Banking on the Future

msb-wakehurst-place-sussex

Here in this bank the future lies asleep,
signed sealed and stored, as generations pass.
Their embryonic secrets they will keep,
from mighty tree to simple blade of grass.

Until such times this world will need their genes
as nature’s power destroys what man created.
Designer crops that never saw a bee
by plagues unknown could all be decimated.

This seed bank holds the secrets of the past
and hope for future’s days, as yet, unknown.
This suicidal life style cannot last;
mankind must surely reap what he has sown.

We owe these seeds a debt of obligation:
Keep bees alive for future pollination.

© Patricia Curtis

Author’s Note

The MSB (Millennium Seed Bank) team initially aimed to store seeds from all of the UK’s native plant species. It has now achieved this, apart from a handful of species that are either very rare or whose seeds are particularly difficult to store. It also set the goal of banking seeds from 10% of the world’s flora by 2010. This was achieved in 2009 when it banked seeds from the 24,200th species, a pink wild banana from China (Musa itinerans) which is an important staple food for wild Asian elephants. The aim for the next phase of the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership (MSBP) is to conserve 25% of the world’s plant species by 2020. The Photo is of the Millennium seed bank at Wakehurst Place Sussex. I have visited Wakehurst place gardens but not the seed bank.

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