Among the farmers I look to for inspiration is Kristyn Leach of Namu Farm. I appreciate her expansive and clear thinking about farming, environmental stewardship, social justice, and just about everything. She speaks in a way that is poignant and resonant, that is succinct yet also enriched by apropos metaphors. She’s a considerate farmer, powerful organizer, and creative artist.
I felt honored when Kristyn invited me to the release party for the Lady Choi and Lady Hermit seeds. She grew out these seeds that she inherited from a friend’s grandmother and from a hermit in the mountains of South Korea. These peppers are now available through Kitazawa Seed in the Second Generation line. Kristyn started this line with consideration for the importance of heritage seed and that the second generation, often discarded or even curtailed from forming in conventional farming, offers necessary genetic diversity. If you like making kimchi and other banchan dishes, consider growing out these seeds to bring these rare flavors to your ferments! I’m glad that these seeds are made available through Kristyn’s skilled dedication to farming and Kitazawa Seed Company.
Kitazawa is an Oakland-based seed company that is the central source for Asian seeds in the US. I know my feelings of gratitude towards them are shared by many — farmers, gardeners, and many different communities. Kitazawa maintains our connection to our culture and history through the seeds they hold. Going through their seed catalog is always a delight. As Kristyn put it, it’s like reading a widely and well loved book, turning to a dog-eared page and finding a personal connection with something many have appreciated.
Thanks, Kristyn, for adding another page to that book.