This episode features four interviews with Karen farmers from the mountains of the Karen state of Burma (Myanmar) who spent roughly a decade in Thai refugee camps before resettling in South Philadelphia. They now grow their traditional crops at Novick Urban Farm.
The Karen way with food plants was key to their survival and joy while living in the center of a civil war; then again while hiding in the jungle and escaping to Thailand, biding time in the tight quarters of refugee camps; and today, farming and foraging here in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Their heirloom vegetables and traditional foods have become a lifeline, a heartstring, a refuge, and a delicious portal home.
SEED STORIES TOLD IN THIS EPISODE:
- White Flowering Mustard (Rat-Tail Radish)
- Lemon-Drop Spilanthes
- Green Pumpkin Eggplant (Ka)
- White Garden Egg (Eggplant)
- Chin Baung (Burmese Roselle Leaf)
- Dark Pea Eggplant (Ta Kaw Ka Tha)
MORE INFO FROM THIS EPISODE:
Interviewees: Naw Doh, Hte Da Win, Hser Ku, and Tay Aye, Karen farmers from Burma, at Novick Community Farm
- Memories of Myanmar: Article Owen wrote in Mother Earth Gardener, May 2020, from the original interview [PDF]
- Novick Urban Farm: novickurbanfarm.org/community/
- Novick Urban Farm at Truelove Seeds
- Novick Urban Farm on Instagram: @novickurbanfarm
- Novick Urban Farm on Facebook
- Southeast by Southeast, Mural Arts
Seeds And Their People is a radio show where we feature seed stories told by the people who truly love them. Hosted by Owen Taylor of Truelove Seeds and Chris Bolden-Newsome of Sankofa Community Farm at Bartram’s Garden.
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FIND OWEN HERE:
FIND CHRIS HERE:
- Naw Doh
- Hte Da Win
- Hser Ku
- Tay Aye (Hte Da Win's mom)
- Adam Forbes
- Jess Renninger
- Ally Schonfeld
- Clara Varadi-True
- Novick Brothers Corporation
- Southeast by Southeast
- Maebh Aguilar
- Sara Taylor