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Heirloom Seeds: Grow Them Out!

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Heirloom Seeds: Grow Them Out!

Jim Richardson is no scientist. He’s a National Geographic photographer. As such, he got to work on one of the most fascinating, relevant, crucial stories of our times: the preservation of seeds and heirloom animal breeds.

The great thing about lay people is that they speak a language that you and I can understand. “Agricultural biodiversity is the most important legacy of mankind,” said Jim Richardson last night at a talk hosted by the Long Now Foundation in San Francisco. I guess that sums it up. Think about it: thousands of plant species and animal breeds created over 10,000 years of agricultural history, designed to match an innumerable diversity of climates, elevations, weather hardships, and pests. All for one purpose only: making sure that we, humans, have food to sustain ourselves.

“We kept developing the gene-pool for 9,900 years, and then something happened at the dawn of the 20th century: we starting throwing it away,” said the good photographer, a farm kid from the Midwest who grew up to travel the world for one of America’s most prestigious magazines.

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Laetitia Mailhes

Laetitia Mailhes is a French-born journalist. After many years as the technology and innovation correspondent of the French "Financial Times" in San Francisco, she decided to focus on what truly matters to her: sustainable food and farming. Find more articles and videos on her blog, The Green Plate Blog.


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1:12PM PST on Mar 1, 2015

Love growing heirloom seeds. Thank you.

9:05PM PST on Feb 16, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

9:59AM PDT on May 10, 2013

Thank you Laetitia, for Sharing this!

3:12AM PST on Feb 14, 2013

wow, great article

10:16AM PDT on Apr 23, 2012

I just started propagating my own tomato seeds. EZ PZ with awesome results. Plus I had 100's of seeds to share. Great article. Thanks for sharing.

9:09AM PDT on Mar 28, 2012

We get a Burpee catalog every year and I buy seeds that I haven't grown before - or even a variation of another one. I usually share it with our neighbors on each side of us.

1:51AM PDT on Mar 12, 2012


8:24PM PST on Mar 1, 2012


9:15AM PST on Mar 1, 2012

thanks, didn't know that.

1:33AM PST on Mar 1, 2012

I have strawberry plants from my great grandmother. They're probably at least 150 years old since she's had them, and depending on where she got them from, who knows? But the berries are sweet and juicy, so I'll keep those.

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