Calling All Gardeners!

We don’t often think about the lack of diversity in our produce; after all, with globalization, we’re seeing more and more options in each and every grocery store. However, with a global market comes pressure to produce quick and easy growing produce that most people find appealing, and that has meant that a lot of varieties of produce we know and love is dying off in an attempt to homogenize the way we eat. What’s to be done?

Well, a website launched on National Seed Day, which you of course know is April 26th, aims to combat that from the ground up (pun definitely intended). The site is called Global Seed Network, and it aims to put small time farmers from across the world in touch with one another so they can exchange local seeds and growing tips and spread diversity among the plants we eat. For instance, if a farmer in Jamestown, NY has 25 Cattaraugus cranberry bean seeds, he might post on the site and send them halfway across the world in the mail! Though it sounds contrary to the idea, it’s actually helping the whole “buy local” movement in produce by ensuring that each local market has a well diversified selection of foods to offer!

The Center For Food Safety started the project because it was becoming worried about the disappearance of many different varieties of foods, which is a bad thing because it means these foods are less adaptable to changes in the environment, which could lead to them dying out. “Seed diversity is indispensable to food security, food sovereignty, adapting to a changing climate, and preserving cultural and ancestral knowledge.” So the next time you see a purple lettuce or a funny carrot at the farmer’s market, give it a try! You’ll be helping preserve our planet!