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Category — Seeds

Why So Many Public Libraries Are Now Giving Out Seeds

The Pima County Public Library maintains a seed collection in an old card catalog file. Jim West / Alamy

Seed-sharing programs aim to expand access to crops and educate the public, while also protecting scarce agricultural resources.

By Katherine Davis-Young
Atlas Obscura
March 27, 2018

Excerpt:

The Phoenix Public Library first put seeds on the shelves at one of its branches in 2014. Franklin says they were immediately in high demand. Now the library distributes an average of 1,000 seed packets per month across nine of its 17 branches. Franklin says the program has proven to be sustainable with minimal costs—around $300-$500 to bring a seed-sharing program to a new branch of the library. And, Franklin says, the organizational tasks of offering seeds fit seamlessly with the library’s existing cataloguing system.

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April 2, 2018   Comments Off on Why So Many Public Libraries Are Now Giving Out Seeds

Annual seed swap in Toledo, Ohio, the first sign of spring for local gardeners

Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Seed Swap is dedicated to urban agriculture and community based gardening.

By Dick Berry
WTOL
February 24th 2018

Excerpt:

“I think it’s the best experience in the world to grow something. See it grow from a little seed to a plant. Feed our family. It’s the best,” said gardener Bethani Wilson.

Seed Swap is sponsored by Toledo Grows.

Each attendee received five free tickets to pick up five packets of seeds to take home.

“I got tomato seeds, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower,” said Kellie Zenz.

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March 4, 2018   Comments Off on Annual seed swap in Toledo, Ohio, the first sign of spring for local gardeners

Awesome Ancient Grains And Seeds

A backyard-to-table guide to growing and enjoying ancient grains and seeds, featuring fifty vegetarian recipes.

By Michele Genest, Dan Jason
Douglas and McIntyre
Jan 2018

Bravo for tomatoes, beans and kale. But what’s next for the ardent home gardener? Wheats, including farro, spelt and kamut, are surprisingly easy and very rewarding backyard crops. They can be planted as early as the ground can be worked in spring and harvested mid-summer to make room for fall crops. These ancient food sources can be milled for flour, sprouted or eaten as whole grains to retain their natural amino acids, fibre, vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics, among other benefits.

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February 27, 2018   Comments Off on Awesome Ancient Grains And Seeds

Dallas combats food desert with new seedling farm to help grow your own

Dallas’ urban farming community is coming together to help combat a food desert in South Dallas by launching a source of low-cost plants for gardeners.

By Teresa Gubbins
Dallas Culture Map
11.13.17

Excerpt:

“In fact, South Dallas is one of the largest food deserts in the country,” he says. “While there have been positive results with the many new urban farming and gardening efforts in recent years, there is still work to be done. The Seedling Farm aims to overcome some of the barriers to successful local agricultural production and help boost garden yield in South Dallas. It helps everyone in the urban farm system, facilitating others to grow their businesses.”

The Seedling Farm will be open year-round and will provide a variety of seasonal fruit and vegetable plants at a nominal cost, along with professional in-person advice. Community members — both individuals and groups — can participate via four steps: “meet, select, grow, and go.”

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November 19, 2017   Comments Off on Dallas combats food desert with new seedling farm to help grow your own

Civic seeds: new institutions for seed systems and communities – a 2016 survey of California seed libraries

The first quantitative look at seed libraries

By Daniela Soleri, PhD
Associate Research Scientist
Geography Department
UC Santa Barbara
Agric Hum Values
August 2017

Abstract:

Seed libraries (SLs) are institutions that support the creation of semi-formal seed systems, but are often intended to address larger issues that are part of the “food movement” in the global north. Over 100 SLs are reported present in California. I describe a functional framework for studying and comparing seed systems, and use that to investigate the social and biological characteristics of California SLs in 2016 and how they are contributing to alternative seed systems based on interviews with 45 SL managers.

At a minimum, SLs function as new seed distribution institutions founded and overseen by dedicated, values-driven individuals and groups with goals including education, seed access, local adaptation, biodiversity conservation, community- building, and human health.

