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Project Revives Abenaki Crops, One Seed At A Time

Bands of Abenaki have been growing corn, beans, squash and sunflowers as part of the Seeds of Renewal Project, which works to revive crops that have long been thought to have disappeared. Photo credit: FRED WISEMAN

Almost a decade ago, Abenaki scholar and paleoethnobotanist Fred Wiseman started working with Abenaki communities as part of the documentation process for federal tribal recognition. While he was in these communities, Wiseman noticed crops that had long been thought to have disappeared growing on the hillsides. It led him to start the Seeds of Renewal Project.

As part of the project, he has painstakingly tracked down native seeds and worked to get them preserved and back into agricultural production.

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Read and listen to the full story by Patti Daniels, Ric Cengeri, and Jane Lindholm via VPR News