Seed saving and sharing has become popular over the last few years through grassroots efforts and with the help of programs like Conserving Arkansas’ Agricultural Heritage (CAAH).
CAAH is saving seeds in a seed bank at the Southern Center for Agroecology in order to maintain the state’s crop biodiversity. The loss of crop diversity comes from the increase in purchasing hybrid seeds from commercial sources rather than planting open pollinated seeds.
- Hybrid (F-1) seeds are “created when the pollen of two different species or varieties are crossed by human intervention.” The resulting plants have a specific desirable trait, but these seeds cannot be saved for replanting the next year. Because of that, the plants don’t adapt to the location.
- Open pollinated seeds are pollinated by natural means, and when the seeds are saved and replanted from year to year, the plants adapt to the local growing conditions and require less maintenance, like pesticides. These plants tend to be more genetically diverse, but when people stopped saving the seeds and replanting them, many varieties disappeared.
Conserving Arkansas’ Agricultural Heritage is a project of The Southern Center for Agroecology. You can find out more at southerncenterforagroecology.org.
Saturday, April 4, 2015
"PBS NewsHour Weekend," 5:30 p.m.