The Kickapoo red flint corn project was a tremendous success. Covenant Companion Paige Samdal planted the corn in the traditional 3-sisters method—corn surrounded by beans to return nitrogen to the soil (which the corn uses for its growth) and squash to shade the roots from the hot drying effects of the sun in mid-summer.
In late October, we held a harvest prayer ritual that included picking 151 ears of corn. The ears of corn were carefully dried for several months, and then all the sacred corn was returned to the Kickapoo nation. The beans and squash were shared with some sisters, covenant companions, and local food pantries.
Leslie Barse (pictured) is the Kickapoo woman who initially gave us permission to plant 100 seeds. Her mother, Francesea Wahpepah, was the seed keeper from whom the seed was originally obtained. Francesea died a few years ago, handing the seed on to her daughter. We are so grateful to Leslie for allowing us to honor her, her mother, and her entire people by planting, growing, and returning this sacred corn to them. Even though our corn plot is small, we are blessed to be part of this relationship with the Kickapoo people, Mother Earth, and the Kickapoo red flint corn.
We look forward to planting 100 seeds this spring and a new harvest in the fall!