Seed libraries: a way to preserve biodiversity ?11/04/2019

The Peruwelz media library launched a new service in early spring - the seed library! This is an opportunity to examine one of the possible solutions for preserving biodiversity in Wallonia. 

Already present in several Walloon cities such as Ans, Gembloux and Jodoigne, the seed library, named after a traditional "library", is a place where flower, fruit and vegetable seeds can be freely deposited and exchanged. The Peruwelz media library has just launched this new service, "first of all because it's free, in a world where everything has to be bought" explained Gladys Haut, librarian in Peruwelz. “And then for the pleasure of sharing the plants we love and exchanging our knowledge. Also to promote seeds adapted to our territory and discover new varieties."

Based on the principle of mutual trust, the seed library allows visitors to leave a bag containing reproducible seeds and complete the label provided for them, on which they can identify the seeds. All types of seed can be shared: flowers, fruits and vegetables, aromatic plants, trees and shrubs... The only constraints are that the seeds must be very dry and not contain F1 hybrid seeds. In addition, only 2 bags can be taken if visitors do not leave anything immediately.

Behind this apparently simple swap is a strong ambition: to preserve biodiversity as much as possible. In view of the fact that 75% of the heritage of our biodiversity has already been lost, according to the FAO (UN Food and Agriculture Organisation), destroyed by an industry that imposes an ever smaller number of varieties, an initiative like this allows citizens to preserve biodiversity before other varieties are forgotten and disappear!

The seed library allows seeds from varieties adapted to the Walloon soil to be rediscovered and shared. Standardised seeds require standardised conditions, with a lot of fertilizers and pesticides, and are not adapted to the different territories. 

This process is also used in other countries such as France and even the United States.  

Source : La libre Belgique - Le Vif

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