I'm a vegetable gardener in Juneau, Alaska. I don't grow anything to sell, just enough for my family and me to consume from about June through October. We're thinking of moving somewhere with a drier climate and longer growing season in the near future, but before we do, I'd like to spend a few months/half a year volunteering on a farm that practices heirloom seed banking. I've browsed WWOOFer pages, google searched, contacted a few folks via email and facebook, but haven't had a scrap of luck yet. Does anyone on this forum know of farms that practice seed banking and are willing to teach/share that knowledge? Anywhere would work well for us, but if we had the luxury of being particular, the following locations would be most interesting:
Again, I'd be willing to learn how to seed bank from just about anybody who'd be kind enough teach me in exchange for volunteer labor, be it in North Platte, Nebraska or Colombo, Sri Lanka. Any information or resources would be much appreciated.
Daven your being prepared to pull up stakes in Alaska and relocate to any of that long list of nations is audacious and adventurous, to put it mildly. Living in the tropics myself, and only recently having discovered a tree crop that holds promise of absolutely enormous potential, I would like to take the liberty of suggesting a narrowed down list of countries from your selection, as follows. That said, the countryside in Mozambique may still have issues with un-cleared land-mines, and of course Colombia can be a bit of a wild west bad-land, depending on location, so those options may merit re-consideration.
Ghana (Not on your list, but well worthwhile as a peaceful and stable tropical destination)
Hawaii (Also not on your list, but hey, who wouldn't want to live there ?)
The above nations all fall squarely into the tropical belt, and should therefore be blessed with the climate and daylight hours that will enable Borojoa Patinoi, a native Amazon tree crop with a 5-year maturity from seed, to thrive. Borojoa fruit contain an astonishing 300% the concentration of human-digestible protein found in beef, along with a host of hugely beneficial vitamins, and this fruit has been used as a staple food source for many generations by the native tribes of the Amazon. With apologies for failing to address your central question about seed banks and seed preservation, I am rambling on here because I am convinced that anyone seriously contemplating agriculture as a livelihood would be insterested in hearing about this specific crop, which only grows in tropical climates.
An internet search on Borojoa Patinoi will make you a believer, Daven, about this truly wondrous plant, and about its potential for the future of our planet. Below is a picture of my humble Borojoa tree seedling nursery, whose seeds I acquired by the thousands from a vendor located in Equador. Come the rains here in March next year, these seedlings will be planted out under the shade canopy of carefully thinned-out forest, and oil-palm tree plantations, since Borojo only thrives in the shade, away from direct sunshine.
In summary, for the chance to cultivate the widest possible variety of uber-nutritious crops, relocate to any point of your choice on earth, as long as it lies within that green tropical belt around our planet's midriff.
I almost forgot to mention another tropical belt crop of great nutritional value, namely Moringa olifera, whose dried leaves are powdered for greater nutrient concentration and shelf life. Check out Moringa on the net, and you'll see the reason for my enthusiasm regarding this crop as well.
Thanks for the responses! And believe it or not, Billy, we are looking at a long term relocation to either Hawaii or New Zealand. We just want to spend a half year to a full year learning how to seed bank by actually practicing it rather than reading about it on blogs. We've both saved up enough money to take a good chunk of time off to better embed permaculture practices and seed banking practices into our bag of tricks; we see it as an investment in ourselves to do so. With that in mind, why not do it somewhere interesting that we've never visited?
Thanks for the tip on Borojoa Patinoi! With our plans to eventually wind up somewhere much warmer than Alaska, we'll hopefully have the right growing conditions for this wonder tree!
Many thanks to both posters.
I brought this back from the farm where they grow the tiny ads: