The Seed Queen of Palestine | Witness

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In the fields and terraces of the occupied West Bank, a Palestinian woman is leading a quiet revolution.

Vivien Sansour is distributing rare, ancient heirloom seeds to Palestinian farmers.

Inspired by memories of her grandmother and the delicious food of her childhood, Vivien wants to reintroduce long forgotten Palestinian produce to the tables of people across the West Bank and beyond. And she believes these organic, climate change-resistant seeds are the key to that.

She experiments with growing the treasured seeds in her own garden beside the separation wall, under the watchful eye of Israeli soldiers. Popular local herbs and seasonal vegetables flourish as she tends to her garden with expert care and dreams of reviving and celebrating Palestinian food culture.

But can she persuade farmers struggling with the pressures imposed by the Israeli occupation and agri-business to embrace such traditional crop-growing methods?

To convince them of the value of the seeds, she sets up a travelling kitchen, taking her seeds and their produce on the road and reminding Palestinians of the power of food to capture the joy and beauty of home.

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