Some of the seeds included in the African American Collection are as follows:
Brown Crowder [Cow Pea] – Brought from West Africa to America during the slave trade, it was noted in antebellum Mississippi in the 1860’s.
California Blackeye Peas [Cow Pea] – This prolific cowpea has assumed mystical properties–attracting money, giving fertility bring good luck on New Year’s Day.
Sieva (Carolina) Butter Bean [Pole Bean] – Called “sivvy” or butter beans by generations of Southerners, and especially loved in the Charleston area.
Introduced by Minton Collins in Richmond in 1793, the plant was originally brought from Angola to the Caribbean
Eggplant [Louisiana Long Green]
Introduced by Africans and Spaniards into Southern and Creole cuisine, they were grown in the gardens of enslaved Louisianians.
Turns green after cooking.
Cowhorn Okra – The oldest variety of okra grown in the U.S., less mucilaginous, it makes excellent okra soup and gumbos.
Green Striped Cushaw Pumpkin – Known as the “sweet potato pumpkin”, it was brought from Jamaica to the Chesapeake in the late 1700’s.
White Potato Pumpkin
Known as “cymling squash”, this was one of most common vegetables purchased by the Jefferson family from their enslaved workforce.
Enslaved Africans were among the first to popularize the tomato in the American South.
Watermelon – Georgia Rattlesnake – Watermelons were introduced from Africa during colonial times; this variety reflects heirloom varieties grown from the 1830’s onward