We can only preserve heirloom seeds through active stewardship. If we don’t grow them, they become lost. And because we are at a time when traditions have been lost, the importance of learning and taking part in these traditions has never been greater. The Living Seed Company, based in Pt. Reyes Station, is owned by Astrid and Matthew Hoffman. The Living Seed Company shares seed and educates on seed saving. They are dedicated to open-pollinated heirloom seeds, and donate seed and educational materials to schools to preserve seed and the life affirming art saving seed.
When possible they use open pollinated seeds that are specific to our region. Openly pollinated seeds are those that grow naturally and are true to the parent plant, adapting over generations to their particular micro-climate.
Saving and sharing seed is pivotal to our world culture and heritage. When seed is diverse, it feeds the pollinators, the soil and all of life.
When seed is genetically engineered with terminator genes, and can only live with the counterpart chemical fertilizers, diversity disappears.
Seventy-five percent of the bees on the planet have disappeared. According to scientists, bees and pollinators have an essential roll contributing to the diversity of life.
Groups like Seed Savers Exchange hold collections of seed that contain thousands of family heirlooms, entrusted to them for preservation.
"We have a squash variety in our collection from SSE member Norman Turner. He sent us the seeds of the ‘Turner Family Original’ squash in 1992 with a letter describing a pie pumpkin raised by his family in Pennsylvania “for at least three generations.” He urged us to “keep this valuable fruit going” as he aged, acknowledging that his children may not “continue to propagate it as previous generations of the Turner family have.” Offered frequently in our yearbook exchange from 1992 to 2011 and now grown throughout the country, the ‘Turner Family Original’ squash is safe in our care."
This is the art and beauty of preserving a living legacy of diversity for future generations to share.