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The documentary SEED points out that many irreplaceable seeds are nearing extinction. The future of seeds is at risk from biotech and industrial seed companies that control seeds through genetic modification and patents.
Saving seeds, once a common gardening practice, has grown again in popularity—both to create sound ecological systems and to empower individuals.
From empowerment to protecting biodiversity, an increase in seed saving libraries, member organizations and informal seed swaps highlights the importance of protecting our heirloom, open-pollinated seeds.
Rodale News recently interviewed John Torgrimson, president and executive director of Seed Savers Exchange, an Iowa-based nonprofit that preserves heirloom plant varieties, including through a seed exchange. Torgrimson offered the following pointers on vegetable seed saving:
Save seeds from open-pollinated and heirloom varieties, not hybrids.
Understand how your plants pollinate.
Healthy plants = healthy seed.
Properly label and store your seeds.
As Torgrimson points out, “When a seed variety is lost, it is lost forever.”
Terra Chips, which has partnered with Seed Savers Exchange to celebrate vegetable diversity, produced the following infographic addressing the need to save heirloom seeds:
If you are interested in learning more about saving your heirloom seeds, the Cleveland Seed Bank offers a selection of how-to webinars, starting with Seed Saving for Beginners.
Join the growing number of individuals, libraries and organizations saving biodiversity, while enjoying some heirloom vegetables, meeting new people and experimenting in your garden.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Colorado senator and 2020 hopeful Michael Bennet introduced his plan to combat climate change Monday, in the first major policy rollout of his campaign. Bennet's plan calls for the establishment of a "Climate Bank," using $1 trillion in federal spending to "catalyze" $10 trillion in private spending for the U.S. to transition entirely to net-zero emissions by 2050.
When Trump's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its replacement for the Obama-era Clean Power Plan in August 2018, its own estimates said the reduced regulations could lead to 1,400 early deaths a year from air pollution by 2030.
Now, the EPA wants to change the way it calculates the risks posed by particulate matter pollution, using a model that would lower the death toll from the new plan, The New York Times reported Monday. Five current or former EPA officials familiar with the plan told The Times that the new method would assume there is no significant health gain by lowering air pollution levels below the legal limit. However, many public health experts say that there is no safe level of particulate matter exposure, which has long been linked to heart and lung disease.
By Andrea Germanos
Animal welfare advocates are praising soon-to-be introduced legislation in the U.S. that would ban the use of wild animals in traveling circuses.
By Tara Lohan
It's been the wettest 12 months on record in the continental United States. Parts of the High Plains and Midwest are still reeling from deadly, destructive and expensive spring floods — some of which have lasted for three months.
Mounting bills from natural disasters like these have prompted renewed calls to reform the National Flood Insurance Program, which is managed by Federal Emergency Management Agency and is now $20 billion in debt.