Few people realize that less than 10% of all seed varieties commonly grown in 1900 are still with us today. They’re extinct–gone forever, because no one took the time to preserve them for future generations. That risk is even greater today thanks to the genetic manipulation of a relatively few remaining seed varieties, combined with the massive buying up of smaller seed companies by overseas giants. The mission of protecting, preserving, and sharing today’s precious seed and heirloom varieties has never been more important. Thankfully, one company established to do just that is alive and well and- since 1975- has been thriving in their efforts to preserve our horticultural diversity. Seed Savers Exchange has an active international membership of over 13,000 who are helping with the cause.
In this episode, we make a trip to Iowa to their scenic 890-acre Heritage Farm to learn more about their process as well as the risks and challenges of safeguarding today’s precious seed varieties for future generations.