By: Editorial
Published: The Guelph Mercury, Sept. 10, 2013

The supporters of an interesting, locally linked seed collection program find it easy to sow compelling things for others to think about with their project.

It takes root, for example, when they assert that most farmers and gardeners in this country have never used varieties of plant seeds for crops that were cultivated with success in Canada before it was a country — before even, Europeans came to live here.

Or, it likely invites pondering when they suggest how proportionally few varieties of seeds — perhaps 10 per cent — are in the seed catalogues that are used and perused by our farmers and gardeners.

This suggests that as a matter of national food security, we really should pay greater heed to noting and banking seeds for plants that grow well in our climate and in fact were produced here. At the end of the Second World War, we had a better appreciation of banking and developing domestic seeds because the war era brought experiences of food shortages. That made the need to be able to reliably produce food domestically more of a focus, whereas today we have grown to assume we’ll always be able to import food and many of our seeds.

Those connected to the Seeds of Diversity program proclaim climate change issues and rising food prices might cause food shortages in nations that we’re tapping for exports of fruits and vegetables and seeds, and that risk should be mitigated.

So, with the support of the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed, and partner farming organizations such as Everdale Farm, in Hillsburgh, the cause of expanding the variety and volume of banked Canadian seeds is getting a significant boost.

The goal is to create a sustainable domestic seed industry that will endure after the Bauta program comes to an end in 2017.

It seems like a program worth cultivating.

 

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