Leftover seeds: Q and Idea

Paige Woodward paige@hillkeep.ca
Mon, 14 Jan 2013 11:30:28 PST
My answer is belated, Rodger. I didn't see your comments till now.

I'm sure you're right about the funding void.

Less sure that leftover, "common" seeds are of no use to science. I sometimes get requests for study samples of "ordinary" west-cost species like Camassia quamash and Xerophyllum tenax.  Just yesterday a request landed from a botanical garden in Germany for a wide array of west-coast natives in the borage family. Cynoglossum and whatnot. In 200 years our weeds will be considered treasures, if we can just store their seeds properly. 

There are so many ways these ideas could be played with; but, pressed for time, I will cut to acknowledging that we probably won't do much new with our leftover seeds. PBS *has* created a community of bulb lovers and a beautiful and often helpful online directory of garden bulbs. 
That's already a lot. 

Paige Woodward
Chilliwack Mountain, British Columbia, Canada
Wet Zone 6

On 2013-01-12, at 5:27 PM, "Rodger Whitlock" <totototo@telus.net> wrote:

> On 11 Jan 2013, at 22:01, Paige Woodward wrote:
>> QUESTION: What happens to seeds that are not ordered? Are they fed to local
>> birds and rodents? Eaten for breakast? Composted? Distributed to plant
>> groups or privately to allies? 
>> IDEA: If we could store contributed seeds well, we could devote 
>> them to science...
> Your heart's in the right place, Paige, but the difficulty is that science 
> needs more than just experimental subjects. First and foremost, it needs filthy 
> lucre to pay for all the incidental costs (supplies, equipment, buildings, 
> utilities, etc) and salaries of the workers.
> Second, the very seeds that are in over supply for the seedex are probably 
> easily obtainable by those few scientists working on seedy phenomena. The 
> bottleneck is NOT the seeds themselves.
> More productive toward the end you envision would be a directory of labs where 
> this kind of work is being carried out (if any!) and fund raising to support 
> the work. Significant fund raising at that; a dollar doesn't buy much these 
> days.
> -- 
> Rodger Whitlock
> Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
> Z. 7-8, cool Mediterranean climate

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