Pumpkin, Bison, Corn Native Foods November, Woodland Indian Educational Programs wwwhttp://www.woodlandindianedu.com Facebook: https:/ www.facebook.com/WoodlandIndianEDU

It’s true, we did meet a lot of folks who didn’t know pumpkins are in fact edible, but it’s not their fault. Commercialism is the biggest educator in our society. So here’s a usual bit our audiences used to hear from me at our harvest-time demos, shortened for you here —-> Through precise methods of breeding, Native Peoples transformed wild gourds/early squash and grass into ground fruits and grain that fed large regions of Native America (and later, the world over). For thousands of years Native farmers (likely many women) bred squash/pumpkins and corn into bigger, productive and nourishing crops, able to thrive at many latitudes and altitudes, perfecting plant qualities for harvest, storage and consumption,… all for us (you and me) to prefer less edible qualities of some of these same crops?!? And why? Because holiday decorating is big business! Just think about this… We took perfectly edible pumpkins and bred new varieties from them to be thinner with a woody texture because these qualities worked better for carving… So we purposely made a fruit less pleasant to eat so we can put a face on it, then let it rot until we unceremoniously toss it. Or how about the way we just outright labeled food inedible, like the multicolor “Indian decorative corn” that graces so many doorways this time of year. How strange it is, when you think about it, that we took the work of thousands of years, the work of thousands of Native hands and minds that went into creating and perfecting crops to feed humans, that we purposely bred some of these strains to make them less edible. Wow! (Photo: A perfectly baked pumpkin/squash, stone-grilled venison, and boiled green corn from our/WIEP’s camp at Feast of the Hunters’ Moon, 2017).
NOTICE: STAY TUNED FOR *NATIVE FOODS NOVEMBER* POSTS!!!… celebrating the Indigenous foodways of the Eastern Woodlands.