The Botanical Explorer

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  • October 25, 2016
    2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Joseph Simcox is a World Food Plant Ecologist and Ethnobotanist. He travels the globe to identify the world’s food plant resources focusing on under-utilized crops and wild species.

maxresdefault“As a Botanical Explorer, I am dedicated to sharing my experience of the vast diversity of the plant world with as many people as possible. The future of mankind is inextricably linked to us developing a symbiotic relationship with plants and nature.” ~ Joseph Simcox

The basis of his work is to promote the use and cultivation of plants for food and useful components. His goal is to ensure food security and nutrition for all while developing food systems that mimic nature. Joseph asserts that the identification of wild food plants and their appropriate habitats is the first step to creating sustainable ecosystems.

The Rare Vegetable Seed Consortium’s chief aim is to establish collections of lesser known and sometimes exceedingly rare food plants. Presently there are approximately 14,000 species and varieties in the Consortium’s holdings, and that number is continually expanding.

Survival of biodiversity depends on active growing and seed saving. As Joseph often remarks:

“The best seed bank is the soil in your back yard!”

This is to point out that while formal seed banks do have an important role in safeguarding biodiversity, the most reliable way of ensuring seed viability is to plant year after year. The Consortium works to actively promote season-to-season cultivation, seed saving and sharing of its holdings of rare, non-GMO, heirloom genetic material.


25 Foreside Road, Topsham, Maine, 04086