Mon 15 Mar, 2010 04:45 am
Is the future of food in frozen, seed-filled Tupperware containers?
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault contains the world's largest and most diverse seed collection. In case of a disaster or crop failure in the future, the seeds, stored in a frozen underground vault, may prove vital.
By Tyler Maltbie / March 12, 2010
The future of global agriculture is buried, frozen, and locked in what appears to be the back entrance of Superman’s Fortress of Solitude.
Stashing seeds in 'Noah's fridge'
The Svalbard “Doomsday” Global Seed Vault " a sliver of concrete etched into the frozen tundra in one of Norway’s remote Svalbard islands " contains the world’s largest and most diverse seed collection.
As of this month, the vault has grown to more than 500,000 unique samples. Ultimately, it will hold samples of all the world’s available crops, around 3 million samples or 1.5 billion seeds.
For the rest of the story:
Actually, there are lots of seedsaver networks around the world.
They are more focussed on keeping alive strains of seeds that are not the massive agri-business favoured ones, so as to maintain genetic diversity and flavour and all...but all the seeds are not in these tupperware containers.
But that's a damn fine idea. Mind you, the tundra is busy melting...so they might have to move them.
I picked native seed for a local seed bank for a while.
it was hard work.
I get many tomato varietals from seedsavers of US. Theyre a good ole bunch of folks who take the time to do this work.
DAPAD, what kind of seeds did you pick?
Ive got plenty of "Siberian" pink tomatoes. My aunt got them from a trip back to our "old country" several decades ago. Ive saved each year and the crop is probably one of the most "true" year after year. Im aure it lcks some hybrid vigor but I move them around year after year so I dont expose themto new fungi/
This is so much hype and hysteria that it would be fuckin funny is it werent so sad. People can be swayed with all kinds of clap trap . The seed savers association in the US is merely trying to keep examples of OPEN POLLINATED veggies and fruits so that these plants dont disappear from under utilization. QWe can generate plants by vegetative cloning and , if the mass hysteria that these articles are actually true, the entire planet would have to be devoid of PLANTAE life and that would mena the disappearance of bacteria and fung as well. I was part of a big reclamation project in the 1980's' A huge mining compex had been mining ZINC since the turn of the 19th century. The mine took the ore (Smithsonite/zincite) and convereted it and smelted it to a zinc oxide. Since the early 1900's the amount of Zn production had swelled to huge annual tonnages. The smelting process genberated a bazillion tons of Zinc oxide eaxh year and this smoke just settled around the mine area and covered the rolling hills for tens of square miles. ZINC Oxide is one of the most effective bacteriostats and killers of plants. SO the entrie area for many miles downwind of the mines were just dead.
My project involved the creation of an urban mulch to re-establish the flora and see how this area could reclaim itself.
The urban mulch we used was sewer slufdge from Philadelphia and New York City. The sludge was composted /treated secondary sludge that was hauked to a series of 100 acre test plots for a 3 year priod.
Well, even before we had the opportunity to begin planting nursery stock or doing any kinds of succession studies, the tomato seeds, lying undigested in the sewage sludge, began to s[prout all at once in the first application eason. This , in turn created a large "forest" of volunteer tomatoes and then secondary eed seeds took on. The tomatoes began to set fruit and this, in turn drew in voles and mice from surrounding areas. Our ecologists discovered that mice went into a breeding frenzy and they just took over the tomatoey hillside like a uniculture similar to the mouse explosion that Farley Mowatt discovered in his book "Never Cry Wolf". ANyway, the mouse explosion sent out a signal among the birds of prey and e had a similar explosion of kestrels and cooper hawks setting up housekeeping. This natural reestablishment of life was accomplished in an area that was essentially devoid of life . All we hadda do was provide the feedstock so that natural decay bacteria and fungi couls re colonize the old growth forests that was just a boneyard for over 150 years.
Life is tennecious and its like a beaten underdog who gets her second wind and comes back to kick the **** our of any opponent.
WHile I support seed savers for variety reasons, Im not a big scaredy fan of these seed vaults. I believe theres way too much hysteria involved.