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Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

Don’t look now, but seeds are disappearing.

The ones our grandparents and great grandparents grew and the ones their grandparents and great grandparents grew. Seeds that were brought to this country from all over the world, and some that got their start right here in America.

These old seed names are both evocative and unfamiliar, lyrical and memorable: Bulgarian Triumph Tomato. Arkansas Traveler tomato. Czech’s Excellent tomato. Listada de Gandia eggplant. Chocolate Sweet pepper. Granny’s Scarlet Runner bean. Georgia Rattlesnake watermelon. Black Becky bean.

According to a study conducted by two University of Georgia researchers, seed catalogs in 1903 offered 7,262 varieties of vegetable seeds; by 2004, that number had dropped to 430. What happened? Are they still out there? Are they lost forever?

Poet, writer and environmental activist Janisse Ray—author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, Wild Card Quilt and last year’s Drifting into Darien—has the answers in her latest book, The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food (Chelsea Green Publishing, $17.95, 240 pages). (more…)

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