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Mar 06 2014

BECOME A SEED CURATOR

BE PART OF YOUR COMMUNITY SEED BANK
BECOME A SEED CURATOR

Here’s how:

1. The CV Seed Bank supplies you with seeds (you choose from a list).

2. You grow these seeds, enjoy the harvest, let a few of the best plants go to seed. Throughout the season, keep a few simple notes on how the seed performs (on the Crop Record Form we give you).

3.  Keep enough seeds to grow again. Give the rest of the seeds back to the Seed Bank for storage, along with the completed Crop Record Form.

4. Each time you grow out the seeds, repeat the process: keep notes, save seeds, keep some, return a portion to the Seed Bank, along with your notes.

5. If you need help with growing or saving the seeds, a Seed Bank member will be able to help you.

 

WHY ARE CROP CURATORS SO IMPORTANT?

Commercial seed companies market only a small number of seed varieties, many of which may not grow particularly well in our area.  Crop curators keep alive many different varieties of food seeds.  By growing them every year, we can select seeds that grow well in the Valley.

Seeds that are not grown and saved are lost forever.  75% of the world’s food seed varieties have been lost in the past 100 years.  We need as much genetic diversity as possible so that seeds can resist or adapt to disease, insects, changes in climate, etc.

Food security is increasingly threatened by various commercial interests, by problems with international trade, by escalating prices, by natural disasters.  Should we ever get to the point where we absolutely need to grow as much of our own food as possible, it will be vital that we have a bank of seeds to draw on.

Without seeds, there is no food.

If you are interested in becoming a Seed Curator, contact Anne Corbishley at 250-897-1930 or acorbishley@shaw.ca.

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The following list includes the Seed Bank seeds we have chosen to grow out in 2014.  If you would like to grow out one of these seeds, please contact Anne Corbishley at 250-897-1930 or acorbishley@shaw.ca.

2014 Seed List for curators to choose from (curators as of February 2014 are named)

Soybeans
Gaia Soybean
Grand Forks Soybean
Envy Soybean

Fava/Broad Beans
Barton’s Broad Bean
Andy’s Broad Bean
Welsh Fava
Purple Fava                       Anne Corbishley

Lentils – Portuguese
Corn
Leeks                                After germination test

Wheat
Ethiopian Blue Tinge          Alan Goodacre
Red Fife                             Royann Petrell

Buckwheat

Bush and semi-bush Beans
Auburn
CV Black
CV Brown
White and Black                Karen Cummins, Nancy Tremel
Calypso                            Joyce McMenamon
White Cannellini                Terry Batt

Tomatoes
Polish Paste                     Vivien Adams
Italian Stallion paste
Maria’s paste
Wild Cherry                      Vivien Adams
Pollock

Squash
Baby Blue Hubbard
Red Kuri
Cinderella Pumpkin

Kale
Sweet Hardy                   Lucie Desjarlais
Ellen’s Frilly                      Melissa McIntosh

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We have compiled a list (below) of important considerations for saving seeds.  Check the list to make sure you understand this information.  If you have any questions you can ask Vivien Adams at vivienadams1@hotmail.com or Tel: 338-8341.

TIPS AND REQUIREMENTS FOR SEED SAVERS

PLANNING

Growing a food plant until the end of its cycle – seed production – requires knowledge about the full length of that cycle (annual? biennial?) and how long it has to stay in the garden. In most cases plants get really tall (shading others) and require some staking.

SEED ORIGIN

since the seeds produced will become an important part of a project that is working to preserve species, we try to source healthy and genetically true seeds, locally adapted if possible, and not hybridized (“open-pollinated”)

NUMBER OF PLANTS GROWN

Some plant families require one or a few individuals for healthy propagation (as they self-pollinate) while other families need a substantial number of plants to cross-pollinate with each other to preserve strong vitality.  You must consider factors such as garden space, water and your own time, before you begin the process of seed-saving.

CROSS CONTAMINATION

While some plant families generally won’t cross pollen between species, others can be contaminated by the pollen of another species of the same family growing in the area.  Squash is a good example.

END OF CYCLE – SEED PRODUCTION AND HARVESTING

Some plants at this stage become tall and unrecognizable.  The gardener may be on vacation when the seeds are ready, or the birds might eat them.  It might rain as your seeds are drying out.

Seed Bank members can help each seed grower with the necessary knowledge and help to pick a plant species with the requirements that fit each garden.  Please consider helping us grow one plant variety and contributing your seeds to the Seed Bank.
                                                                                                      February, 2014

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