Grandma Kiku-yo, name meaning ‘Chrysanthemum’

Sun, 14/11/2009 – Jude Fanton

This original seed saver totally inspired us. She collects every kind of seed imaginable, including the most delicate pulses such as mung and aduki beans and sesame seeds. Her garden is so complex and varied, including of course chrysanthemums.

 

IMAGE Kukiyo-san in her garden

Mandarins and persimmon, or kaki as they are called here, hang from trees. Shiitake mushrooms grow on logs that her husband harvests from the forest. ery mixed and bountiful garden with successions of crops, such as spinaches in three stages. Most beautiful setting in between forests and with ancient farm houses.

 

IMAGE Kiku-yo walks with bamboo sticks but is still very energetic. She digs up taro with her hands and showing us how she stores ginger roots and sweet potato tubers underground in rice husks, under straw.

 

IMAGE Kiku-yo drying aduki seeds in her courtyard.

She has a whole room dedicated to her seed collection in tins and jars. Masses of them that she shares with others.

Kiku is generous to a T, we left with fruits, flowers (chrysanthemums of course), ginger and shiitake mushrooms.