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September 30, 2017   Comments Off on Civic seeds: new institutions for seed systems and communities – a 2016 survey of California seed libraries

Forest Shomer – Seedman Since 1972

In 1982, Forest Shomer Came to Vancouver and Spoke at City Farmer’s ‘Urban Agriculture Lecture Series’

Interview by Greg Peterson
Nov, 2016

Forest started urban farming in 1969 in Berkeley, California. Through the People’s Park Movement, he was launched into gardening and got the basic training and motivation for becoming a seedman.

He has been a full time, independent, professions seed provider since 1972 and has owned, led, or helped launch at least four seed companies, and founded the nonprofit Abundant Life Seed Foundation which produced and distributed up to 600 types of open-pollinated vegetable, herb and flower seeds.

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September 19, 2017   Comments Off on Forest Shomer – Seedman Since 1972

Inside The Hawaiian Seed Bank – Figuring Out How To Store The Rarest Seeds On Earth

Dustin Wolkis, NTBG’s seed bank manager.

‘We’re losing species right in front of our eyes’

By Alessandra Potenza
The Verge
Jun 21, 2017

Excerpt:

Visits to the seed bank at the National Tropical Botanical Garden begin with removing your shoes. The seed bank, on the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i, is housed alongside NTBG’s collection of 80,000 dried plant specimens and rare botany books in a building that can withstand Category 5 hurricanes. It does have a vulnerability, though: pests. Funguses or bugs — like booklice — hiding in a visitor’s soles could threaten the collections. For the same reason, anything that’s brought into the building — office supplies, furniture, books — is frozen for two weeks.

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June 27, 2017   Comments Off on Inside The Hawaiian Seed Bank – Figuring Out How To Store The Rarest Seeds On Earth

‘Doomsday’ seed vault meant to survive global disasters breached by climate change

The Global Seed Vault. By Crop Trust.

Fortunately, no seeds were damaged

By Alessandra Potenza
Verge
May 19, 2017

Excerpt:

The seed bank designed to preserve the world’s crops and plants in the event of global disaster isn’t prepared to withstand the greatest global disaster facing our planet: global warming. Melting permafrost on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, where the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is located, has seeped into the seed bank, raising questions of how the structure will be able to survive in the future as the Earth keeps warming.

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May 20, 2017   Comments Off on ‘Doomsday’ seed vault meant to survive global disasters breached by climate change

How “Open Source” Seed Producers From The U.S. To India Are Changing Global Food Production

Independent plant breeder Frank Morton selects lettuce seed in his breeding nursery. Photo by Karen Morton.

Around the world, plant breeders are resisting what they see as corporate control of the food supply by making seeds available for other breeders to use.

By Rachel Cernansky
Ensia
Dec 12,2016

Excerpt:

Morton, however, argues waiting the 20 years for a patent to expire is no way to encourage innovation, and waiting that long to breed crops that can adapt to changing conditions is a losing battle. Even that misses the main point for Morton, though: genetic resources have always belonged to the commons, and should continue to be a public good, he says. “[Independent plant breeders] have neither the time nor money for such formalities, and monetary incentives are not what move us.

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February 3, 2017   Comments Off on How “Open Source” Seed Producers From The U.S. To India Are Changing Global Food Production

Longtime City Councillor’s Seed Collection Preserves The Roots Of British Columbia’s Agriculture

steve
Living agricultural legend Harold Steves maintains a collection of seeds for rare plant varieties specially adapted for the Lower Mainland. (MPMG)

Harold Steves’ family has been involved in B.C. agriculture for more than 130 years, and with his collection of rare locally-adapted seeds, he hopes to remain so well into the future.

By Matt Meuse
CBC News
Aug 22, 2016

Excerpt:

One of Steves’ most popular plants is the alpha tomato, which dates back to the original Steves catalogue from 1877, bred to thrive in Lower Mainland soil and weather. According to Steves, it blooms a week earlier than other varieties, and produces red tomatoes a full month earlier.

Another point of pride in Steves’ collection is the black Russian sunflower. Steves believes he may be the only source of seeds for this particular strain in the world.

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September 1, 2016   Comments Off on Longtime City Councillor’s Seed Collection Preserves The Roots Of British Columbia’s Agriculture

Indigenous community garden at Wilfrid Laurier University

lauri

About 95 per cent of plants growing in the Indigenous community garden are indigenous to southern Ontario.

