A seed-saving collaboration between Tess Wei and FORTUNE co-editor Heidi Ratanavanich. Each Seed Pocket contained locally grown and carefully saved ancestral seeds, featured a notecard with planting and cooking instructions, and unfolded into a risograph print of each seedkeeper’s story. Banded together with the imprint of hands, as is much of this tending process, from growing to sharing.
FROM HEIDI: Krapao seeds, a type of Thai Holy Basil, is often substituted with Thai Basil in the States and misses the mark. I chased after the plant’s flavor for years, my craving only ever stoked by occasional visits to Thailand. On my last visit in 2019, Na (Aunt) Urm pointed out what grew through cracks next to our family house in Sappaya — it was krapao.
FROM TESS: Jiu Cai seeds remind me of my favorite story about my Grandma Pearl: while walking through Longwood Gardens in 1948, she was reunited with the plant for the first time since leaving China seventeen years before. Grandma Pearl was so excited, she reclaimed some of the seeds in her pocket that day and began growing them at home.