At our Research and Education Seed Farm sites, we participate in community grow-outs for Seeds of Diversity. The purpose of these grow-outs is to grow seed in bulk to be able to distribute it to seed libraries or to maintain a specific variety.
Seeds of Diversity is dedicated to preserve, perpetuate, study and encourage the cultivation of heirloom and endangered food crops. With their “Save One Rare Variety Challenge” it targets items in the collection that are at risk of being lost. With over 1600 varieties in the collection it may seem inconsequential to save just one, but that is what protecting biodiversity is all about.
This year at our North Saanich Research and Education Seed Farm site, we received the Jacob’s Cattle “Gasless” bean to grow out. It was a cross from a Jacob’s Cattle bean with a Black Turtle bean which is reportedly easier on the digestive system. Although there were only a few seeds available and the seeds from the collection were old, a handful still germinated and we were able to ship 500 seeds back so that they could be maintained in the Seeds of Diversity collection.