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Ancient Seeds (part 2)

Ancient Seeds (part 2)

Mary Smith |

From our first post Ancient Seeds,  The definition of an heirloom is a seed variety that is more than 50 years old.  Some prefer a variety that is over 100 years old. An heirloom seeds is NOT a GMO and is NOT a hybrid.
At Mary's Heirloom Seeds, we offer a few varieties than can be traced back as far as the 1700s!  It's true!  

The first variety I'd like to share is the SEMINOLE PUMPKIN.  
From Slow Food USA,
The Miccosukee name for this product is “chassa howitska” meaning “hanging pumpkin”. The reference is to the method by which the pumpkin grows, as the Seminole and the Miccosukee people would plant the pumpkin seeds at the base of girdled trees, so that the pumpkin vines would grow up the trunk, and the pumpkin fruit would grow to be hanging from the bare limbs. It was under cultivation by Seminole people before Spaniards arrived in Florida in the 1500s. Immigrants to Florida also adopted this cultivation method, producing hundreds of pumpkins per acre.
Next up is the MAYFLOWER BEAN

This is the bean that is said to have come to America with the Pilgrims in 1620. This old cutshort green bean has great flavor and the red/white beans are quite tasty. A long-time staple in the Carolinas.
It is also known as "Amish Knuttle" bean



Originally from Virginia and traced back to 1845 (most likely grown and traded by Native Americans long before this).  Stalks grow 10-12 ft. tall producing 2 to 6 ears per stalk. Kernels are blood-red with darker red stripes, and occasional white or blue kernels. Great for flour, cereal, or roasting ears.


The Rouge Vif D' Etampes Pumpkins are a gorgeous deep red-orange. A very old French Heirloom, this was the most common pumpkin in the Central Market in Paris back in the 1880's. The flesh is tasty in pies or baked. This one can also be picked small, like summer squash, and fried.

An heirloom variety also known as Bohemian Squash and Sweet Potato Squash,  Introduced in 1890s.  Delicious, creamy sweet potato like taste.  Delicata has a fine grained, light orange flesh steamed or baked.

Delicata has a very tough skin which makes if perfect for baking on coals, on the grill or to just simmer in its on juices while in the oven.   This tough skin also serves as the perfect wrapper protecting it for up to 6 months in storage!  

This heirloom was brought from Tennessee by the Cherokee people as they were marched to Oklahoma by the Federal Government in 1839 over the infamous "Trail of Tears" that left so many dead and suffering. This prolific variety is good as a snap or dry bean and has shiny, black beans. Hardy, vining plants. 

From Vegetables of Interest, "One such story is that of a black bean grown by the Cherokee in the Carolinas which had no name other than "bean."  It  was carried by the Cherokee along their journey as a source of food and a token of hope.  Once in Okalahoma it was re-named the "Trail of Tears Bean" and has been maintained by the Cherokee since that time."
"Trail of Tears" beans



An Heirloom cabbage dating back to the 1880s

Charleston Wakefield produces a larger head than other Wakefield Cabbages.  The large, 6-8" elongated heads tip the scales at 4-6 lb., and store extremely well. 

Charleston Wakefield has a short season at only 70-85 days!  This heat tolerant Cabbage does well in just about any climate in the US



Considered a staple corn of the Hopi people, this corn can be eaten as a sweet corn when young, or allowed to dry it can be used to make flour.
Hopi Blue has a higher protein content than a dent corn and makes wonderful tortillas. The 7 inch, dried blue ears also make great autumn decorations. Plants are 5-6 feet tall. 


At Mary's Heirloom Seeds we also offer a very unique selection of both Medicinal and Culinary herbs, some that have been used for centuries.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to ask!



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