Seed banks crop up in places when a few people realise how precious our native seeds are and how important it is to save seeds from our own gardens. This is a great way to save samples of our heirloom seeds that are extinct and to save the others that we are losing rapidly to GM technology. However, in most places like these, the seeds saved remain in one place – the seed banks. Many times, these seed banks convert into seed-museums and the seeds become pieces on display, to speak of our heritage and culture.
While there is a dire need to store heirloom/native seeds in seed banks, it is equally important to use these to further propagate the rare and hardy native varieties. More important is to share the saved seeds with others. The varieties of seeds saved and shared, thus, will never become extinct so that all the gardens and stores become seed banks!
Important to remember and act on – The native people (tribal communities) have a treasure trove of information and knowledge about the hardy species of food crops, especially perennial varieties, very important among these, the root crops. We are losing on to this very valuable resource rapidly and sharing these is the urgent need of this time.
If you have non-GM seeds saved, and any planting material of hardy varieties, and wish to share, all you need is a strong will and desire to share your treasure with people like you, who, in turn, will share, the seeds they saved in their own gardens. This is a win-win situation and in no time, all of us can build up our own seed banks.
There are many people who work in this area, many groups who share seeds and plants. You can start one in your own local area, if there isn’t any, or join one there is, to strengthen it.
A very simple way to store seeds is to mix it with fine ash. Share them in paper packets when they are to be used for the same season. In fact, you can make your own seed packets at home very easily. All you need is thick paper (unwanted flyers and magazine covers work great) and some glue. This is the way I make seed packets to share the seeds saved at Chaitraban…
Go on! Be creative! Make beautiful seed packets out of unwanted paper…