN ᎤᏂᎦᏔ ᏓᏍᏆᏂᎪᏛᎢ ᏥᎪᏢᎭ ᎥᎿ ᎤᏙᎴᎭ ᏧᎾᎵᏏᏅᏙᏗᎢ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏧᎾᎵᏏᏔᏅᎢ ᏎᎷ, ᎦᎸᏅ, ᏩᎫᎩ, ᏚᏯ ᎠᎴ ᏦᎳ ᎤᏂᎦᏔ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏧᏂᏯᏙᎡᏗᎢ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎠᏁᎳ ᏑᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎢᏳᏓᎵ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏧᏙᏢᎭ 2005 ᏥᎨᏒᎢ ᎤᏓᎴᏅᎲᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᏰᏟᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏰᎵᎢ ᎬᏩᎾᏛᎯᏍᏙᏗ ᎠᏫᏒᏅᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏠᏱ ᏥᏄᎾᏛᏁᎳ ᎡᏘ ᏣᏁᎲᎢ.

ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᏫᏒᏅᎢ ᎥᎿ Rosa Parks ᎤᎾᎵᎪᎭ Global Gardens, ᎾᏍᎩ Tulsa ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗ ᎦᎷᎩ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎾᎩ ᎢᏯᏂᎢ ᏚᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎰᎢ ᎡᏍᎦᏂ ᏚᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎥᎿ ᎠᎾᎵᏍᎪᏟᏗᎭ science ᎠᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏫᏒᏅᎢ -ᎠᎦᏎᏍᏙᏗ ᏓᏓᎴᎬᎢ -ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᎬᏁᏗᎢ ᎠᏍᏆᎵᏍᎬᎢ.

CN ᎨᎳ Ayschina Kuykendall ᎾᏍᎩ Global Gardens ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎤᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᏄᎬᏫᏳᏒᏕᎩ. ᎬᏩᎶᏒᎢ ᎤᏪᎳᏗᏙᎸᎢ ᎥᎿ ᎤᏂᎦᏔ ᏓᏍᏆᏂᎪᏛᎢ ᎤᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᏳᏟᏅᏓᏕᎢ, ᎤᎴᏅᎲᏃ ᏓᏓᏔᏲᏎᎲᎢ ᎤᏂᎦᏔ ᎾᏍᎩ Tulsa-based nonprofit ᏧᏅᏙᏗ ᏦᎢ ᎾᏕᏘᏯ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ.

“ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏄᏓᎴᎢ ᎣᎩᎰᎢ (ᎾᏍᎩ ᎥᎿ ᏂᏧᏓᎴᏅᎲᎢ ᎤᏂᎦᏔ ᏓᏍᏆᏂᎪᏛᎢ) ᏑᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎢᏳᏓᎵ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᎢᎬᏱᏱᏃ ᎤᎾᏤᏥᏗᏊ ᏙᎩᎲᎢ, ᏗᏂᏲᏟᏃ ᏚᏂᎸᏉᏔᏁᎢ. ᏂᎬᏲᏥᎯᎵᏐᎢ ᏙᏣᎵᏏᏗᎲᎢ ᎤᏂᎦᏔ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎢᎬᏱᏱ ᏥᏙᎩᏫᏒᎢ ᏂᏓᏳᎾᏓᎴᏅᎢ. ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩᏊ ᎤᎪᏗ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏂᏚᏓᎴᎢ ᎣᎩᏫᏒᏃᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎣᏣᏁᏟᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᏦᎦᏓᏅᏗᏍᏗᎢ ᏧᎾᏅᏗᎢ-ᎠᏫᏒᏅᎢ.”

Rosa Parks ᎤᎾᎵᎪᎯ, Global Gardens ᎤᏙᏢᎭ ᎥᎿ Tulsa Public ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ Eugene Field Elementary, Union’s ᏑᏓᎵ ᎠᎴ ᎦᎵᏉᎩᏁ ᏗᏂᏂᏙᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᎠᎴ McAuliffe Elementary ᏧᎾᏕᎶᎪᏎᏗᎢ.

