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BOOK REVIEWS

A Growing Matter
An Inventory of the Vegetable and
Native Plant Seeds of Aotearoa/New Zealand


Compiled by Ann Bell
New Zealand Coalition for Trade and Development
P.O. Box 11-345, Wellington

Reviewed by Mike Oates

The New Zealand Coalition for Trade and Development (NZCTD) is a non-profit organisation which informs and educates people about poverty, affluence and injustice. It is opposed to Plant Variety Rights legislation, saying no person or organisation should have the right to own another living evolving life form. They contend that PVR has accelerated genetic erosion by putting genetic resources into private hands, including the large multinationals that can afford to spend a lot of money developing new cultivars. Not everyone will agree with these views on PVR, but the reality is that, for whatever reason, genetic erosion is occurring at an alarming rate and urgent steps are needed to stop it.

This publication takes an important first step by providing an inventory of vegetable seeds and native plants available in New Zealand. Ann Bell carried out an exhaustive survey of seed firms, nurseries, public and private gardens and Universities to produce this invaluable resource. Such work will be of great use to the N.Z. Plant Collections Scheme which is currently being established.

The text is clear and easy to read and includes some excellent cartoons on collecting and storing seed. Contents include: Vegetable plant breeding and plant variety rights legislation in Aotearoa/NZ; the Food and Agricultural Organisation-sponsored international system of genebanks; a list of vegetable cultivars, with seed/plant supplies and availability; a list of native plant resources; and practical guidelines for small-scale seed saying.

All in all, a useful publication at a reasonable price.

Horticulture in New Zealand: Journal of the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture 1990 1(1): 24

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