Wilfrid Laurier University
July 2016

Excerpt:

During sessions at Aboriginal Student House, participants have learned how to use those plants to make products including ointments, soap, lip balm, mouthwash and laundry detergent.

Sourcing Indigenous knowledge is key to the garden project. Anderson, an associate professor of Indigenous Studies, works with knowledge-keepers from local Indigenous communities, including members of Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, and shares that knowledge in helping grow the garden. She also teaches a course at Laurier’s Brantford campus called “The Medicine Garden,” which provides students the opportunity to earn academic credit while learning in the garden.

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July 12, 2016   Comments Off on Indigenous community garden at Wilfrid Laurier University

University of Wisconsin-Extension Project Looks To Breed Fruit And Veggie Options For Urban Markets

bere
The Seed to Kitchen Collaborative brings together plant breeders, farmers and chefs to assess different varieties of plants and vegetables.

“Local food systems and farms that are growing for the local market can manage for the best flavor, choose the varieties that have the best flavor, and get it to your table within hours or a few days so that flavor is still there,” Dawson said.

Kristian Knutsen
WisContext
July 7, 2016

Excerpt:

“If you’re getting vegetables from a local farmer, often those have the best flavor, and so you want to eat more, and that in itself will improve people’s health,” said Dawson in the Here And Now report.

This niche of agricultural production is called peri-urban, in which the food’s consumers are based in a specific populated area. Peri-urban areas are transitional zones where rural and urban land uses and development characteristics mix — characteristics one often finds at the edges of growing metropolitan areas. In agricultural terms, that means farms “that are primarily marketing to urban areas,” as Dawson explained in the September 15, 2014 edition of the UW Ag Podcast.

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July 8, 2016   Comments Off on University of Wisconsin-Extension Project Looks To Breed Fruit And Veggie Options For Urban Markets

‘SEED: The Untold Story’ is having its World Premiere in Washington D.C. March 25

seedClick on image for larger file.

“Seed is not just the source of life. It is the very foundation of our being.” – Vandana Shiva

Taggart Siegel, Director
Marc Turtletaub, Executive Producer
Marisa Tomei, Executive Producer
Jon Betz, Director
Taggart Siegel, Director

SEED: The Untold Story is a feature-length documentary featuring Vandana Shiva, Dr. Jane Goodall, Andrew Kimbell, and Winona LaDuke, following passionate seed keepers protecting our 12,000-year old food legacy. In the last century, 94% of our seed varieties have disappeared. As biotech chemical companies control the majority of our seeds, farmers, scientists, lawyers, and indigenous seed keepers fight a David and Goliath battle to defend the future of our food.

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March 23, 2016   Comments Off on ‘SEED: The Untold Story’ is having its World Premiere in Washington D.C. March 25

Montreal’s Seedy Saturday opens the gardening season

Seedy Saturdays a feature in many Canadian cities

CTV Montreal
February 13, 2016

Excerpt:

For the 16th year in a row, the NDG Food Depot is hosting its annual seedy weekend event at the Botanical Garden.

They’re expecting 4,000 visitors and this year people can buy and exchange seeds. There are also free workshops.
“I like to be in nature, it’s good for the health and very interesting to plant something and look at it growing out.

That’s pretty cool,” said gardener Nathalie Clavel.

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February 14, 2016   Comments Off on Montreal’s Seedy Saturday opens the gardening season

Norway’s Doomsday Arctic seed vault to receive two deposits in 2016

seedb
International gene bank Svalbard Global Seed Vault (SGSV) near Longyearbyen on Spitsbergen, Norway, October 19, 2015.

Syria’s civil war prompted the first withdrawal of seeds from the vault in September, following a request by the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA). Reuters/Anna Filipova

By Gwladys Fouche
Reuters
Dec 15, 2015

Excerpt:

Two new consignments of crop seeds will be deposited next year in the “doomsday vault” built in an Arctic mountainside to safeguard global supplies

The vault – which opened on the Svalbard archipelago between Norway and the North pole in 2008 – is designed to protect crop seeds such as beans, rice and wheat against the worst cataclysms of nuclear war or disease.

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December 15, 2015   Comments Off on Norway’s Doomsday Arctic seed vault to receive two deposits in 2016