Tuesday, February 26, 2008

How do you store your seeds?

How you save your seeds is supposed to be tremendously important - temperature, humidity, and light all affect whether seeds sprout, die, or stay safely dormant. People have schemes of varying elaborateness to store their seeds - from envelopes in the closet to carefully mixed silicon crystals, sealed jars, and temperature controlled fridges.
Today, Norway opened the ultimate seed bank near the north pole. If your seed vault doesn't look like this, you're doing it wrong:As soon as I heard about this, I immediately envisioned my dream job: alone, in the Arctic, with high speed internet and the responsibility to thaw out and replant seeds as they became at risk of going dormant. I mean, how fun would that be? (There would need to be free coffee. But it's Norway - isn't that one of those worker's rights things those Scandinavian countries spring for, along with 36-hour work weeks and months of maternity leave?) Unfortunately, there will be no staff on-site, so my dreams of being the next Gregor Mendel - Mr. Freeze hybrid will have to wait.
The seed bank isn't open to the public; it's intended to be a last resort in case plague or fire or floods threaten our food sources. I think the logistics of this scenario need work, since there cannot possibly be enough of every kind of seed to renew world resources. But I'm sure they have a really good plan - after all, these are scientists we're talking about, right?

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