GIVE YOUR SUPPORT TO GARDEN ORGANIC’S HERITAGE SEED LIBRARY AND RECEIVE SEEDS FROM THEIR EXCLUSIVE VAULTS
Giant Improved Flak carrot, Black Delgado climbing French bean, Bunyard’s Matchless lettuce, Ryder’s Midday Sun tomato: once staples of patches across the country, these vegetable varieties are now scarcely seen, and were almost lost forever.
Since the introduction of seed regulations in the 1970s, the number of vegetable varieties available to growers has shrunk alarmingly, reduced to the ‘normal’ varieties seen time and time again. But what’s happened to the rich varieties of old – the striped tomatoes, white carrots and golden radishes that our grandparents ate and loved?
Thankfully, many of these varieties are held for safekeeping at Garden Organic’s Midlands headquarters, in its Heritage Seed Library. Over 40 years ago, organic growers at the charity recognised the importance of the genetic resources held within these varieties, so set about establishing this ‘living library’.
Today, with the support of over 6,000 members, the Heritage Seed Library conserves around 800 vegetable varieties. As a thank you for their support, members are sent a seed list every December, from which they can choose six varieties to grow at home. This means that people can continue to enjoy growing and eating these wonderful veg, while helping to support the valuable conservation work.
The Heritage Seed Library team is supported by over 170 volunteer Seed Guardians, who take responsibility for varieties where seed levels are low, and grow them specifically to save seed and return it to the library. It’s a great example of the impact of people power.
GIVE SEEDS A CHANCE
Join Garden Organic and the Heritage Seed Library for less than £5 a month. You’ll not only be able to make your choice of six packets of seed from the exclusive seed list, but you’ll also have access to a whole host of organic growing advice and support, all in time for next year’s growing season. Your membership will also help the charity continue its important conservation, campaigning and education work across the UK.