Organic Farmer Saves Seeds near Nagasaki

Fri, 11/11/2009 – Jude Fanton

Curious to catch up again after nine years with Iwasaki-san who has become a seed saving household name, we went to western Kyushu. Iwasaki-san is a successful and quite large scale commercial market gardener who grows most of his seeds, starting forty years ago.

As a Japanese seed saving icon, Iwasaki-san has authored several books on seed saving and appeared in plenty of media including television.     In his fields of about two acres, set between Moso species bamboo and mixed forests, we saw these autumn crops – carrots, many brassicas, onions, spinach and lettuces. Iwasaki-san’s favourite vegetable is carrot and he maintains three local varieties, in particular Hinoki.

IMAGE Iwasaki-san in his field

Iwasaki-san had come to meet Michel in 2000 at a seed savers event in Tokyo, more than half a country from his farm on the southern island of Kyushu.

It was truly inspiring to look over his seed collection.