Seed collections

 

Seed collections

The 2016 collections are largely completed and ready for dispatch to The Millennium Seed Bank. Planning of the 2017 collections is underway. If you are an organisation or land owner who has a species that you are interested in having collected or if you are interested in joining in collections just drop an email to debbie@trueharvestseeds.co.uk or phone 07516264888 and we can discuss.

History

One of the things, back in 2013, we became aware of and wanted to address is that there isn't any one comprehensive collection of seeds of Ireland. Another thing was that if you have a restoration project involving wild flowers you'll be hard pushed to find local Irish seed, never mind local provenance seed. Also we wanted to bring back to life here the skill of growing plants for seed and the art of successful seed saving.

A comprehensive collection of all Ireland's species, in all areas is a huge undertaking and as such it's a project of national interest so we decided to open our doors so to speak and share the collecting with everyone who is willing and able. With the kind help from The Challenge Fund we ran a Pilot Seed Collection Programme, at the beginning of 2015, as an introduction to True Harvest Seeds and the seed collections and to see how much interest there is for people to join in with this project. We spoke to over 100 participants and now have a list of 72 dedicated volunteers who have pledged their time to help with the collections, an amazing response for which we're very grateful.

Of these 72, 23 have volunteered to be Plant Monitors. Plant monitoring involves keeping an eye on a large population of plants in the wild - when you're out walking anyway is perfect. When the plants are in flower we get together and take a Herbarium Specimen and a sample for DNA testing. Later when the population is fruiting we gather a group of volunteers and make the seed collection.

This year we have pledged to make at least 40 collections. There are over 1,400 species of wild plants collectable in Ireland and if you multiply this with the 32 counties we have a lot of collecting to be getting on with.

What we do with the collections

The collections are live so to speak. If you are an individual or organisation with a restoration project a small amount of seed can be requested from us, dependant on suitability of location and at a price to cover our costs only. We in turn can grow out seed in the collections to top them up should they get low and therefore ensure supply for everyone on into the future.

Make a seed donation

Then there are the industrial and agricultural crops. Perhaps you still grow an open pollinated variety that was passed down throught your family, friends or your neighbours? If you have seed of an open pollinated variety that you would like to donate, please get in touch. There is no amount too small. We have the facilities to grow out small collections and bulk up amounts of seed, so that we can then share them upon request.

A great way to get in touch with us is by email at info@trueharvestseeds.co.uk.