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Preserving Asian Heritage Through Seeds and Stories with YC of Kitazawa Seed Co, Ep 152



Seeds do not only provide us with food to eat, but they represent the future and also allow us to reflect on our history. They are heirlooms, a connection to our ancestors and their stories. In this episode, on Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we celebrate stories of Asian culture and connection to nature and food through seeds, with YC Miller from Kitazawa Seed Company. YC walks us through the importance of preserving our heritage through seeds and the stories we share and tells us heartwarming stories from Kitazawa customers on how a simple vegetable can carry so much family history and pride. Let's dive in!

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In this episode we learn:

  • [00:49] Have you heard about this MAJOR announcement?
  • [02:34] How YC became the plant person she is today
  • [05:24] How growing food can reconnect us with our heritage
  • [09:56] Maria shares her family’s history with food as Italian immigrants
  • [12:28] How two brothers built Kitazawa Seed Company
  • [14:32] Why preserving seed diversity is an important part of the immigrant experience
  • [17:44] Where and how does Kitazawa source their seed varieties?
  • [22:45] The best potting mixes for your spring garden!
  • [24:25] Get your spring garden started with high-quality seeds
  • [26:00] What are the differences between Japanese, Chinese, and Filipino eggplants?
  • [28:05] What does the process of bringing a new seed variety to the market look like for Kitazawa Seed Company?
  • [28:35] Touching stories on food and Asian heritage from Kitazawa’s customers
  • [32:51] Different Asian recipes for bitter melon
  • [36:21] YC’s recommended Kitazawa varieties for starters
  • [38:01] How to grow gourds in your garden
  • [41:00] YC’s current favorite plant to grow and their favorite recipes with it!
  • [44:20] Why you need to grow pak choi or bok choy
  • [45:41] Where to get in touch with YC and Kitazawa 
  • [47:18] How to get a free one-month subscription to the Garden Society!

Mentioned in our conversation:

  • Kitazawa Seed Co
  • Eggplants (Japanese, Chinese, and Filipino)
  • Korean peppers
  • Perilla plant
  • Okinawan bitter gourd or Okinawan bitter melon
  • Herbs (Chinese leeks, Thai basil, bunching onion)
  • Gourds (wax gourds and bottle gourds)
  • Japanese cucumbers

Thank you to our episode sponsors:

Territorial Seed Company

Excited for this year's growing season? If you’re looking for plants for your garden, skip the lines at the garden center and let Territorial Seed Company deliver top-of-the-line, healthy and hardy vegetable plants right to your door! They have a great line of pre-grown plants, an expansive seed catalog, and over 40 years of experience delivering the best seeds and plants for everyone's garden. They are offering an exclusive discount just for listeners of Bloom & Grow Radio, use code GROW10 to get 10% off your first order. Order now at

Espoma Organic

Espoma Organic is dedicated to making safe indoor and outdoor gardening products for people, pets, and the planet. They have an amazing variety of high-quality, organic potting mixes, garden soil, fertilizers, and pest control products that are organic and eco-friendly. To learn more about their pet safe indoor and outdoor gardening products, visit to find your local Espoma dealer or check my Amazon storefront.


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