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The Cherokee Nation will begin dispersing its limited supply of heirloom seeds Feb. 3 to tribal citizens who are interested in growing traditional Cherokee crops.

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Back by popular demand, the Cherokee Nation will begin dispersing a limited supply of heirloom seeds February 3 to tribal citizens who are interested in growing traditional Cherokee crops.

Last year, the Cherokee Nation gave away almost 10,000 packages of seeds to its tribal citizens. Cherokee Nation officials are committed to this program because it helps to keep the Cherokee culture and history alive.

“It’s important that we continue to distribute these seeds every year,” said Feather Smith, cultural biologist with Cherokee Nation. “These plants represent centuries of Cherokee cultural and agricultural history. They provide an opportunity for Cherokees to continue the traditions of our ancestors and elders, as well as educate our youth in Cherokee culture.”

Cherokee Nation citizens are limited to two varieties of seeds, and each applicant must either confirm their citizenship via the website or submit a copy of his or her Cherokee tribal citizenship card, proof of age and address.

This year’s offering of heirloom seeds includes Cherokee Colored Corn, Trail of Tears Beans, Georgia Candy Roaster Squash, a variety of gourds, Indian corn beads and Native plants such as the American Basket Flower, Jewelweed and Wild Senna.

Interested tribal 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. Previous participants of the tribe’s seed bank program can also use this link to log in and update their shipping address before submitting orders.

For more information, email [email protected] or call 918-453-5336.

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