According to the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN), we have lost 90 percent of our agro-biodiversity, and crop options are quickly declining.
Long Island Regional Seed Consortium (LIRSC), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to education, advocacy, and research to foster and nurture local seed systems, is hoping to safeguard at risk varieties with a new East End seed storage facility.
"The LIRSC is looking to protect and preserve its seed bank which includes many orphaned and endangered heirloom varieties," noted Cheryl Frey Richards of Long Island Regional Seed Consortium. "It is our hope that all of our seeds can be secured for future generations."
LIRSC has turned to crowdfunding to help fund the project, which would house 1000's of heirloom varieties, several of which are "orphaned" varieties facing extinction - some are even the last of its kind. By saving a seed not only are you protecting the fruits of that plant, but also, the actual genetics.
"We want to be able to continue to steward varieties and in turn pass them on so others can grow them," Frey Richards explained.
To construct a safe storage facility, LIRSC will need two insulated storage units - one for seed storage and one for seed processing (cleaning, threshing, blowing fans around and sufficient stomping ground), a regulated temperature controlled system for the shipping container to uphold the ideal temperature for seed storage, ample hermetically sealed containers to hold the thousands of varieties, and shelving and an efficient labeling system.
The storage facility will be located at the Long Island Regional Seed Consortium's farm on the North Fork of Long Island.
"By providing a secure storage facility for our seed bank, we are one step closer to building and maintaining a stronger regional food culture," Frey Richards added.
Several levels of rewards are available to those that donate, with rewards ranging from seeds to naming their own new heirloom variety.
For more information, or to donate, visit www.kickstarter.com.
Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com