Cherokee Nation Seed Bank online distribution begins Feb. 1

BY LINDSEY BARK
Reporter
01/21/2019 08:00 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
The Cherokee Nation’s Seed Bank officials will begin distributing seeds Feb. 1. The seeds are a variety of heirloom crops and native plants harvested from the Heirloom Garden and Native Plant Site in Tahlequah for dispersal to CN citizens. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Nation’s Seed Bank is set to go live for online orders on Feb. 1.

The Heirloom Garden and Native Plant Site produces enough seeds and plants to disperse over 5,000 items per year, depending on growing conditions.

“We seem to be stuck in a cycle of what I would considered fairly poor growing conditions over the recent years. Fortuitously, routine improvements in our infrastructure and operations are keeping production rates stable. Our inventory is good and we will be able to provide a significant amount of product to Cherokees this year,” Environmental Resources Senior Director Pat Gwin said. “Our plants prefer a classic cool spring of reasonable duration followed by progressively warming summer temps with ample moisture throughout. The growing season of 2018 unfortunately had typical spring conditions for just a few days (not weeks) followed by an early summer with little rain. Thus, our cool season crops suffered…with recovery only possible via our fall plantings.”

A planting guide comes with each seed order that contains information such as when to plant, soil temperatures, amount of sun exposure and germination times.

The Seed Bank generally offers around 20 to 30 varieties of seeds per year. However, in the Seed Bank proper there are more than 100 varieties of plants growing. Gwin said this is because some plants not flowering every year.

He said crops such as corn, tobaccos, and gourds are “fairly simple” to grow and are not as weather dependent as some of our native plant offerings.

“The native plants are just as much, or even a little bit more so, a part of Cherokee culture than are the crops. The native plants are harder to produce as we have to try and replicate an environmental setting completely different than our Seed Bank location. Many important cultural Cherokee plants grow in a cool, wetland understory environment. We are located in the middle of a sunbaked field of shallow soil…so it’s pretty tough,” Gwin said.

The Heirloom Garden was started in 2006 and produces native plants and crops important in Cherokee culture. The Cherokee Language Program ensures that the Cherokee names of the plants and crops are not lost.

Most of the plants and crops are found around the CN and North Carolina. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has shared many native plants with the CN.

To create an account and order seed packets, visit https://secure.cherokee.org/seedbank. Follow the instructions to order. Seeds are only available to CN, United Keetoowah Band and EBCI citizens.

For more information or to submit questions, email seedbank@cherokee.org or call 918-453-5336.

Seeds Available in 2019

HEIRLOOM CROPS

Corn (Zea mays):

• Cherokee Colored Flour – a large flour corn
• Cherokee White Flour – a large flour corn
• Cherokee White Eagle – a dent corn

Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris)

• Cherokee Long Greasy (a small, white, & “glossy” bean)
• Trail of Tears (a small jet black bean)
• Turkey Gizzard Black (a large black & white bean)
• Turkey Gizzard Brown (a large brown & white bean)

Squash (Cucurbita maxima)

• Georgia Candy Roaster (a long storing squash that can be prepared as squash, Sweet Potatoes, or Pumpkin)

Gourds (Lagenaria siceraria)

• Basket
• Dipper
• Jewel
• Buffalo Gourds (Cucurbita foetidissima)

Trail of Tears Beads

• Indian Corn Beads (Coix lacrima)

Tobacco

• Native Tobacco (Nicotiana rustica) – ceremonial tobacco, not smoking tobacco and restricted to those at least 18 years of age.

NATIVE PLANTS

• American Basket Flower
• Buttonbush
• Cutleaf Coneflower (Cochanny)
• Green Dragon
• Hearts-a-bustin
• Jewelweed
• Possum Grape
• Purple Coneflower
• Rattlesnake Master
• Sunchoke
• Trumpet Vine
• Wild Senna
ᏣᎳᎩ

ᏓᎵᏆ - ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᏂᎦᏔ ᏚᏂᏍᏆᏂᎪᏙᏗᎢᎬᏂᎨᏒᎢ ᏂᏛᏅᏁᎵ ᎧᎦᎵ.1. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗ ᎠᏫᏒᏅᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏅᏁᎯᏯ ᏚᏰᎬᎢ ᎤᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᎦᎵᏄᎪᏫᏍᎪᎢ ᏰᎵᎢ ᏱᎦᎢ ᎤᏂᎦᏘ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎦᎪᏗ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ 5,000 ᏱᎦᎢ ᏑᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏳᏓᎵ ᎠᏂᏯᏙᎢᎰᎢ, ᎣᏏ ᏱᏄᎵᏍᏔᎾ ᎠᏫᏒᏅᎢ.

