A Turkish woman who devoted her life to collecting heirloom seeds has managed to amass 1,200 types in the last 60 years.
Nardane Kuscu, a retired teacher and entrepreneur, is aiming to transfer the seeds to future generations by planting them on a 120-decare (12-hectare) farm in Kandira district of Turkey’s northwestern Kocaeli province.
“We have activities such as planting activities, cheese and bread workshops, and nature walking here,” Kuscu told Anadolu Agency.
“Apart from that, along with such activities, training designed for whatever the institution needs is provided by Nar Education,” she added.
On how she began her decades-long devotion to collecting seeds, Kuscu recalled an anecdote concerning her father in which she served watermelon seeds on a plate.
“My father said that you pampered me so much, you even picked the seeds of the watermelon,” she recalled.
“When I was a kid, I was saying I will plant them. An adventure that started like that gradually turned into this passion,” she added.
Wherever Kuscu goes, mountains or any village, she said she meets with grandmothers who generally would have the seeds.
“They would not share them with anyone without looking into their eyes,” she explained.
“I do not give as well. I would give as if I am marrying my daughter.”
According to Kuscu, it is very important, especially for children, to learn how to grow and sustain seeds.
“The right to food is the right of every living creature. I think every home should have a seed bank,” she said.
“My first goal is this. If I do this, I will go home comfortably. Home is where we came from when I say home.”