Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Evening Seed Stories at Native Seed/SEARCH

SeedBroadcast met up with some Tucson seed savers at Native Seed/SEARCH retail store in Tucson, Arizona on April 14th.

"Since its founding, Native Seeds/SEARCH has been dedicated to this calling to conserve the rich agro-biodiversity of the arid Southwest because of its genetic and cultural importance. What began as a humble operation with seeds stored in chest freezers has grown to a state-of-the art conservation facility, a host of innovative programs and educational initiatives, and an organization recognized as a leader in the heirloom seed movement. Preserved in our seed bank are nearly 2,000 varieties of aridlands-adapted seeds, many of them rare or endangered. We promote the use of these ancient crops and their wild relatives by distributing seeds to traditional communities and to gardeners worldwide. Currently we offer over 500 varieties from the NS/S collection (which we grow out at our Conservation Farm in Patagonia, Arizona) alongside native crafts, gifts, foods, and more. These one-of-a-kind seeds and items are available through our online store, annual seedlisting, and at our retail store in central Tucson."

NS/S Library housed at the retail store in Tucson
NS/S also has a Seed Library at the retail store that anyone can sign up to use with the agreement that borrowers will return their collected seeds to the Pima County Seed Library, the NS/S library, or a local seed library in other parts of the country.

This is not the only way that seeds can be shared. Local gardeners have also organized several seed swaps in the area along with a social media network called Tucson Backyard Gardening on facebook to share local gardening information. Chad and Diana are administrators for this group and said that requests keep pouring in to get involved.

Chad and Diana are local gardeners and administrators for Tucson Backyard Gardening
Several folks brought seeds to share and it seemed appropriate to use the trunk of a car to engage in this seedy business, which made everyone laugh.
Chad names 10 different varieties of beans.
A sunny look at Trumpet Vine seeds

From discussions about breeding frost tolerant sunflowers to picking out the names of different beans to sharing personal stories, the evening was serious fun and a celebration of local seeds. Here are some of the seed stories that were shared with us.

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