“ᏗᎧᏃᏗᏃ ᎨᏒ ᏙᎢ ᏄᏍᏗᏓ ᎢᏳᏍᏗᏃ ᏂᎨᎵᏍᎬᎢ ᎡᎳᏗ ᏄᏍᏗᏓ ᎯᎸᏍᎩ ᎾᏕᏘᏯ ᏥᏙᏓᎦᏕᎯ. ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏙᏓᏊ,ᎠᏓᏁᏟᏴᏍᎩ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᏧᏤᎳᏨᎢ ᎣᎦᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎢᏒᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏙᏢᏍᎬᎢ ᏂᎬᏩᏍᏓ. ᎣᎦᏤᎵᎢ ᎠᏎᏢᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏰᎵᎢ ᏱᎦᎢ ᏱᏙᏥᏯᏙᎢᏏ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎯᎠ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ,” ᏙᏱ ᏄᏍᏗᏓᏅᎢ ᏕᎤᎲᎢ ᎤᏓᏂᎳᎨ ᎠᏍᎦᏰᏴᏍᏗ Pat Gwin ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ. “ᏦᏣᏤᎵᎢ ᏚᏰᎬᎢ ᎤᏂᎸᏉᏙᎢ ᎤᏕᏌᏴᏟ ᎩᎳ ᎪᎨᏱ ᏱᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏱᎪᎯᏓ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏱᎧᏉᎦ ᏓᎦᎾᏬᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩᏊ ᎤᏬᏕᏫᏓ ᏱᎩ ᏂᎦᏅᎯᏒᎢ. ᎠᏛᏒᏍᎬᏃ ᎾᎯᏳᎢ 2018 ᏥᎨᏒ ᎡᏍᎦᏭ ᎩᎳ ᎪᏰᏱ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏔᏅᏍᎬᎢ ᎯᎸᏍᎩᏭ ᎢᎦ (ᎥᏝ ᏒᏂᏙᏓᏆᏍᎩ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ) ᎩᎳᎯ ᎪᎩ ᎤᏟᎠᎶᏞᎢ ᏂᏓᎦᏍᎬᎾᏭ. ᎯᎠᏃ, ᎤᎵᎪᎲᏍᏗᏃ ᏗᏜ ᎠᏛᏍᎩ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎥᏝ Ꮯ ᏲᏍᏓ ᏱᎨᏎᎢ... ᎤᎵᎪᎲᏍᏗᏃ ᎤᎶᏐᏂᏕᎾ ᎨᏒ ᏚᏤᎳᏨᎢ.”

ᎢᏯᏛᏁᏗ ᎧᏃᎮᏍᎩ ᎪᏪᎵ ᎠᏠᏯᏍᏙᎢ ᎢᏯᏛᏁᏗᎢ ᎤᏂᎦᏔ ᏗᏫᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎢᏴᎢ ᎠᏫᏒᏗᎢ, ᎦᏙᎢ ᏄᎦᏅᏮᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᏱᎦᎢ ᎤᎦᎸᎢ ᎠᏫᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏰᎲᏍᏗᎢ ᏱᎪᎯᏓ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎤᏂᎦᏔ ᏓᏍᏆᏂᎪᏛᎢ 20 ᎠᎴ 30 ᎢᏳᎾᏓᎴ ᏱᏛᏩᏔ ᎥᎿ ᏑᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎢᏳᏓᎵ. Gwin Ꮓ ᏂᎦᏪᏍᎬᎢ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᎭ ᎢᎦᏓ ᏚᏰᎬᎢ ᎥᏝ ᏧᏕᏘᎯᎶ ᏱᏓᏥᎸᏍᎪᎢ.

“ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᏁᎯᏯᎢ ᏚᏰᎬᎢ ᏰᎵᎢ ᏱᎦᎢ, ᎠᎴᏱᎩ ᏳᏂᎪᏓ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎤᏂᏠᏱ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎤᏅᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᎤᏠᏱᏊ ᎤᏂᏔᏙᎥᏔᏅᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᏁᎯᏯᎢ ᏚᏰᎬᎢ ᎠᏍᏓᏲᎢ ᏗᏛᎯᏍᏙᏗᎢ ᎣᎦᏁᏟᏔᎾ ᎤᏠᏱ ᎣᎦᏛᎯᏍᏙᏗᎢ ᎤᏠᏱ ᏥᏄᎾᏍᏙᎢ ᎢᎾᎨᎢ ᏙᏳᎢ ᏄᏓᎴᎢ ᏏᏅ ᎣᎦᏤᎵᎢ ᎤᏂᎦᏔ ᎠᏍᏆᏂᎪᏙᏗᎢ. ᎤᏂᎪᏗ Ꮓ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎤᏅᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᏚᏰᎬᎢ ᎤᏁᏌᏴᏢᎢ ᏓᏛᏍᎪᎢ, ᎦᏓᏁᎯᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏝᏴᎯ. ᎠᏯᏃ ᏦᎪᏢᎭ ᎢᎪᏛᎯ ᎠᏰᏟ ᎠᎦᎵᏍᎩ ᎨᏐᎢ ᏂᎪᎯᎸᎢ... ᎦᏁᏄᏟᏃ ᎠᏫᏒᏗᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ Gwin.

ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗ ᎠᏫᏒᏅᎢ 2006 ᏥᎨᏒᎢ ᎤᎾᎴᏅᎲᎢ ᎠᎴ Ꮓ ᏅᏁᎯᏯᎢ ᏚᏰᎬᎢ ᎠᏛᏍᎪᎢ ᎥᎿ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏛᏒᏅᎢ ᎢᎦᏃ ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏓ ᎠᏣᎳᎩ ᎢᏳᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗᎢ ᎤᏔᏅᏙᏗ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗᎢ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᎤᎾᎦᏎᏍᏙᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ Ꮎ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏚᎾᏙᎥᎢ ᏚᏰᎬᎢ ᏧᏅᎨᏫᏍᏗᎢ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ.
ᏭᎪᏛᏃ ᏚᏰᎬᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎤᏛᏒᎢ ᏴᏯᏔ ᎥᎿ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎠᎴ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎤᏪᏘᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏗᎧᎸᎬᎢ ᏗᏜ ᎠᏁᎯ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯᎢ ᎤᎪᏗ ᏚᏂᏯᏙᎮᎵ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏅᏁᎯᏯᎢ ᏗᎦᎪᏗ.

ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎤᏙᏢᏅᏗᎢ ᎠᏚᏓᎸᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏗᏓᏅᏍᏗᎢ ᎤᏂᎦᏔ, ᎠᎭᏂᏃ http://secure.cherokee.org/seedbank. ᎠᏍᏓᏩᏛᏍᏗᏃ ᎠᎥᏃᎯᏎᎯ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᏓᏅᏍᏗᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎤᏅᏒᎯ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ, ᎠᏂᎩᏚᏩᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎧᎸᎬᎢ ᏗᏜ ᎠᏁᎯ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯᎢ ᎠᏁᎳ ᏗᎬᏩᏂᎩᏍᏗ ᎤᏂᎦᏔ.
ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏲᏚᎵᎭ ᎤᎪᏗ ᎠᏕᎶᎰᎯᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᎴᏱᎩ ᎬᏂᎨᏒᎢ ᏱᎬᏁᏗᎢ ᎠᏛᏛᏗᎢ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ, ᎠᎾᎦᎵᏍᎩ ᎪᏪᎵ ᏱᏮᎦᏅᎠ seedbank@cherokee.org ᎠᎴᏱᎩ ᏱᏫᏛᏟᏃᎲᎵ 918-453-5336.

– TRANSLATED BY DAVID CRAWLER

About the Author
lindsey-bark@cherokee.org • 918-772-4223
Lindsey Bark grew up and resides in the Tagg Flats community in Delaware County. She graduated from Northeastern State University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication, emphasizing in journalism. She started working for the Cherokee Phoenix in 2016. Working for the Cherokee Phoenix, Lindsey hopes to ...

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