Seed bank looks to preserve Peace Region’s food system

Attention farmers and green thumbs—the Hudson’s Hope library wants your seeds.

The library plans to launch a new seed bank in the district this fall, on the heels of the Chetwynd library opening one of its own last year.

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“It was quite well attended, there seemed to be quite a bit of interest. So, I thought it would be something that could benefit our community as well,” said board member Caitlin Vince, who is spearheading the initiative.

The seed bank is slated to open in October, what Vince called a “passion project” for her and library director Amber Norton. 

Despite the open nature and resource sharing involved in a seed bank, Vince said there are set guidelines on the types of seeds that will be accepted. 

“We’re not allowing people to bring in GMO seeds, or seeds that are overly hybridized,” she said.

“The seeds you save from those, you don’t get the same product. We’re looking for heirloom seeds, we’re looking for organic seeds.”

The library is looking to educate through the seed bank as well, expanding its catalogue to provide more books on organic farming, best practices, and seed storage. Residents will be able to deposit and withdraw seeds on a seasonal basis. 

“We’ll store the seeds there and people can just come and get seeds in the spring for free, Vince said.

“All we ask of them is that they do us a favour and return seeds from their gardens in the fall.”

With no large-scale or even medium-scale seed saving companies in Northeast B.C., it’s an excellent alternative that preserves local varieties, Vince said.

“There’s so many plants that we grow up here and that people have been growing for decades that are so well adapted to our micro-climate,” she said. 

“So, if we can save the seeds from what grows up here, I think we have a leg up in maintaining the biodiversity and legitimacy of our food system.”

© Copyright 2018 Alaska Highway News

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