Al­lot­ment trea­sures

GIVE YOUR SUP­PORT TO GAR­DEN OR­GANIC’S HER­ITAGE SEED LI­BRARY AND RE­CEIVE SEEDS FROM THEIR EX­CLU­SIVE VAULTS

The Simple Things - - ADVERTISEMENT PROMOTION - Visit gar­de­nor­ganic.org.uk/join-us or call the team on 024 7630 8210 to join to­day.

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?

CON­SERV­ING VA­RI­ETY

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.

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