Skip to content

Exchanging seeds

This is a post to gather some ideas around an article for on seed exchanges.  We’ll use this post and the comments to keep track of the article ideas.  Think of this as a pre-pre-pre-draft — like the whiteboard/corkboard of ideas in a newsroom.

The modern seed exchange movement has a lot of history and current value:

  • Keep seeds available that may disappear – cultural heritage.
  • Sharing of culture in food.
  • Maintain or increase biodiversity.
    • Compared to certain hybrid seeds that require going back to the seed manufacturer every year, who may have patented the seed.  Be aware that if you get the genes from those seeds crossed in to your open pollinated plants, you may get sued – and lose. (references needed)
    • Very comparable to other open v. closed systems – software, music, herb/pharma, etc.

Open pollination and hand pollination (controlled) have a long history.  One increases biodiversity through evolution – shared genes and selective breeding by environment or humans.  The other is about unlocking the secrets of the genes, increasing our food supply and diversity in sustainable ways, and caring for the ecology.