NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Tuesday December 12th 2017

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Birthing the Seed

Largest Black Bean ever? Sacred to some Native American Tribes & regarded as “poor man’s meat” beans are rich in protein, supplying 1/3 of the essential amino acids to the corn, bean and squash trinity.

By Peter Molenaar

Two seasons ago, amidst the typically mottled ones, the harvest of Scarlet Runner Beans revealed two completely black seeds.  In their turn, these seeds would germinate and prove to be a new mutant strain.  Will the largest black bean ever grown bear my name?

However, in this New World, horticultural advance must largely be credited to the practice of Native American women.  This is true, because the processors of the food were also the seed savers.  Her gift to us was not merely that of the various beans, but also the tomatoes, peppers, squashes, melons, potatoes, pumpkins…and she gave us corn!

We should pity the school child who has not been introduced to teosinte, the grass from which, by her hand, corn was born.  In the course of thousands of years, the once separate seed strands fused to become the precursor to the cob.  Then, some 2,500 years ago, the modern cob emerged from Mexico.  Cast north by the awesome birch bark canoe, the seeds stabilized families and cities grew.

And then…

For a very long time things were mostly good, until an invasion of “well regulated militias” destroyed the fields.  This was done just before the harvest, for maximum effect…along with unspeakable atrocities.

And now…

In his speech before the National Rifle Association, the President of the United States referred to Senator Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahantas.” Yes, Elizabeth acknowledges her Native ancestry.  She will run against Donald Trump in 2020 and she will have my vote.

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