Extinct vegetable resurrected from 850-year-old seeds

A recent post on Reddit drew attention to the happy conclusion of what has ended up being a long and somewhat exciting story. It started back in 2008 when a clay ball containing seeds was discovered in the Menominee Reservation in Wisconsin. Upon review, it turned out the seeds were about 850 years old, and efforts were taken to see if they'd grow. As it turns out, they did, and the world now has a formally extinct giant squash as the result.

According to a report from the Chicago Tribune published last year, the third generation of the squash seeds had been planted, with the previous generations obviously having been fruitful. The originally discovered seeds had been given to Winona LaDuke, someone described as a "longtime advocate for native food sovereignty."

The squash has been dubbed Gete-okosomin, which translates to "really cool old squash." One person who planted the seeds had described the plant as producing vines that were greater than 25 feet high, and it ultimately produced more than 24 giant squash, the largest of which tipped the scales at more than 18lbs and 3ft. in length.

The seeds, of course, have been harvested and now, some seven or so years since the original discovery, they've been provided to American Indian Center, as well as select others. The plant is now in its fifth generation, and its future looks bright, with it reportedly having been successfully grown in places throughout both the US and Canada.

SOURCE: ArtNet, aptn