Sun, 20/11/2009 – Jude Fanton

The principal of Mishima Elementary school was concerned about a local variety of persimmon becoming hard to locate. He and Nikko-san, the head of Chiba Prefecture Museum, therefore devised a project to save this and other local varieties of local fruits and vegetables.

IMAGE Jude and Michel Fanton, middle back, with students at Mishima Elementary School holding okra seeds that they grew and saved.

The students act as seed sleuths, or detectives, as they are called here, seeking out the varieties from their relatives and neighbours. This last northern summer several children returned from their holidays with seeds of local okra, onions and leaf brassicas now all growing in the school vegetable garden.

While we were there they collected seeds of okra for planting next summer and sowed seeds of an onion and a brassica that they had collected.

IMAGES Students picking seeds from okra plant in the school garden

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