Article: Horticulture Heroes: Controversy

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Image Horticulture Heroes
By Larry Rettig on September 23, 2011

It’s a rare thing to encounter heroism and sacrifice in the world of horticulture. That’s why I was drawn to the story of the Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry in St. Petersburg, Russia.

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ImageZanymuse
Sep 24, 2011 6:07 PM CST
Name: Brenda Essig
Rio Dell, CA
What a grisly death for a great man.

As with all historical events, there are those who will argue that the facts are blurred and the reports are skewed. In following your link " Danger threatens the Institute once more " I see the comments threads doing just that. What a shame that these people waste time arguing historical "truths" when the proofs of that history are in danger of disappearing forever.

One can only hope that their government will realize what a wonderful thing they have there. Rather than auctioning it off and paving it over, I would love to see it's funding restored so that it can be, not just saved, but restored to it's former glory.

It would be a dark blotch on the history of Russia and mankind if they succeed in this obvious choice of money for land developers over history/science that benefits all mankind.
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ImageSharon
Sep 25, 2011 5:02 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
We need to be aware that history repeats itself, unless we can take those lessons from the past and learn from them.

Larry, thank you for this very well written historical lesson.
ImageLarryR
Sep 26, 2011 12:37 AM CST
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA
Thank you, Brenda and Sharon, for your thoughtful comments. If I remember right, the Vavilov seed bank contributed seed from most, if not all, of its collection to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway, also known as the Doomsday Vault. While I certainly wouldn't wish any ill to befall the Vavilov bank, it is nice to know that some or all of its collection is duplicated in Norway. Here is more on Svalbard and other seed banks: http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/2068/

(As you'll see, I wrote that article during a time when my greatest challenge was to wring every last bit of layout capability from our editing software! I'm over that now. Smiling )
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ImageZanymuse
Sep 26, 2011 1:00 AM CST
Name: Brenda Essig
Rio Dell, CA
Thanks for linking to that earlier article. I haven't been over to DG much since about a year before cubits opened so I hadn't read it. I had wondered how they preserved the seeds and things that do not propagate from seed and you answered that question for me.

It is comforting to know that all the collections are not stored in a single location.

Both articles were very informative and interesting. But then, your articles always are.

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ImageLarryR
Sep 26, 2011 7:35 PM CST
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA
Thanks, Brenda. I tip my hat to you.
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
As a gardener: When planning for a year, I plant corn. When planning for decades, I plant trees. When planning for life, I train and educate people.


Website: https://cottageinthemeadow.plantfans.com/

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