Social Responsibility

Ecosanity: An Interview with Alan M. Kapuler Ph.D.


Molecular biologist and public domain plant breeder Alan M. Kapuler speaks about three decades of saving seeds and breeding plants at his farm outside of Corvallis, Oregon.

Untitled took a summer trip to the Corvallis farm of Alan Kapuler, which is home to his plant breeding and seed saving endeavors. The visit was a follow-up to his campus lecture last spring—
“Ecosanity: Ongoing Discoveries About Life”
 part of the Alfred Edelman Lecture series.

Ecosanity: An Interview with Alan M. Kapuler Ph.D. from PNCA on Vimeo.

Kapuler is a molecular biologist, public domain plant breeder President of Peace Seeds and the Co-Founder and retired Research Director of Seeds of Change, one of the world’s leading providers of organic seeds.

He is widely considered the founding father of the organic seed movement. He has been saving seeds and breeding plants for over 30 years from his farm in Corvallis, Oregon. His philosophy remains at the heart of the current discussion on where our food comes from and how it is produced. Peace Seeds promotes public domain plant breeding in an effort to protect plant diversity. Kapuler describes the Peace Seeds catalog as a “manual for conserving the plant gene-pool of planet Earth.”

Motivated by the social revolution of the late 1960s and discouraged by the work of some of his peers, Kapuler left his promising career on the East Coast to relocate to Oregon in his green van with little more than $1000. It was the simple farm life that Kapuler found in Corvallis that led him to utilize his skills and knowledge of genetics in the garden. This connection with the earth is what keeps Kapuler dedicated to the preservation of traditional crops. In this video interview he spoke with PNCA Foundation Chair Tracey Cockrell on his work and philosophy.

by Becca Biggs
Interview by Tracey Cockrell. Videography by David Roos '10

— Posted on 08/18 at 05:13 PM

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