Seed Savers Exchange ships two additional crates to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault
Sixth shipment from Seed Savers Exchange brings their total to 2,248 seed samples deposited in the remote seed vault
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 1:47 AM
As part of their preservation efforts, the Seed Savers Exchange (SSE) has been utilizing the Svalbard Global Seed Vault to back up their collections since the seed vault's opening in 2008.
Svalbard acts as a safety net for SSE and seedbanks worldwide by housing duplicate accessions for long-term storage.
To prepare the seeds for long-term storage, seeds are dried until they have approximately 5 percent moisture content, and are then heat sealed into airtight packets. Once inside the vault, the packets will be kept at 0°F (-17°C) and will remain viable for a long time. Similar to a safe deposit box at the bank, only Seed Savers Exchange has access to the materials deposited. This 'Black Box' agreement is made with each depositor, and ensures that only the depositor can access their own seeds in the vault.
The Svalbard seed vault was built deep into mountainous permafrost, which keeps the vault at below freezing temperatures even without a cooling system. Furthermore, its treacherous and remote location protects the vault from possible harm due to natural disasters or human-powered calamities. This kind of protection ensures Seed Savers Exchanges' seeds will be safe for many years to come.