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Mark Alexander

Guilford, Surrey, United Kingdom

All dads are heroes, and Mark Alexander’s son will be proud one day to learn that his dad’s achievements as a Seed Guardian did more good than all of Batman’s night escapades. Caring for quality seeds is not easy; the climate has changed, and so have the growing conditions. With many popular brands sourcing seeds from the same distributors, the strength and unique lineage of heirloom varieties are diminishing, often when the growing conditions aren’t similar to the final destination – our plots.

Mark’s growing journey began with moving out of London, starting a family and getting an allotment. His passion for seasonal eating and reducing waste resulted in a carefully planned growing season, ensuring his family enjoys trips to the plot rather than the supermarket. Although he appreciates that modern cultivars and the rare hybrid have their place, Mark’s passion is to share the educational aspects of seed sovereignty, selecting seeds for the best genetic material possible and growing them in conditions local to the area.

Many growers appreciate his efforts in helping launch the Guildford Seed Bank from a CSA farm through to allotment societies, local schools and community gardens. As he beautifully says, “we should be taking old principles, old varieties, and growing them in modern conditions. Looking to the future, not the past”.

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Author

Vegetable grower, natural beekeeper and edible spaces designer. Lover of all soil and urban farming techniques. Former head of growing at Incredible Aquagarden.