Myths and Realities of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault: An Interview with Cary Fowler

Myths and Realities of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault: An Interview with Cary Fowler

Since many of us at Seed Savers Exchange consider Cary Fowler to be one of the “family”—he has been on the SSE board and has advised us and spoken at our Campouts—I thought he’d be the best resource to help us under­stand what Svalbard Global Seed Vault is and isn’t.

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Step up to the Plate: What's a Turnabaga?

Step up to the Plate: What's a Turnabaga?

At Seed Savers Exchange we sometimes lovingly refer to our collection of 103 turnips and 81 rutabagas as “turnabagas.”  Confusion reigns over these crop types; many turnips in our collection are actually rutabagas. Much of the confusion stems from the fact that a common name for rutabaga is Swedish turnip. Botanically, however, the two are different species. Our favorite example of this confusion is the ‘Westport’, or ‘Macomber’, turnip, or as it’s known in the Heritage Farm Collection, Turnip 8. 

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4 Tips for Planning a Successful Seed Swap

4 Tips for Planning a Successful Seed Swap

A successful community seed exchange requires some planning. Even if the event is completely free, if people leave feeling frustrated or confused, that can be worse than having no event at all. So here are our tips to help you prepare a successful swap. Don’t worry too much – guest blogger Steph Gaylor has always found that people who love plants and seeds are generous by nature, and it isn't hard to keep their good energy going once you have it.

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Step up to the Plate: Our Mystery Squash

Step up to the Plate: Our Mystery Squash

Philip Kauth, assistant curator, and Steffen Mirsky, horticultural technician, make up the Seed Savers Exchange Evaluation Team.  The Eval Team is the division of the Preservation Department that keeps detailed records of more characteristics than most people know an individual variety can have. Their work helps us differentiate between the varieties in our collection and describe them clearly in the Yearbook. This is the first in their new blog series, Step up to the Plate, a monthly profile of a variety that stands out to the evaluation professionals. 

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Drought Strategies for Vegetable Gardening

Drought Strategies for Vegetable Gardening

When we look to the American West the scarcity of water is plainly visible. But what can we do? How can we all use our water more responsibly now to ensure a more secure future? Shrink or eliminate our lawns? Sure. Use drip irrigation? Yes. Recycle water? Of course. Plant more vegetables and fruits? Believe it or not, yes.

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Building Community: Think Outside the Seed Packet

Building Community: Think Outside the Seed Packet

I have an opportunity to develop a municipal-level seed library as a regional destination, and I'm writing about it all through SSE to inspire you to do your best in your community. There's opportunity out there, and my advice to you is stay open to all the possibilities

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Feaster Heirloom Mustard Feast

Feaster Heirloom Mustard Feast

When he donated seeds to us last year, Jerome said, “Cool weather is greens weather, and we like to eat these greens on special occasions. A popular menu is to have them served with sweet potatoes and ham.” Well, this year, Jerome wanted to share his tradition with the staff at SSE, so he sent up a box of freshly picked greens to help us celebrate New Year’s Day!

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