Bamyeh (Okra) بامية - Palestine Heirloom Seed Library مكتبة البذور البلدية الفلسطينية


Bamyeh (Okra) بامية - Palestine Heirloom Seed Library مكتبة البذور البلدية الفلسطينية

10 x 15 cm | Seeds
Preserving and passing on Palestinian heritage in little packets, in spite of the ugly reality of occupation.

Like most farmers around the world, Palestinian farmers are facing the dangers of agribusiness, corporate seed, land dominance along with political violence. But many of these farmers are the heroes who have been safeguarding these precious seeds and the knowledge these seeds carry. Palestinian heirloom seed varieties are under threat; many have gone extinct. These seeds that have been passed down to us over the centuries carry in their genes the stories and the spirits of the Palestinian indigenous ancestors. Aside from their cultural significance, these seeds carry options for our future survival as we face climate change and the erosion of agrobiodiversity worldwide. As such, it is urgent that we save and propagate them.

Founded by Vivien Sansour, the PHSL and its Traveling Kitchen project seek to preserve and promote heritage and threatened seed varieties, traditional Palestinian farming practices, and the cultural stories and identities associated with them. Based in the village of Battir, a UNESCO World Heritage site outside Bethlehem, the PHSL also serves as a space for collaborations with artists, poets, writers, journalists, and other members to showcase and promote their talents and work. Working closely with farmers, Sansour has identified key seed varieties and food crops that are threatened with extinction and would provide the best opportunities to inspire local farmers and community members to actively preserve their bioculture and recuperate their local landscape. The PHSL is part of the global conversation about biocultural heritage. Its Traveling Kitchen is a mobile venue for social engagement in different communities, promoting cultural preservation through food choices.
This magical summer crop comes from the Palestinian plains. It grows tall with humble, medium sized dark-green pods. Plant next to tomatoes, beans, squashes and yakteen, and let pollinators enjoy this okra’s yellow flowers in your garden. It is cooked in tomato and lamb stew, or can be fried and made into salted okra chips for a perfect summer snack.

This seed is a Ba’al summer variety planted on St. George’s day, May 6th, needing no irrigation.* Keep seeds in dry, cool and shaded area. Do not expose to sun.

*Ba’al is an ancient cultivation tradition where no irrigation is used. The crop is entirely dependent on the moisture retained from the rainy season and sustained in the soil throughout summer. Ba’al agriculture was developed in the fertile crescent. The name comes from the Canaanite deity of fertility and destruction and has relation to contemporary St. George referred to in Arabic as Khader el Akhdar, or St. George the Green. Khader or St. George is a highly revered saint in Palestine for both Muslims and Chrsitians alike and is considered the saint of generosity, abundance, and agriculture.
Each packet includes an information card along with seeds.
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