While many students have the opportunity to see if they have a green thumb by working on their school gardens, a group of students from Winnipeg, Canada had the magic touch when it came to bringing an extinct vegetable back from the dead.
An archaeological team discovered a clay jar that contained seeds of a rare squash, which was estimated to be about 800 years old, that was buried on a Menominee reservation in Wisconsin back in 2008. The Gete-okosomin seeds were then distributed to individuals on the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe reservation, who were then able to help the previously-extinct vegetable make a comeback.
In its fifth generation, some of the rare seeds were given to Canadian Mennonite University located in Winnipeg, Canada by the American Indian Center so that they could be added to course curriculum to help students learn about healthy food choices as well as help revive the vegetable.
Led by coordinator of the Garden of Learning Brian Etkin, the students have now been able to successfully grow one large squash from the ancient seeds and have plans to continue to bring the veggie back from the dead and onto the kitchen table.
Gete-okosomin translates to "really cool old squash," a name that is fitting for its ability to resurrect from the dead after centuries. This squash was planted by Native Americans and eventually died out during the 19th century when the U.S. government ended resistance on the frontier by destroying the natives' food supplies and forcing tribes onto reservations.
Luckily, ancient people had the smart idea to preserve the seeds by burying them, although it's not clear why they would store the seeds this way.
Check out the "really cool" formerly-extinct squash in the video below.
Source: ATPN News