26 Feb Seeds have their own Noah’s arks…….
The scientists/botanists of Norway and their colleagues deserve a serious shout out for their latest planet worthy accomplishment: the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. As reported on the news tonight, it is a safehouse for seeds from all over the world and holds 4.5 millions seed samples. Protected by polar bears, armed guards and nasty cold, the vault has already withstood a 6.1 earthquake and can preserve seeds for 200 years even if the power goes out…..because of permafrost. I am guessing they calculated in global warming.
This is just one of over 1400 seed banks in the world.
My small voice of thanks if offered up to the people who care about these issues, who work to protect our food supply and our horticultural heritage.
A couple of years ago, I read a book titled Hunger, by Elise Blackwell. It is a fictionalized account of the Seige of Leningrad 1941-1943, which lasted 900 days, and focuses on the scientists and their families who starved to death in an effort to protect the collections from invading rats and German soldiers. Sadly and ironically, the director of that seed bank, Nikolai Vavilov, later died of hunger in a Nazi prison.
Look for a new book by British author Peter Pringle later this year :The Murder of Nikolai Vavilov: The Story of Stalin’s Persecution of One of the Great Scientists of the Twentieth Century. It is scheduled for release in May.
Take THAT! Monsanto.
And to think there are naked cowboys running around New York when there is work like this to be done.