Community Seed Saving
...by Emma Stone
Training tools for Pacific Island Communities
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The operation of the PMN is simple - members request seeds, grow them out to produce food, then return a small supply of the seed they produce to the seed centre. This is grown out and multiplied in the garden and processed, after which it again become available to members.
Because of the risk of spoilage and to maximise seed viability (the quantity that will grow), the Network stores seed for as little time as possible. It is not a 'seed bank' which keeps seed in storage - the farmer's fields are the seed bank in which seeds are continually in a state of growth. High turnover of processed seed maintains viability in the humid, tropical climate of the Solomon Islands.
The Network uses a systematic process to grow, dry, germination test, package, catalogue and distribute seed. This was devised by the PMN's Mary Timothy, Roselyn Kabu Maemouri, Wendy Betsy, Tony Jansen and by Australian trainer, Emma Stone. Emma documented the process in her manual, Community Seed Saving, which is available from the Planting Material Network's Honiara seed centre.