Association for the conservation and development of crop diversity
Since 1990 the Austrian non-profit association ARCHE NOAH has preserved and cared for thousands of endangered vegetable, fruit and grain varieties with the aim of bringing these traditional and rare cultural assets back into the gardens and onto the market. ARCHE NOAH is currently housing one of the largest collections of cultivated plants in Europe. 16,000 members and supporters already support this work. The ARCHE NOAH seed archive is located in Schiltern near Langenlois (Austria). It contains the seeds of around 5,500 rare cultivated plants – including 800 bean, 600 tomato, and 150 pea varieties. In addition, there is the potato collection comprising 200 varieties. An extensive collection of old fruit and berry varieties is managed decentrally and through “adoptions”. A network of over 150 private seed guardians and numerous partners ensures the decentralised and locally adapted preservation of the diversity of varieties. Educational programmes, publications and the commitment to a better political and legal framework for diversity in the seed market are an important part of the work. Every year around 500 different plant species are shown in their living abundance in the baroque gardens of Schiltern Castle.