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Native corn delivered to Pawnee Tribe at CCC

Native corn delivered to the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma during an event at Central Community...
Native corn delivered to the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma during an event at Central Community College in Hastings.(Scott Miller)
Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 5:16 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Several members of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma paid a visit to Central Community College in Hastings, where they received a special delivery on Wednesday.

Several area gardeners delivered Pawnee corn to the college to be delivered to the tribe. The soil in Oklahoma is not idea to grow corn, so for nearly two decades, Nebraska volunteers have been growing the corn in the soil the Pawnee blessed before moving to Oklahoma in the 1800s.

Central City farmer Bill Bolte, who delivered his crop of red flint corn, described the project as a labor of love.

“It’s just knowing it’s going to work out. It’s stuff that they were planting 150 to 200 years ago on their village sites so it’s the same thing I’m doing for them, the same soil.”

He said last year, his crop didn’t do very well, getting bugs toward the end.

“This year, I started out being dissatisfied. I was given 200 seeds, but only 65 of them actually sprouted. So, when I got done, I got over 170-some ears from those 65 seeds, so that’s a good feeling when it comes at the end,” Bolte said.

For the last five years, Pawnee corn has been planted and harvested at CCC.

Once delivered to the tribe, the corn will be ground into flour and used in other food products.

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