Noah’s Ark for Fruits, Nuts and Grapes ~Modern Farmer @ModFarm

Posted on September 23, 2014 By

Most people don’t consider Agriculture Disaster. It’s seen in the news as million pound recalls, or citrus blight, innocuous descriptions of systemic failure as well as natural disaster. For me there is no debate about climate change. I grew up on a cotton farm in Mississippi. Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining. ~Bruce Biles

Tasting evaluation event of the fig (Ficus) collection at the NCGR, Davis.

Tasting evaluation event of the fig (Ficus) collection at the NCGR, Davis.

By ~Seen from the air, the USDA National Clonal Germplasm Repository for Tree Fruit, Nut Crops and Grapes is a tidy, unremarkable, roughly 70-acre patchwork of varying shades of green and brown. From the ground, it’s a lush, hot, endless expanse of tangled vineyards and sun-blasted groves, alive with chirping birds and buzzing.

It contains two each of hundreds of species that are or have been relevant to California’s agriculture — as well as those crops’ wild ancestors — and has been called a bank, a backup, a living history, an ark. As climate change increasingly wipes out the fruits and nuts we eat today, this place, says Dylan Burge, a botany curator at the California Academy of Sciences, is where we’ll turn for help. Read more.

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