We love growing corn. Northeastern Native American corn varieties are especially beautiful as they are connected to the heritage and history of where we live. Ever since working together on Maize Field project, Husk has been dedicated to growing and sharing a rare Lenape blue corn variety named “Sehsapsing”.
Seeds are connected to the cultures and people who have cultivated them. They are part of the stories of migrations, resiliency and the preservation of traditions. We have been told that Sehsapsing was originally brought to Indian Territory (Oklahoma) by the family of Sarah Wilson Thompson, a full-blooded Lenape who lived on the Delaware Reservation. Her family migrated from their original homeland in what is now New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, and northern Delaware. In 2010 Tony West from Appalachian Heirloom Plant Farm, Winchester, Ohio donated Sehsapsing to the Maize Field Project. We saved seeds from that first crop, returned some to Tony and also donated some to Lefferts House in Prospect Park. This year we have donated seeds from that crop to a school farms in East New York and Short Hills, NJ. We have also distributed the seed to a grower in Princeton and in Maine. We will be tracking the progress of these gardens on this site.
This year we also received an ear of Abekani Rose corn from the grower in Maine in exchange for the Lenape Seeds. We are currently growing the Abekani Rose on a student farm in Brownsville Brooklyn and in a community garden in Carroll Gardens. The Abeknaki Rose is very rare flour corn. It is believed to have originated in Maine, preserved in New York and recently brought back to Maine (and now its in Brooklyn!). The Abenaki are Algonquian-speaking, like the Lenape, and are from New England.