Seed Banks: The Last Line Of Defense Against A Threatening Global Food Crisis, The Guardian, 15 April 2022
Lots here. I just want to pull out a few things:
The doomsday vault was breached!
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, dubbed the “doomsday vault” or the “Noah’s ark of seeds”, aims to contain a duplicate of every seed housed in other banks across the globe [around 1700 banks worldwide]. Its location is deliberately remote, sited in the Svalbard archipelago, halfway between mainland Norway and the north pole. The hope is that the permafrost and dense rock into which the vault has been sunk will ensure that seed samples remain frozen – although it was breached in 2017 by meltwater after high temperatures in the region.
Mason jars! I was all ready for something high-tech.
And the Potato Park:
Managed by local Indigenous communities the park conserves a wide array of Andean crops including maize and quinoa but it has a special focus on potatoes, housing around 2,300 of the 4,000 varieties of potatoes known in the world, and 23 of the more than 200 wild species of potatoes currently known to humanity. Archeologists believe the potato was first domesticated around 8,000 years ago, near the bank of Lake Titicaca, which borders Bolivia and Peru.
Imagine? 4000 varieties of potatoes? My store carries 3 … red, yellow, and russet.