By Guest Writer, Hillie Salo
According to the CA Legislature:
•Noncommercial seed sharing activity contributes significant value to the health of our communities and to the resilience of our food system.
Home gardeners create “ecological niches” which serve to preserve the diversity and adaptation to local environmental condition. Unlike larger production systems, home gardens harbor many species in small areas often with a few crop varieties and species that are not well represented in larger fields.
Diversity is the foundation on which selection for local adaptation to changing conditions like climate is based. These home gardens can be considered agrobiodiversity reservoirs in a micro- regional scale, being important areas for in situ and on farm conservation and including native and exotic plants.
In situ conservation is the conservation of species in place, seeds are planted and produced in the place where they are intended to grow. In situ conservation is different than ex situ preservation. Ex-situ conservation is the preservation of components of biological diversity outside place, away from where they grow. An example of ex situ preservation is the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway; where seeds are saved for future crises, under stable conditions and not influenced by evolutionary forces.
In situ preservation allows communities to select for the seeds that survive challenging local conditions, with the best flavor or traits desired; building these traits into the genetics of the seed; seeds that may prove useful as we go forward in climate change.
In the community, Seed Libraries are our tools to build that local adaption in our local foods creating a reservoir of seeds found no where else in the world.
One Seed, One Community is an opportunity for communities to come together to support and encourage regionally adapted varieties by engaging in community plant selection.
For the 2020 growing season, there are two One Seed One Community suggested options. The Diversity tract with a new bean, the Jacob’s Cattle Bush Bean, found on the Ark of Taste, and the Adaptation tract with second generation Tuya Gvnagei aka Cherokee Trail of Tears Pole Bean, also found on the Ark of Taste.
We as a Slow Food community can come together with One Seed One Community to build that genetics into the foods we eat, so that we can continue to see them on our plate. Beans are a nutritious easy food to grow and save. In just 3 generations, beans have shown signs of adaptation. More info: firstname.lastname@example.org