SAGAKWA is a garden consisting of the rare and remarkable Abenaki crop varieties; such as Koasek corn and Algonquin pumpkin, available nowhere else in the United States and others such as Morrisville sunflower, Cambridge Jerusalem artichoke and Hardwick ground cherry, that are probably not available anywhere else. The White Pine Association the non-profit connected to Koasek Traditional Band of the Koas Abenaki Nation, was given the full range of indigenous seeds held by the Haven Project. These seeds have been being planted in the traditional Abenaki mound gardening system, with the remainder of the garden planted in modern rows for space saving and seed production reasons. The garden will have pollination cages so that different varieties of native corn can be planted in the same garden without cross pollination occurring. A building will be erected for the purpose of drying herbs and seeds as well as for sorting and bagging. There will also be a section of the garden with non-Indigenous vegetables. This section of the garden will allow us to distribute vegetables of a wider variety to tribe members in need. We will also use this space to teach people how they can plant their indigenous seed together with heirloom seeds successfully.
There will be few indigenous vegetable seeds to distribute in the fall of 2014, as we will still be in the process of seed saving for a comfortable amount of indigenous seeds to always have on hand. Throughout the growing season of 2014 we will be able to provide indigenous squash and pumpkin meat as well non-inginous vegetables to Tribe members and senior center in the area.
Though it very well may be that the most important part of the Sagakwa garden is the teaching that takes place. Teaching others how to successfully garden will move them to a place where they know not only where their food comes from, but give them control over it. Planting a garden of your own has so many advantages, we want to help people see those: money savings, knowing what is in your food, and the connection between man and his culture. The ability to can, dehydrate and freeze a food supply for your family is so important! October of 2014 representatives from Koasek Traditional Band of the Koas Abenaki Nation journeyed to Maine to give seeds to the two Passamaquoddy tribes. Passing on not only seeds, but the knowledge that has been gained while growing them.