South Africa marks National Heritage Day on 24 September. To celebrate the diverse heritage of the FABI community, Dr Josephine Queffelec launched the “Picking the Fruits of the Heritage Tree” initiative where FABIans were invited to celebrate their diversity by submitting stories and poems on their connections to plants, pests and pathogens. This also celebrated 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health.

In 2020, the narratives of the 13 participants were as diverse as the origins of the contributors, spanning Chile, Colombia, Ethiopia, France, India, Japan, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. From trees that connect the dead to the living, insects that are welcomed with ceremony and traditional beer to aphrodisiac “big bottomed ants” and plants to keep in your “herbal first aid box”, FABIans revealed fascinating glimpses to their ancestry, childhoods and the richness of the idioms in their languages and cultures in their creative submissions. (Click here to view the 2020 Project)

In 2021 Josephine again encouraged FABIans to participate in this project entitled “The Vines of Wisdom” on the second year of this celebration of FABIans’ heritage. (Click here to view the 2021 Project)