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July 2014

Happy July, folks!

As the weather warms up, we hope the pollinators are buzzing around in your gardens, and the flowers are in bloom. This is the first step for crop plants to make delicious fruits and vegetables, and (if you have enough restraint to leave a couple on the plants!) to make seeds that you can save and plant the following year.

For those of you who like the idea of a quick refresher of some of the basic botany concepts that are at work in your veggie gardens, scroll down to our article on "What's In A Flower," and watch out for similar pieces, on fruits and seeds, in the next two e-bulletins. And for those of you in areas that are receiving heavy rainfall this summer, don't forget to check out some tips to make a rain garden.

Here's to a bloomin' summer!


Bauta Initiative Profile: Richmond Community Seed Library

The Richmond Community Seed Library, launched at a Seedy Saturday event in March 2012, operates out of the Main Branch of the Richmond Public Library in BC, and treats its seeds like a check-in, check-out library system. Regular library members can check out seeds to plant and grow, and check in freshly grown seeds later that year for others to grow. This cooperative system follows the method that Seeds of Diversity’s seed library uses, and it’s exactly why we like to call ourselves a library and not a seed bank. We believe this approach fosters community involvement by creating a network of seed sharers and relying on members to increase, multiply and diversify the seed collection. The community of Richmond seems to agree, and has enthusiastically become involved.


World Food Prize Awarded to Wheat Breeder

The announcement of Dr. Sanjaya Rajaram as the 2014 winner of the World Food Prize was a breath of fresh air after last year's controversial award (did you hear about that?). 

Rajaram was honoured for his life-long work as a breeder of wheat, developing "an astounding 480 wheat varieties that have been released in 51 countries on six continents and have been widely adopted by small- and large-scale farmers alike".


Botany Basics: What's In a Flower?

The purpose of every flower is to fertilize each seed with a grain of pollen.

Pollen is made on anthers, which are the male part of the plant. It is then collected on the stigma, which is the female part of the plant. During fertilization, pollen travels down tubes to an ovary that later grows into a fruit. Each grain of pollen fertilizes one seed, and genetically, the baby plant in the seed is half of the plant that made the pollen, and half of the plant that made the fruit. Flowers are categorized under four types. Most plants have a combination of these types. Some plants, for example, have complete and closed flowers. Others may have complete and open flowers, or incomplete and open flowers.


Pollinator Patch: Pollinator Rain Gardens

In April this year, I attended a "Lunch & Learn," hosted by the business improvement association in Waterloo, Ontario. One of the presentations at the workshop presented evidence from Environment Canada that rainstorms are intensifying in frequency and duration. Perhaps you’ve already experienced these episodes, as they generally lead to flash floods.


In this issue

Bauta Initiative Profile: Richmond Community Seed Library

World Food Prize Awarded to Wheat Breeder

Botany Basics: What's In a Flower?

Pollinator Patch: Pollinator Rain Gardens

Not yet a member?

An annual membership to Seeds of Diversity gives you access to our seed exchange, seed grow-out programs, and our online news.

Upcoming Seedy events from the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security

Webinar: Harvesting, Drying & Cleaning your Seed Crops
Online, July 30, 4.00 - 6.00 pm, EST.

Rogueing, Selection and Disease Management
Wednesday August 6, 2014
Hawthorne Farm, 5961 5th Line Minto
Palmerston, ON

Growing Vegetable Seed in Northern Ontario
Thursday August 14, 2014
Thunder Bay, ON

Integrating Seed Production into Market Gardens
Wednesday August 20, 2014
1350 Highway 54
Caledonia, ON

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