Seeds hold blueprints to nature’s future
We think seeds are incredibly exciting. So does our partner, The Mojave Desert Land Trust, launching the Mojave Desert Seed Bank in 2016 to collect and preserve in cold storage seeds of native Mojave Desert plants for decades to come. Nursery and Seed Bank Manager, Madena Asbell, is spearheading the effort to work with volunteers to collect, clean, label, and preserve seeds of over 110 species from across the Mojave Desert. The seed bank also works in tandem with the Mojave Desert Land Trust’s nursery to grow plants that can be transplanted back into the wild.
In honor of the new membership program for the seed bank to honor ten founding members in November 2017, SummerTree’s Executive Director, Robin Kobaly (a founding member), was asked to give her thoughts about the importance of preserving native seeds:
“Seeds are vaults for storing information. Every seed holds a packet of sleeping chromosomes with data that has been tailored by millennia of weather patterns, soil structures, and interactions with animals, insects, fungi, and bacteria. Each seed awaits the magic touch of water, soil, heat, or cold to be awakened from dormancy into germination, activating its chromosomes to grow roots, leaves, stems, and flowers that are perfectly suited to thrive in the climate of its origin.
When planted in the same climate where the seed evolved, the native plant will have everything it needs to live a healthy, productive life. Even if that seed’s native habitat is a habitat as harsh as a desert, the seed has all the information about its future structure, metabolism, and partnerships that it needs to thrive in that environment, even with the desert’s extreme heat, long droughts, intense sun, strong winds, browsing animals, and nutrient-poor soils. All the information needed for success in its native habitat is wrapped up inside each seed. All that we need to do to ensure that seed’s survival is to plant it in the same ecosystem in which it evolved.
So what seeds should we be planting in our desert landscapes and yards? Naturally, those that evolved here. The mission of Mojave Desert Land Trust’s seed bank and nursery is to help achieve that goal: to collect seeds from our native desert plants, germinate them to unleash their stored blueprints for survival in this desert, grow them in containers that encourage their inborn behavior of deep roots, and sell the seedlings to eager gardeners who want to be part of the solution for earth-friendly living.
Does this idea excite you? If it does, consider becoming a supporter of Mojave Desert Land Trust’s native seed collection team. Help them harvest and process native desert seeds to unleash their power and magic for a garden near you.”
For more information visit Mojave Desert Land Trust