MARCH 11, 2015 BY 

Review of Seeds of Time by Lindsey Hall, Office Goddess for YVSC, CAA, and MSS

Seeds of Time was an eye-opening look at what is happening on a global level to educate, preserve and protect our planet from lack of biodiversity. With industrial agriculture and climate change working against this, Seeds of Time expresses concern on how this planet is not ready for the changes and challenges that are to come. To look to the future is to think diversity, thus the main focus of the Svalbard Global Seed Bank in Norway. The story of the film focuses on Cary Fowler, an important scientist and human of our time with a knack for making things happen. The Svalbard Global Seed Bank has seeds from all over the world and has opened up conversation with leaders from many countries; seemingly rising above all the chaos and dysfunction of human society to address the need to shift agriculture to a more prepared state for the future.

As a byproduct of modern agriculture, monocrop systems have destroyed gene banks and soil health around the world entirely wiping out crop varieties. Statistics from the movie showed the most common crops we eat creeping below 10% of remaining varieties. This is alarming as these varieties have less and less ways to adapt to disease, drought or pest resistance. An important message from the movie is that genentic diversity lies in the hands of small farmers and gardeners in more localized regions. Working together to grow, save and distribute seeds in smaller regions will help to maintain diversity, helping future generations to maintain the balance needed to adaptation in agriculture. The word “dynamic conservation” is sticking out to me: “Dynamic conservation is all those actions which are directed towards sustaining otherwise decreasing rates of use, towards sustained yield management, or towards increasing sustained use.”


This movie is a great motivator to continue to think about and work towards adapting and preparing for the future so we may change, diversify, and rise above meaningless political banter that gets us nowhere. Science is an important part of this but as Cary states in his own way: we need solutions in science, not just victories.