Saturday, December 27, 2014

Heirloom Seed Bank of Amana

AMANA gardeners grew as much of their own harvested seed as possible. Some seeds were not available in USA catalogs so local varieties that were obtained from dependable growers or from Germany to Ebenezer that the Inspirationists carried, were carefully preserved. Sometimes new plant varieties were developed in Amana communal kitchen gardens, so those seeds were well cared for, saved, and passed on to future gardeners. There is an effort now, since 1985, to collect and distribute historical seeds through the Amana Heritage Foundation or South Amana grower. Historic plant varieties as Amana string bean, Ebenezer onion, leaf lettuce, multicolored radish, cotton melon, celestial, European black falsify and ground cherry are a few to mention. Many ancestors  of the Amana Inspirationists from Germany rescued and saved seed varieties that were brought to America by boat, some tucked in coat pockets. These seeds were then planted in community kitchen gardens in Ebenezer, NY and then in the Amanas. There is a local seed bank that now that shares old plant varieties to plant in your own garden with much success.

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