My Story

My Story

Sayada Sultana. Photo: Sara Heitlinger


Sayada Sultana, Seed Guardian, Selby Street Gardening Club

This is my third year I’m gardening. In these three years I’ve learnt a lot. In the first year I didn’t know anything about gardening. Actually this is my first time saving seed. Before I didn’t, every year I bought seeds. My garden is doing well.

Why I grow my own food
It’s fun and it looks nice to see green things. When I came here, I saw lots of people gardening. So I showed my interest to them, and they said “OK you can do it too.” I live in a flat, but they gave me a plot two buildings after my building. So there I do my gardening. It’s nice to see plants growing, green things coming up, and food coming up. And my children really enjoy it too.

Why I save seeds
Because then we know and understand where this seed came from. Sometimes if we buy seeds from a shop or market, we don’t know if the seed is ok, if it works or not. Sometimes we buy seed from the market that is not as good as we think. It’s like, we own a little plant, little life, so we put it in the next year. That’s really nice. And it saves money as well, because buying seed is a lot of money.

Connection between growing and my heritage
My Mum grew plants every year when I was little. She grew different types of vegetables and fruits. And now I have the opportunity I want to try and grow the plants that I used to in Bangladesh, in my country of origin. So I want to try and grow tomatoes. And kodu. Because in this cold country, these are difficult things. I didn’t manage to grow any kodu fruit, but I can still eat the leaves. I’m trying lots of our cultural plants.

Hear from Sayada

How I feel when I’m working in the garden
It’s a really good feeling. When I go to the garden, I feel I need to spend more time here. It’s like my children. I look after my children like that. When I’m looking after my plants, I feel like I’m looking after my children. And it feels really good to see the seed growing up and it gets bigger, and then again it’s dry. It’s really nice to see.