Permanent garden of thousands of genetically distinct herbs and perennial plants that don't propagate well by seed. Gardeners are removing weeds and preventing the plants from spreading from one plot to another. This is a small part of what IPK maintains, as their primary focus is on cereal crops such as wheat and barley.
IPK (Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research) has the largest collection of food plants in the European Commnunity, with over 590,000 plants and 150,000 associated seeds, including 28,000 accessions of wheat.
Most of the old varieties don't have the high yield or nutritional qualties that have been developed into modern hybrids, but they hold genetic traits that are valuable for developing future varieties. Seeds held in cold storage (-15°C at IPK) can last with some 80% viability for over 40 years, and 8,000 are replanted and harvested annually on a twenty year rotation to ensure their viability into the future.
- ©2016 George Steinmetz
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