An Underground Bunker in Iowa Secures American Farms’ Legacy


Did you see the movie WALL-E?  The earth has been wiped out and humans on a massive ship in space, send a probing robot to Earth to investigate a possible source of life, so they can return.  The probing robot finds a plant growing which signals that the earth has become vital again.

In the event that U.S. soil experiences that level of devastation, to jumpstart the food supply, seeds are being held in an underground bunker in Iowa with all types of seeds that are of the usual sort, but also those that are of a more rare variety. But, the bunker is not meant to serve as a post-apocalyptic game changer, it holds the history of the North American plant life. According to the Yakima Herald, the Seed Savers Exchange all started as a family heirloom.  Diane Ott Whealy’s paternal grandfather died in 1974, and he entrusted her with the family treasure of two seeds.

“… he entrusted Whealy and her husband, Kent, with seeds for two beloved plants that he had always grown: a large pink tomato and a red-throated purple morning glory.”

The nonprofit organization is the largest seed bank in the nation and they share the seeds with the public with the goal of returning the lost foods to “backyard gardens, commercial farms and ultimately the American diet.” This is the important work that the Seed Savers do for the nation.

The key to their business is their mail-order catalog and online sales where they share and exchange seeds with other seed carriers and farmers.  But exchanging seeds via their “members-only yearbook, a listing that allows seed savers to connect with each other to trade, give away or buy and sell seeds”– is the life line of the business.  They serve 13,000 members in America and 40 other countries.

Read more here.

-J.C. Brooks

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