ᏂᎦᏓᏃ ᎾᎩ ᎢᏯᏂᎢ Global Gardens ᏕᎪᏢᎭ ᎥᎿ Title I ᏧᏧᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏄᏍᏛᎢ ᎦᏛᎬᎢ 40 ᏱᎨᎦᏛᎢ ᎠᎴᏱᎩ ᏳᏂᎪᏓ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎠᎦᏲᏟ-ᎤᏂᎷᏤᎯ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗ ᎠᏂᏏᏓᏁᎸᎢ ᏂᏓᏳᎾᏓᎴᏅᎢ. ᏄᎾᏛᎿ ᎥᎿ ᏅᎩᎭ ᏥᏕᎪᏢᎭ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗ ᎬᎷᎩ ᏗᎦᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏱᎤᏂᎪᏗ 2,100 Tulsans, ᎬᏩᎾᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᏢᏃ 1,800 ᏗᏂᏲᏟ.

ᎬᏩᏠᏯᏍᏗᏃ ᎤᏙᎷᏩᏛᏗᎢ ᎠᎯᎸᏍᏗᎢ ᏂᏚᏳᎪᏛᎢ ᏧᎩᏨᏅ ᎠᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎤᏰᎿᎥᎿ, ᎠᏫᏒᏗᎢ, ᎥᏰᎸᎢ ᎤᏍᏕᎵᏍᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏓᏍᏓᏴᏅᎢ, Global Gardens ᎠᎵᏍᎪᏟᏗᎰᎢ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎥᎿ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗᎢ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ ᏱᏚᏂᏰᎵᏏ ᎠᎴ ᎪᎩ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ Ꮩ ᏄᎾᏛᏅᎢ, ᎠᎴᏍᏊ ᎥᎿ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᏧᏂᏫᏒᏗᎢ ᏕᎪᏢᏒᎢ.

“ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏭᎪᏛᎢ ᏃᏣᏛᏁᎲᎢ ᎣᏣᏕᎶᏆᏍᎪᎢ ᏂᏚᏓᎴᎢ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗᎢ, ᎾᏍᏊ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ Kuykendall. “ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏙᏥᏯᏂᏍᎪᎢ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᎠᎾᏓᏅᏖᏍᎪᎢ ᎠᎵᏍᏓᏰᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏄᏍᏛᎢ ᏕᎬᏓᏕᏫᏒᎢ ᏂᏗᎥᎢ. ᎯᎠᏃ (ᏎᎷ ᎠᎴ ᏩᎫᎩ) ᎢᎦᏃ ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏗ ᏄᏅᏃᎢ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᎥᎿᏃ ᏓᏂᏁᎸᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏓᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏙᏳᎢ ᎠᏅᏓᏗᏍᏙᏗ.”

Paulina Andujo, ᎥᎿᏃ Union’s ᏑᏓᎵ ᎠᎴ ᎦᎵᏉᎩᏁ ᏗᏂᏂᏙᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᎯᎠ ᎤᎵᎪᎲᏍᏗ ᎠᎾᎴᏂᏍᎨᏍᏗ, ᎤᏪᎳᏗᏙᎸᎢ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ Global Gardens’ ᎪᎩ ᏳᏟᎠᎶᏟ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏯᏛᏁᏗᎢ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ Rosa Parks ᏧᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᏔᎵ ᎾᏕᏘᏯ. ᎠᏂᏃ ᎠᎴ ᎬᎩᏍᏗ ᎠᎾᎵᏍᏚᎩᎠ ᎥᎢᎾᏂ ᎤᏓᏩᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏍᎩᏂ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎤᏂᏩᏙᏢᎢ ᏎᏅ ᎤᎦᏘ.

“ᎠᏯᏃ ᏩᎩᎸᏉᏛᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎣᎪᏢᏅᎢ ᏥᎩ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ Ꮎ smoothies,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.

ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎤᎪᏗ ᏲᏚᎵᎠ ᎠᏕᎶᎰᎯᏍᏗᎢ ᏄᏍᏛᎢ CN ᎤᏂᎦᏔ ᏓᏍᏆᏂᎠᏛᎢ, ᎠᎾᎦᎵᏍᎩ ᎪᏪᎵ ᏫᎦᏅᏗ ᎥᎿ, seedbank@cherokee.org ᎠᎴᏱᎩ ᏩᏟᏃᎮᏗ 918-453-5704. ᎠᎴ ᎤᎪᏗ ᏲᏚᎵᎠ ᎠᏕᎶᎰᎯᏍᏗᎢ ᏄᏍᏗᏓᏅᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ Global Gardens, ᎠᏩᏛᎯᏓᏍᏗ www.global-gardens.org.

- Translated by David Crawler

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