What’s the news?
A West Virginia University heirloom seed expert is working to increase access to Appalachia’s heirloom seeds through a new seed preservation library. Mehmet Oztan, a service assistant professor of geography, has created the Morgantown Seed Preservation Library in conjunction with the Morgantown Public Library, WVU Libraries and WVU Food Justice Lab.
Heirloom seeds are seeds grown by home gardeners and farmers prior to 1940s, before industrial agriculture became the more prominent model. They rely on isolation of plant varieties and have mostly stable genetics, allowing their seeds to be saved and stewarded year after year.
Quotes and Comments
“It is an education-based seed preservation center as opposed to a seed-lending library with minimal community involvement. As a result, the educational mission of the seed preservation library will help develop a cohort of community seed-savers, which will make the library self-sustainable in the long run.”
“Learning how to save seeds will be an important educational experience for the citizens of West Virginia. It also will help the community members reflect on the cultural diversity involved with seeds.” - Mehmet Oztan, Service Assistant Professor, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
NOTE: The opening ceremony of the Morgantown Seed Preservation Library will be celebrated on April 12 in conjunction with Food Justice Day and a series of events at WVU’s Downtown Campus Library and the Morgantown Public Library.
Feature photo: Red peppers
Black Eyed Pea seeds
Farmers and home gardeners
Greater Morgantown community
Swisher, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.