Traditional varieties, on the other hand, can be regrown by everybody who wants to, year after year, by saving your own seeds. With traditional varieties, many ways are possible, and this is what makes them powerful. They can be the base for a more sustainable agricultural future.
We do not know what challenges lie ahead and what new traits will be necessary, but the more diversity we can safeguard now, the better the chances are that we will have the suitable varieties at hand for the future. And that is why I would like this funnel to be reversed again.
With urban gardening and farming and community supported agriculture, reversing this process has already started. And that is why we from the ProSpecieRara Foundation try to save as many different traditional varieties as possible.
At the moment we’re safeguarding 1,600 different vegetable varieties in our seed library here in Basel, and the number is still growing. We think it’s important to sow the seeds every year so that they can adapt to changing environment.
We would need a very large garden to be able to do so, but fortunately, we have the help of over 500 volunteers who grow the varieties in their own garden and then send the saved seeds back to us.
Without them, our work and that of other seed saving organizations would not be possible. You can also be part in reversing this process.
To be honest, seed saving is quite difficult with most crops, but some are rather easy. Tomatoes, for example, are very simple and very rewarding.
Have you ever eaten a sun-ripe tomato fresh from the plant? The taste of it excels that of the supermarket type by far. And instead of eating only red and round ones, you can choose from a huge variety in color, shape and size. I’m sure you would find one that suits you.
All you need is a sunny spot on your balcony or in front of your house, a pot, earth and water. When a tomato is ripe, the seeds are ripe as well.
So if you want to get the seeds from a very good variety, you just put the seeds in a glass and let them sit for one or two days. Then you rinse them and let them dry.
As nature is abundant, you will get a large amount of seeds, which you can share with your friends and family and resow next spring.
By sowing and sharing them, you will keep a link alive to what your and my ancestors have been doing for thousands of years, and bring it into the future.
I hope you will give it a try.
Download This Transcript as PDF here: Why We Should Grow Food for Future Generations_ Esther Meduna (Transcript)