This seed library is helping to conserve hundreds of vegetable varieties

Updated 1953 GMT (0353 HKT) August 3, 2021
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The Heritage Seed Library works to conserve rare vegetable varieties. It makes its seeds available to members, who grow the seeds into plants before harvesting the next generation of seeds to share with other members. The Summer Sun squash is a Heritage Seed Library success story. It is now no longer in need of conservation and these "succulent, scalloped fruits" can occasionally be seen in supermarkets. Garden Organic
It's hoped that growing a wider range of vegetables can help replenish soil health and improve food security. Grown in the south of England, these tall, sweet peas are named "Mummy's" as it was suggested that the seeds were originally found in an Egyptian tomb. Garden Organic
The Carter's Dwarf sugar pea is one of 16 pea varieties being grown by Heritage Seed Library members. Believed to date back to around 1800, this edible podded pea was once a commercial variety but is now rarely consumed. Garden Organic
The Llanover Pea gets its name from an estate in Wales that was used as a prisoner of war camp during WWII. Here, an imprisoned German soldier fell in love with one of the estate's maids. After the war, he returned to Wales to ask his love to marry him, bringing with him some pea seeds. The pea has been grown on the Llanover estate ever since and will soon be available for sale at local markets. Garden Organic
The Bronze Arrow lettuce originated in California but was little known in the UK. With resilient leaves able to withstand drought and cold, this variety no longer needs conservation, as a result of the Heritage Seed Library's work. Its seeds are now often sold under the name Bronze Beauty. Garden Organic
The seeds of the District Nurse Climbing French bean were donated to the library, originating from an elderly woman in Cardiff. These vibrant green and navy beans are accompanied by lilac flowers and may be pest and disease resistant. Garden Organic
Originally developed for exhibitions, the runner bean Rhondda Black has been grown in the Welsh Rhondda Valley for the past 50 years. Its long, black-seeded pods are believed to have been meticulously bred from a rare black-seeded Enorma variety, whose name speaks for itself. The seeds have been distributed widely and in Canada, it is said to be pollinated by hummingbirds. Garden Organic
The Histon Cropper tomato, once commercially available, is described as blight resistant, with good flavor. Once it is safeguarded in the Heritage Seed Library, it will be re-seeded as a living collection. Garden Organic
Kenches Gold tomato is named after its donor's grandfather, "Kench" and dates back to 1901. It produces sweet, deep yellow fruit. Garden Organic
Growing to around 1 meter tall, the hardy Cockpit pea is believed to have last been commercially available nearly two decades ago, and was donated to the Heritage Seed Library in 2008. Garden Organic
This pea, known as Sutton's Delicacy, grows up to 4 feet tall, with hanging blunt-ended pods. Garden Organic