Article by Vivien Adams
Photos by Joyce McMenamon
The Comox Valley Community Seed Bank members are harvesting the seeds of the second year of our operation. Many of these seeds were taken from the first year’s harvest, and grown on this year. We will accumulate records on the progress of these seed varieties, to monitor their performance in different conditions. Temperature, rainfall, diseases and pests all affect the growth of a seed to maturity, and some will resist problems better than others. We are interested in that ability to resist and adapt.
If you are not already a participant in the Seed Bank, consider joining us. Next spring we will need people to take the seeds of 2013 and grow them on, keeping a record of how they do, and giving some seeds back to the Bank.
If you have seeds you have grown and saved for several years, you could deposit some of them in the Seed Bank, where other people can also grow them on. This will make it much more likely that this variety will survive and adapt, and increase in quantity. Sometimes these heirloom seeds are lost for ever if the gardener stops growing them.
Such “heirloom” seeds must be non-hybridized, that is not crossed with a different seed variety in the same family. Then they can be grown out to be the same as the parent. Such seeds are under threat because many seed varieties are being bought up by the multinational biotech companies, hybridized and patented, so the original seed variety can no longer be obtained.
If you are saving seed and storing it at home this winter, remember: The two greatest enemies of stored seeds are high temperature and high humidity. Seeds must be as dry as possible when you store them in airtight containers, and kept in a cool place.
The Seed Bank is meeting on Monday evening, October 7, from 7pm, to begin to pack this year’s crop. This meeting is for people who grew seeds this year, but if you are interested in becoming a participant, email Vivien at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can be notified of future meetings.