A few years ago I was chatting with a Turkish teacher friend in London about her trip home to her family’s tiny village in central Turkey. She told me how she’d taken her parents the usual sack-load of mainstream souvenirs from her global travels.
Her Mum’s response “Thanks…but please just bring me some foreign flower seeds that I can grow here in my garden”.
What a beautiful concept – connecting different worlds with the living gift of nature from distant lands. It was exactly the same request I might have expected from my own nature-loving parents back in Australia. I remembered well the pride and joy with which they’d raised all kinds of flowers, trees and fruit/vegetable crops on their sun-baked Aussie lands.
The concept stuck! During 2019, now residing as a Masters research student here in Turkey, it was an enormous thrill to see the wondrous expression on the faces of my teacher friend’s parents as I handed over a clutch of native plant and flower seed packets sourced (thanks to my Aussie bro) from my homeland – Australia.
With some luck, the tiny central Anatolian village of Esenyaka (Suşehri/Sivas), is now hosting a tiny little slice of Australian life.
Cool idea? Or just stupid and idealistic? I’ve been called both…
I wish that more people would understand and propagate the thinking of our parents’ generations. Don’t bring me pretentious designer-branded junk, bring me a magic seed or two from a distant place which can grow and live here with us on our land.
Let’s all keep trying to think of (and enact) novel, positive and inspirational ways/projects to unite our different lands and cultures. More bridges, less walls please.
Want to know more about growing Australian native plants and flowers…?