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Scandinavian heirlooms for wellbeing

Friis Pedersen, Susanne (2020) Scandinavian heirlooms for wellbeing. Acta Horticulturae, 1 (1286), pp. 17-22.

[thumbnail of actahorticulturae. SFPedersen.ScandinavianHeirlooms.pdf] PDF - English

Document available online at: https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1286.3


Seed availability in general has narrowed tenfold down, comparing seed catalogues in a century perspective. Not only the supply offered by catalogues has minimized; the seed supply chain has been monopolized to a few giant companies globally. Organic horticulture relies on this supply too, but could more frequently rely on local seed exchange of open pollinated varieties. Open pollinated varieties, often heirlooms, offer the gardener an opportunity to be self-sufficient with viable, locally adapted seeds. Heirlooms are, if not susceptible to pathogens, often quite suitable and adaptive to organic small-scale cultivation. They will yield reasonable even though fertilization is not abundant, and they will yield longer per season. The recent adjustment of EU regulation for organic production will possibly open for use of non-certified organic seed like heirlooms.
The objective of this work is to examine if seed-savers-organizations may provide site-specific and reliable seeds for organic horticulture. The scope is limited to a Scandinavian case study where a formal and an informal seed market exists side by side.
Seed saving and seed exchange has a long tradition in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, often in organized networks. The Nordic Genetic Resource Centre (Nordgen) plays a prominent role providing and conserving Nordic heirlooms. Some heirlooms have even been reintroduced to national variety lists. Both Norway and Sweden host a small seed company providing only organic seeds, and being dedicated to heirlooms. Denmark counts for at least three established organic seed providers. In all Scandinavian countries there is an increasing interest in heirloom varieties. This might lead to an increased interest for organic gardening, supporting the well-being of the environment and the population.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:seed exchange, seed biodiversity, seed market, participatory plant breeding
Agrovoc keywords:
Subjects: Crop husbandry
Crop husbandry > Breeding, genetics and propagation
Research affiliation: Norway
Norway > NORSØK - Norwegian Centre for Organic Agriculture
Deposited By: Friis Pedersen, Susanne
ID Code:38374
Deposited On:09 Dec 2020 08:19
Last Modified:09 Dec 2020 08:19
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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