Source: Garden Organic, on-line newsletter, home page, March 2009.
The Heritage Seed Library needs your help keeping heritage vegetables alive in a world where fewer varieties are available every year and hybrids dominate seed catalogues.
The only organization of its kind in the UK, the Library is dedicated to preserving and spreading open-pollinated vegetable seeds. It sponsors a seed swap, puts out a catalogue each December, and provides seeds for school gardens. It’s constantly working to identify and cultivate more heirloom varieties, which it then makes available to members.
The goal here is not merely to catalogue the past, but to encourage gardeners to plant these vegetables, so that they remain part of the British Isles’ gardening life rather than becoming museum pieces.
Garden Organic, the UK charity that maintains the Heritage Seed Library, has just sent out a plea for donations so they can continue and expand their work. Garden Organic publishes a quarterly magazine, holds classes (including master composter classes) and maintains its own extensive gardens, which supply its restaurant, Garden Organic Ryton, recently named Britain’s Best Organic Restaurant.
The organization also sponsors a number of research programs (excuse me, programmes) overseas, each of which works to develop and teach organic farming techniques appropriate to that particular region.
Please consider making a donation, and spread the word. If you live in the UK and you have an interest in growing heritage vegetables, consider becoming a Seed Guardian. More on that tomorrow.