Doomsday vault entrance

Ever heard of the Doomsday Vault?

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is located on the remote island of Spitsbergen, Norway. It’s a backup should anything happen to seeds currently being saved in traditional genebanks — a type of safety net against loss of diversity.

Sounds like a good enough idea, right? If calamity strikes, be it natural or man-made, we have something to go to, a plan B.

But as Genevieve Grossenbacher of Seeds of Survival, mentioned at the 2011 Organic Grower’s Conference, who is going to have access to those seeds in an eventual disaster?

Will you? Not likely. Nor will I.

With the free exchange of seeds now being further threatened by Canada’s Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement with the EU (more on CETA at the National Farmers Union), it’s high time we expand our love of local food to include local seeds.

Local seeds are adapted to the local environment. They have evolved over thousands of years to grow and flourish in a specific location with specific growing conditions. Local seeds produce the best, most resilient, most nutritious local food and are the best seeds to plant -– and to save.

It’s spring. Plant your herbs and your veggies, but plan to save a few seeds from your harvest for next year. All you need is an empty clean jar.

More info on seeds and seed saving:
Seeds of Diversity
Guelph Centre for Organic Farming
Urban Harvest

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