African/American Seed Collection

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Liberian hands holding okra seed.

Africa is the source of many seeds for food in the American diet, and world history illuminates the early movement of seeds and food between continents.

Seeds of food traditionally associated with African Americans give evidence to history, culture, and memory.

Jerome standing with hoe

The Homowo Harvest Collection is an initiative of African American Foodways interpretation at Old Salem.

“Black History” is every month and every day.

The St. Philips Heritage Center offers
African American Programs
throughout the year.

Homowo Heritage Festival
October 14, 2017

“Seed with Stories”
Old Salem Horticulture is collecting “Seeds with Stories.” Do you know of seeds that have been passed down from previous generations or do you have ideas for additions to the Homowo Harvest seed list? Please contact Eric Jackson, Heritage Gardens & Outreach, or (336) 201-5174.

Homowo Harvest Collection
Heirloom African/American Seeds
available at
Moravian Book & Gift Shop
614 S. Main St. in Old Salem

Homowo (hō ΄- mō – wă) is a word from Ghana, West Africa which means “hooting at hunger.”

 Homowo Harvest Collection Brochure (PDF)

Old Salem honors garden heritage with this unique offering of seeds from plants native to Africa and seeds from plants traditionally associated with African Americans. Local community participation guided Horticulture Staff’s development of this unique collection.

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The seed collection includes over 45 heirloom and open-pollinated vegetables, herbs, and flowers grown in America by 1900. Seed is from these heirloom seed companies:
Seed Savers Exchange, Sow True Seed, and Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.

Cowpea – Black-Eyed Susan Vine – Okra –
Burr Gherkin – Collards – Creasy Greens –
Gourd – Carolina Black Peanut – Fish Pepper –
Winter Squash – Sage – and more!

Take some history home to plant in your own garden — delicious, beautiful, and fragrant possibilities…

Homowo Harvest Collection seed is heirloom, open-pollinated and can be saved from year-to-year for planting and for sharing (see Seed Saving).

okra 2