Seed saviours

GAR­DEN OR­GANIC RUNS A HER­ITAGE SEED LI­BRARY. HERE’S WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT

The Simple Things - - NEST - Find out more at gar­de­nor­ganic.org.uk/hsl.

Over the years, the choice of vegetable va­ri­eties avail­able to farm­ers and gar­den­ers has shrunk. But what hap­pens to the old va­ri­eties? Va­ri­eties that are not only in­ter­est­ing, but may hold the key to re­sist­ing dis­eases of the fu­ture and grow­ing chal­lenges from a chang­ing cli­mate. Thanks to the hard work of char­ity Gar­den Or­ganic, since the 1970s these va­ri­eties have had a safety net in the form of the Her­itage Seed Li­brary. This in­cred­i­ble archive con­serves more than 800 his­tor­i­cally and en­vi­ron­men­tally im­por­tant va­ri­eties for fu­ture use.

Va­ri­eties such as Freer’s Mummy pea, which came to the Her­itage Seed Li­brary via a for­mer gar­dener from Lord Carnar­von’s High­clere Cas­tle (the set­ting for Down­ton Abbey). The pea is also ru­moured to be one of the va­ri­eties found in the tomb of Tu­tankhamun – not un­likely given the 5th Earl of Carnar­von’s role in dis­cov­er­ing the tomb. It’s ex­clu­sively avail­able through the Her­itage Seed Li­brary and, with­out these seed saviours, would have been lost for­ever.

JOIN THE CLUB

For less than £5 a month, you can be­come a mem­ber of Gar­den Or­ganic and the Her­itage Seed Li­brary, sup­port its vi­tal work, and re­ceive up to six va­ri­eties of rare seeds a year for free.

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