We were in Chicago recently for the annual ASCRS convention. While we were there we took the opportunity to visit the Field Museum. We saw two great exhibits, one on the Mongol Empire and second on prehistoric Indian artifacts in North and South America. I got some great photos of very interesting subjects which I will share in a later post by today I’d like to focus on what I found in the gift shop at the end of the exhibit. We were wandering around looking at the various items and I found a display of seeds which was a little surprising. The exhibit was for Seed Savers Exchange, a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds. Since 1975 members have been passing on our garden heritage by collecting and distributing thousands of samples of rare seeds to other gardeners You can find the website at http://www.seedsavers.org/.
I think this is a really good idea. While I was there I bought several packets of seeds including the Genovese basil and purple tomatillo. I planted them in my garden and look forward to reporting the results. There are several important takeaways from this experience. First is the fun of growing unusual herbs and produce to use in my own cooking. When I cook at home or when we go out I will almost always choose dishes with unusual ingredients or tchniques that I haven’t tasted before. In my little garden I grow all of the tomatoes that we use and virtually all the herbs that we need for cooking. We also have each pear, apple, plum,loquat and big trees that I can for later use. In this age of intensive industrialized farming with only a few species it is very important to maintain biodiversity. It is both an honor and a treat to encourage this biodiversity in our own backyards. I hope that you will contact the site and get some seeds of your own. If you enjoy learning about the medicinal uses of plans be sure to check out the gallery of medicinal plants that I found in Sweden.