Adam Alexander, Seed Guardian
Our Heritage Seed Library depends on the wonderful work of its 200 Seed Guardians, who help us to preserve rare varieties for future generations. Adam Alexander is a shining example of these dedicated supporters – having saved the precious seeds from more than 20 endangered varieties so that they can be shared with our members.
Adam, from Chepstow, has always been fascinated by growing. He attended a Steiner school based on a biodynamic farm as a young boy, where he spent a lot of time working in the vegetable garden. Adam then went into a career in film-making, but he has always been drawn back to his passion for plants. Adam started his own seed library 30 years ago, and has gradually built up an impressive collection of nearly 500 varieties – with more than 80 coming from our Heritage Seed Library (HSL).
I joined the Heritage Seed Library about 15 years ago and, probably like most people, I was attracted by the idea of getting some unusual seeds and trying them out. But as the years have gone by, these varieties have become a large part of my own collection. I am very happy to grow some of that seed and share it with others. There is a desperate need to seek out endangered food plants, grow them oneself and get other people to grow them. We all have to do our bit to try to secure the genetic diversity of our food.
Adam has travelled around the world as a film-maker and, alongside his work, he has always made time to collect local seed varieties and learn about their history. He has become particularly interested in Myanmar in recent years, because the genetic diversity of its food plants is so rich after being cut off from the outside world for many years. Adam’s latest project is to make a documentary called ‘The seed detective’ based on his research in Myanmar. On his next visit, he is keen to visit the refugees growing their own organic food in a remote region of Myanmar, who were featured in The Organic Way recently (Issue 213).
To find out more about how you could become a Seed Guardians yourself visit www.gardenorganic.org.uk/seed-guardians.