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Dublin: 15°C Thursday 17 June 2021

Your evening longread: Meet the farmer saving the world's rarest heirloom seeds

It’s a coronavirus-free zone as we bring you an interesting longread each evening to take your mind off the news.

Image: Shutterstock/Mona Makela

EVERY WEEK, WE bring you a round-up of the best longreads of the past seven days in Sitdown Sunday.

For the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you an evening longread to enjoy. With the news cycle dominated by the coronavirus situation, we know it can be hard to take your mind off what’s happening.

So we want to bring you an interesting read every weekday evening to help transport you somewhere else.

We’ll be keeping an eye on new longreads and digging back into the archives for some classics.

The seed saver

A lovely look at people who do important work quietly. Meet the man who has spent a lifetime saving seeds – and scattering them around the US.

(Down East, approx 19 mins reading time)

He has donated specimens from his collection to researchers at the USDA-administered National Plant Germplasm System, sold them to seed companies like Fedco, and distributed them worldwide through print and online platforms, some of which he’s been instrumental in launching. His work, which he calls the Scatterseed Project, has been covered in multiple books and one Emmy-nominated PBS documentary, and it’s earned him something like icon status within the seed-saving subculture. But these days his collection is dwindling. In part for lack of funding and staff, Bonsall hasn’t kept up with the cycle of replanting needed to regenerate new seeds. And he isn’t getting any younger. “I’m losing stuff right and left,” he said. “I’m in danger of losing everything. And time is of the essence.”

Read all of the Evening Longreads here>

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