Friday, May 18, 2012

Saving seeds

A few days ago I mentioned I want to get my vegetable garden planted by May 31.  Actually, I prefer to get it done by Memorial Day, but the 2012 holiday is just about as early as it can be.  I'll settle for getting it planted during the last week of May.

Svalbard Global Seed Vault entrance.
My plan is to grow some Roma tomatoes -- they make, in my opinion, the best sauces and salsas because they're more meaty then juicy.

I'll also put in some sweet peppers in varieties that include green, red, orange and yellow.  The colorful mix adds to the overall visual appeal of my corn and black bean salsa.

Other than that, I have an inspiration for some herbs, but not sure if I'll get around to planting them.  I have some sweet corn seeds that I found in the garage, left over from a couple years ago. I don't know if it will be any good or not.

Those seeds made me wonder what would happen if everyone was as careless with seeds as I am.  What would happen to the world if all the plant seeds to destroyed?

Thankfully we (meaning the world) has the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

Located on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen near the town of Longyearbyen in the remote Arctic Svalbard archipelago, just over 810 miles from the North Pole, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a secure seedbank which preserves a wide variety of plant seeds in an underground cavern.

The seeds are duplicate samples, or "spare" copies, of seeds held in gene banks worldwide. The seed vault is an attempt to provide insurance against the loss of seeds in genebanks, as well as a refuge for seeds in the case of large-scale regional or global crises.

The seed vault is managed under terms spelled out in a tripartite agreement between the Norwegian government, the Global Crop Diversity Trust (GCDT) and the Nordic Genetic Resource Center (NordGen).

Who knew this vault existed? Not me.

Construction of the seed vault, at a cost equal to about $9 million, was funded entirely by the Government of Norway.


Storage of seeds in the seed vault is free-of-charge. Operational costs will be paid by Norway and the Global Crop Diversity Trust with primary funding for the Trust comes from organizations, such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and from various governments worldwide.

It's amazing that the seeds I so carelessly handle could have come from the same batch of seeds that are stored away like precious jewels to same day possibly provide food for the world.

Diagram of the Svalbard
Read all the blog posts at

No comments:

Post a Comment