Seed is undoubtedly one of our most precious resources as a species, and preserving the genetic diversity in our food crops is going to be vital if we are to feed ourselves with nourishing healthy food in the future. In the last 100 years over 90% of this agrobiodiversity has been lost, due to the industrialization of the global food system, and the introduction of legislation which promotes uniformity over diversity. Over this same period the control of seed and plant varieties has shifted from the hands of gardeners and farmers into the hands of huge multinational chemical giants.
Since the beginnings of agriculture, some 10,000 years ago, saving seed has been one of the most integral elements of growing food. Seed saved in the same region year after year led to varieties becoming adapted to those specific growing conditions. There were no agrochemicals so growers would only be selecting the best plants from which to save seed. The shift to chemical agriculture means that plants for seed are no longer put through this vigorous testing procedure as their environmental conditions are controlled by chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Part of our mission at Vital Seeds is to re-skill gardeners and growers in how to save their own seed, and to revive this ancient and fascinating craft. Follow the links below to find out more.